“Temporary Island” Exhibition

EFA Project Space

poster for “Temporary Island” Exhibition
[Image: Pradeep Dalal "Borders" (2019)]

This event has ended.

SHIFT Residency Exhibition

Artists: Pradeep Dalal, Matthew de Leon, Alicia Ehni, Nung-Hsin Hu, Patrick Rowe, Maya Valladares, Annette Wehrhahn

Organized by the 2018/19 SHIFT residents, with curatorial fellow Frank Prescia.

EFA Project Space presents Temporary Island, an exhibition that brings together new works produced during the 2018/19 SHIFT Residency. Over the course of the past year, seven artists came together to form a “temporary island” of support—a self-imposed shipwreck on remote land; an organized resistance to survive New York City’s grind; and a floating collaboration on the fringes of busy schedules and the daily demands of over-programmed lives.

Each year, the SHIFT Residency addresses the unique work-life challenges facing a niche of artists who work over 35 hours per week in support of other artists (as arts administrators, curators, educators, and advocates). Many SHIFT residents and alumni are caregivers outside of work, members of the so-called “sandwich generation,” who must balance additional demands on their creative lives. Through SHIFT, they have taken the year to reorient and restructure their lives toward their creative practices. Temporary Island, a collaboratively organized show developed and produced by the residents, features new work by Pradeep Dalal, Matthew de Leon, Alicia Ehni, Nung-Hsin Hu, Patrick Rowe, Maya Valladares, Annette Wehrhahn.

Pradeep Dalal draws on Mughal paintings of nature to illuminate his birthplace, Mumbai, through an expanded photographic practice. For Dalal, the cosmic coincidence of hailing from a place that was originally comprised of seven islands, a recent visit to the seven concentric wall enclosures in the ancient city of Sirangam, and his participation in a residency with seven artists informed his new work.

Alicia Ehni’s project explores personal and collective narratives around Paracas, a Pre-Columbian desert site in her home country, Peru. Merging history, myths, science—and recent discussions with a Peruvian archeologist on pre-Columbian civilizations’ discoveries—Ehni’s installation playfully blends projected images, sculpture, and collage to comment on the way findings are interpreted, highlighting the need for environmental preservation.

The figure of the island has a symbolic and practical function in Matthew de Leon’s work. His parents emigrated to New York via Puerto Rico and the Philippines, settling for a time on Governors Island in New York Harbor, where de Leon was born. For Temporary Island, de Leon presents an installation including wearable drawings and soft sculptures—a rewriting of his family’s history on his own terms.

Family relations also resonate in Nung-Hsin Hu’s mixed-media installation. 16mm film projections of the Taiwanese sunset & Arctic sunlight, Risograph prints on her family photographs and mushrooms with printed words, whispering in the gallery corners, create a cyclical view of time and an archive of the ephemeral.

Maya Valladares invokes her role as a caretaker, arts worker, and artist into her sewn organza piece, making use of abstracted color and form to represent the overwhelming tasks that fill her calendar, spinning quotidian stress into beauty.

Annette Wehrhahn’s abstracted series of paintings stem from her desire to experience the body from the inside, as a vessel that encounters life. By drawing inspiration from early cave drawings and Italian ex votos, she has created create a quilt-like portrait of humans visiting these spaces, their devotion, supplication, and belief.

Patrick Rowe has fabricated a large-scale paper arch with a triptych key to reflect on his longtime and ever-evolving public art practice. The layered work references photographs of spaces in New York City, where his public participatory art projects have taken place, along with a key that translates elements of his public practice into the context of the gallery.

SHIFT Residency was launched in August 2010 to provide studio space and peer support for practicing artists who also work as administrators at cultural institutions. The program has expanded to include curators, educators, and preparators, providing these artists who occupy support roles in their day jobs with a unique environment to focus on and immerse themselves in their own art practices. This year, seven residents were selected based on their outstanding contributions to the art community, plus their potential for artistic growth in a collaborative studio environment. The artworks and accompanying programming presented in Temporary Island was developed, workshopped, and made by the artists over the course of their residency year. For more information on SHIFT, visit projectspace-efanyc.org/about-shift.

Support for the development of Alicia Ehni’s work provided by The Puffin Foundation.



from June 26, 2019 to August 03, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-06-26 from 17:00 to 20:00

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