Ari Marcopoulos Exhibition

Fergus McCaffrey (514 W 26th St.)

poster for Ari Marcopoulos Exhibition
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Fergus McCaffrey presenst its inaugural exhibitions with Ari Marcopoulos, on view at the gallery’s Tokyo location from January 12 – March 9, 2019 and New York from January 24 – February 23, 2019. Marcopoulos is widely recognized for his photographic work that bridges fine art and street photography; Fergus McCaffrey’s exhibitions allow viewers a glimpse into another side of the artist’s practice with three recent films created in the past two years, including The Park (2017-2018), Monogram Hunters (2018), and Upper Big Tracadie (2018).


The exhibitions open with The Park (2017–18), a 58-minute film of a public, unfenced basketball court adjacent to the Walt Whitman housing projects in Brooklyn, New
York. The first 51 minutes are shot from one side of the court, and the final seven from the other. The Park reveals the basketball court as a fundamental space of public social life, providing an anthropological cross-section of social codes: sometimes the players are affable, relaxed. At other times, the game becomes competitive, tense. Throughout, neighborhood locals pass through the court, providing an ebb and flow of casual, spontaneous interaction. In this way, Marcopoulos’s film transforms the court into a contemporary pastoral, a dream-like landscape scene picturing a languid, bucolic afternoon spent in community and kinship.

Originally presented as a silent film, for McCaffrey’s exhibitions The Park is accompanied by a live-recorded improvised soundtrack by renowned musician Jason Moran, which was performed and recorded before a live audience in December of 2018 at the sonorium Music Hall in Tokyo, Japan. In 2017, Moran saw a version of the film and was compelled to respond with a piano score to accompany its otherwise silent study of mundane urbanity. He screened a fifteen minute segment of The Park in Washington DC at the John F. Kennedy Center’s centennial celebration of Thelonious Monk’s birth, performing in real-time with an improvised solo piano piece. Monk was known to drag a piano from a community center onto the basketball court and play while watching the game, he could also be found standing on street corners in his native Harlem for hours, thinking about music; this meditative act is mirrored by Marcopoulos’s film, which renders the artist’s signature photographic intimacy into the moving image. Over the course of the film, the viewer is pulled into a fully absorptive situation of the informal basketball game. Moran’s performance spontaneously translates the visual rhythms of the film’s unscripted choreography, giving auditory form to the basketball court activity as read through Marcopoulos’s lens.


Born in Amsterdam in 1957, Marcopoulos first came to New York in 1979, where he became involved in both the downtown art scene and city’s burgeoning hip hop culture. His photographs acted as bridges between the two overlapping worlds, creating a unique sensibility informed by both the raw, intuitive virtuosity of early hip hop music and the ironic, image-based culture of the 1980s downtown art world. After working in Andy Warhol’s studio for two years printing black-and-white photographs, Marcopoulos became the studio assistant of photographer Irving Penn; his work is dually informed by Warhol’s indiscriminate approach to subject matter and Penn’s emphasis on technical skill and formal elegance.
Marcopoulos began his own photographic practice on the streets of New York. His engaged, affable approach meant that he quickly found himself part of the communities he photographed. Taken as a whole, the volume of images Marcopoulos has produced since the early 1980s form a rough biographical sketch of the artist. Over the past four decades, these photographs have provided an intimate glimpse into his family life alongside that of his subjects, which, in the artist’s words, include “edge dwellers, skaters, rap gods, athletes, kids, trees, graffiti, faces, tangles and cars.” Marcopoulos is guided by the rich histories of conceptual art and documentary photography, his approach is spontaneous and intuitive; he takes cues from the practices and lifestyles of his subjects and this imbues his work with both emotional immediacy and formal rigor.

Marcopoulos has been the subject of several solo exhibitions at venues including the Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; MoMA PS1, New York; frank elbaz, Paris; Marlborough Chelsea, New York; and Alleged Gallery, New York, among others. Marcopoulos participated in two Whitney Biennials in 2002 and 2010, and his photographs are among the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; SFMOMA, CA; the New Orleans Museum of Art, LO; and the Detroit Institute of Art, MI. His work has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Interview, Paper, Blind Spot, Transworld Snowboarding, and Snowboarder. Among Marcopoulos’s many books are Epiphany: Gucci, 2016 (IDEA); Not Yet, 2016 (Rizzoli), Rome-Malibu, 2016 (Roma); Out to Lunch, 2012 (Roth); Fumes, 2015 (Karma), Directory, 2011 (Nieves); Out and About, 2005; Kids Born out of Fire, 2004; Pass the Mic: Beastie Boys 1991-1996, 2001; andTransitions and Exits, 2000.

Media

Schedule

from January 24, 2019 to February 23, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-01-24 from 18:00 to 20:00

Artist(s)

Ari Marcopoulos

Website

http://fergusmccaffrey.com (venue's website)

Fee

Free

Venue Hours

From 10:00 To 18:00
Closed on Mondays, Sundays

Access

Address: 514 W 26th St., New York, NY 10018
Phone: 212-988-2200

Between 10th and 11th Ave. Subway: C/E to 23rd Street.

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