As part of Vox Populi’s March/April Exhibition Cycle, Vox Populi Collective Member Jim Strong presents Public Access Labyrinth / Everyday Labyrinths, a two-part screening cycle of experimental short films.
March (On view from March 4th – April 6th)
Public Access Labyrinth: Drew Zimmerman’s The Treasure of Oak Island, 2008
Video, color w/ sound, approx. 40 min.
A builder of masks, collages, relief-collage, and marionette and bunraku-style puppets, furniture, and sculpture in paper mâché, artist Drew Zimmerman studied literature at the University of Delaware, graduated from Temple University with degrees in English and Secondary Education, and taught for ten years in the Philadelphia Public School system. Throughout, Zimmerman gigged as an editor and copywriter, served between 2010 and 2013 as director of the Philadelphia-based Muse Gallery, and notably, worked during the early 1990s as prop designer and builder for the Philadelphia franchise of the WGBS-TV Bozo Show. A multifaceted artist who has periodically entertained audiences via mysterious late night public access programming, Zimmerman intentionally utilizes the language of education and children’s entertainment to weave personal “labyrinths,” narratives of development and self-reflection, through a style that simultaneously pays homage to writers and artists while frankly acknowledging the vagaries of personal history and everyday experience.
Using the sad, but true, story of a putative treasure island in Nova Scotia, Zimmerman’s 2008 singing play, The Treasure of Oak Island, is narrated in iambic pentameter and features a number of his paper mâché creations. The film brings to life three classic Franz Kafka tales—The Burrow, Investigations of a Dog, and Josephine, the Mouse Singer—while alluding obliquely to those from generations past, who leave signs of treasure, but no valuables. [www.drewzimmerman.com]
April (On view from April 7th through April 23rd)
Body, Technology, Utopia: Everyday Labyrinths
Featuring works by Cristina Tufino & Alex Nguyen-Vo, Gabe Rubin, Lily Benson, Asha Sheshadri, Suzy Poling/Pod Blotz
A group exploration of personal myth, utopian visions, and technology, Everyday Labyrinths presents a conduit through which viewers may enter into the fabric of lived experience. A labyrinth unfolds perpetually, as any chance of focus is a generous and open sea of chartable course.
Lily Benson – A Tour of the Self Cleaning House, 2014 / Video, 11’
Cristina Tufino and Alex Nguyen – Since I must leave my home, 2015 / Video, 8’47”
Asha Sheshadri – Elephant Graveyards of Quantitative Data: A Haematological Assessment in Eight Parts, 2016 / Video, 4’59”
Suzy Poling / Pod Blotz in collaboration with Experimental Half Hour – Infinity Stage: Light Axis and the Human Mirror – Video, 10’29” – Supported by the Mike Kelley Foundation for Arts and Media
Gabe Rubin – Recoil 1, 2017 – Video, 11’02”, a work newly conceived for this exhibition
Inspired by consumer goods, industrial debris and autobiographical narratives and objects, Cristina Tufiño addresses her practice as an archaeologist hoarder rummaging through a broad cultural system of references, with a particular nod to artifacts and museological aesthetics. Her multimedia works arise from a process of assembling, associating and translating images and ideas inspired by seemingly oppositional languages and spaces. Tufiño’s photographic compositions, prints, videos, installations and sculptures, give a new meaning to post-studio practices and the use of social debris in our time. [http://www.cristinatufino.com]
Alex Nguyen-Vo was born in Houston Texas in 1986, and has lived and worked in Philadelphia since 2011. He has had solo exhibitions at Fjord, Deli Gallery in NYC and Hidrante in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has also shown in group exhibitions in Berlin, Beverlys NYC, and Julius Ceasar Gallery in Chicago, ILL. He is currently working on his second solo exhibition opening in May 2017 at Deli Gallery, NY. [http://www.alexcwin.com/]
Suzy Poling/Pod Blotz
Suzy Poling/Pod Blotz is a multi-media artist working with sound, video, film, photography installation, sculpture, painting, collage and performance art. She researches the multi- dimensional interferences between optics, mirrors, sonic resonance, electrical synthesis, video experiments, human/alien identities and photographic studies of geological anomalies. She is from Michigan, studied at Columbia College in Chicago, lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost a decade and now resides in Los Angeles.
Visually, her work has been exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure, Disjecta, Cal Polytechnic University, Chicago Cultural Center, Australian Center for Photography, Aperture Foundation, Cult Exhibitions/Aimee Friberg and Zg Gallery. Her images have been published in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Dazed Digital and a Metropolitan Museum of Art Book. She has lectured at Cal Poly University, de Young Museum, Headland Center for the Arts, Columbia College of Chicago. Poling is a recipient of the Mike Kelley Foundation Grant and was a nominee for the SECA Award at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Poling’s sonic project Pod Blotz has performed at the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Colour out of Space Festival, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Berkeley Art Museum, Human Resources, The LAB and Bemis Center for the Contemporary Arts. Pod Blotz has made releases with Chocolate Monk (UK), Nostilevo (LA), Conjunto Vacio (Spain), Clan Destine Records (UK) and Dungeon Taxis (NZ/NYC). [http://www.suzypoling.com]
Lily Benson is an American filmmaker, curator, & visual artist. Her work examines feminist history and reconstructs it into new narrative forms. The Self Cleaning House (2104) is a patented invention by Francis Gabe of Newberg, Oregon, USA. The house has been widely celebrated and recognized as an accomplishment for women’s role in science and as a clever method to liberate women from housework. In this video, 3D rendered environments were constructed to create the fantasy version of the Self Cleaning House as a fully functional home, based on the ideas laid out in its patent. [www.lilybenson.com]
Gabe Rubin is a musician and artist from New York, NY. His work has been shown at MIX NYC, the Brooklyn Film Festival, and MoCA Los Angeles and explores body dysmorphia, masochism, hauntings, and devotion. He frequently collaborates with the artist Felix Bernstein. Together, the ambiguous twosome front the band Tender Cousins, and run the multimedia art company The Repeatable Theater. Their film Last Tape will debut at the Whitney Museum of American Art this fall. [https://gaberubin.bandcamp.com]
Asha Sheshadri (Isolde Touch) is a multimedia artist working out of Philadelphia. Her work hinges on experimentation and abstraction through archival material, speech synthesis, original texts, computer, and piano, and her latest recording “Secretary of Sensation” was released on Entr’acte Recordings. Asha was a recent fellow at the American Academy in Rome and is a current MFA candidate at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Vox Populi Collective Member Jim Strong is an visual artist, performer, and curator based in Philadelphia. His work weaves experimental instrument building, painting, sculpture, improvisation, dance, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and curatorial practice. He is a founding member of The impermanent society of Philadelphia, and periodically presents performance-based events at Vox Populi and elsewhere under the moniker Gentle Shears.