First solo museum show in the United States by the New York- and Stockholm-based artist and writer Emily Roysdon explores the aesthetic and political potential of public sites
Berkeley, CA, December 6, 2010 - (Download a PDF version of this press release.) The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) proudly presents Emily Roysdon: If I Don't Move Can You Hear Me? / MATRIX 235, the artist and writer's first solo museum show in the United States. Emily Roysdon produces projects at the intersection of social, political, and aesthetic space, evincing an interest in the invisible histories of public sites, the potencies of both language and movement, and the possibilities of abstraction as a formal and mental construct. Her practice is shaped by collaboration, and its implication of negotiation, improvisation, and dialogical thinking. This is embodied in her activities as the editor and cofounder of the influential queer feminist journal and artist collective LTTR; as a member of the band MEN; and as a curator, most recently of Ecstatic Resistance.
For this exhibition, Roysdon has paired videos that she recently produced in Stockholm with photographic pieces made in Berkeley; these works are part of Roysdon's evolving vocabulary around movement, choreography, collectivity, and abstraction. For videos produced in Stockholm, Roysdon used Sergels Torg, a public square planned as the location for all political speech in the city, as a site to think through the complexities of public space, vernacular movement, and regulation. This joins a new photographic work produced improvisationally on-site in Berkeley, that engages with the limits, framing, and representation of movement. Still images are silkscreened with a vocabulary of bodily gestures, creating experimental scores for performance that layer time and implied action in physical space. Together the works set forth an exploration of these interrelated themes-movement, struggle, improvisation, impossibility-across conceptual, material, and real gestures.
As part of the exhibition Roysdon has invited pairs of other writers and thinkers to consider the project's growing vocabulary of use, regulation, structure, and frame in a new publication that will be distributed in the gallery. Contributors include Michelle Dizon and Camilo Ontiveros, Craig Willse and Silvana DePaula, Eileen Myles and Leopoldine Core, Melissa Anderson and Nathan Lee, Andrea Geyer and Jane Anderson, Matt Wolf and Chris Moukarbel, Ridykeulous, Francesco Gagliardi and Isla Leaver-Yap, Tirza True Latimer and Adrienne Skye Roberts, and Celeste Dupuy-Spencer and Jeanine Oleson. The publication is designed by Studio SM, Stockholm.
Emily Roysdon's recent and upcoming projects include West Street, an artist's book combining her work with photographs from the estate of Alvin Baltrop, commissioned by Printed Matter's New York Art Book Fair; 2010 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Mixed Use: Manhattan at the Reina Sofia, Madrid; Manifesta 8 in Murcia, Spain; Bucharest Biennial; Greater New York at MOMA PS1, New York; and a solo project at Konsthall C, Stockholm.
Emily Roysdon: If I Don't Move Can You Hear Me? / MATRIX 235 is curated by Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator Elizabeth Thomas.
Performance and Screening
Sunday, December 12, 3 p.m.
Galleries 1 and B
Emily Roysdon's frequent collaborators, Craig Willse and Chris Vargas, will present a performative reading of A Queer Relational Associative Project Dictionary, a zine that Roysdon created for her MATRIX exhibition. In addition, Roysdon will screen Social Movement and Story of History, two films in the series that now includes If I Don't Move Can You Hear Me?
Admission is free.
For more information about the exhibition and special programs visit: bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibition/235.
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is the visual arts center of the University of California, Berkeley, one of the nation's leading research universities. BAM/PFA aims to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through contemporary and historical art and film, engaging audiences from the campus, Bay Area community, and beyond. One of the largest university art museums in the United States in both size and attendance, BAM/PFA presents fifteen art exhibitions and 380 film programs each year. The museum's collection of more than 15,000 works, distinguished by artistic excellence and innovation, intellectual exploration, and social commentary, includes exceptional examples of mid-twentieth-century painting, including important works by Hans Hofmann, Jackson Pollock, Eva Hesse, and Mark Rothko, as well as historical and contemporary Asian art, early American painting, Conceptual and contemporary international art, and California and Bay Area art. The PFA film and video collection now includes the largest group of Japanese films outside of Japan, as well as impressive holdings of Soviet silents, West Coast avant-garde cinema, seminal video art, rare animation, Central Asian productions, Eastern European cinema, and international classics.
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