Baked Alaska and Birthday Cake at Super Dutchess Gallery


Baked Alaska and Birthday Cake

Super Dutchess Gallery

November 1st - December 1st, 2018

curated by Amanda Nedham and Kyle Hittmeier


Tatiana Istomina |  Blake Hiltunen | Kyle Hittmeier.

Bonam Kim | David McIntosh


When we contemplate legacy we think about what will be passed on. From the personal to the political, we are collectively and inexorably linked to others, either through active cultivation or by way of the incidental.  As the reverberations of our sharing and participation are felt through a myriad of technologies the implication is that agency is being gained, but has the potential of which be stripped away..


There are those who have the capacity to dominate in fields such as philosophy, finance, or politics, and then there are those whose quiet power is found in upholding traditions and participating in oral storytelling. In each case there is an externalization of the self within the context of history as negotiable. This points to the notion that legacy is not guaranteed. As people choose to share their stories, or have personal information divulged, they are imprinting their surrounding with a social stamp, forcing the world to reckon with how they desire to be remembered. Each artist in this exhibition is interested in the legacy of a person or group of people and examines the poetry, the lies, and the gaps in between these spaces..


The title is taken from T.S. Ellis, Paul Manafort’s trial judge..


Rotation I: November 1 - November 14, 2018.


The first rotation of Baked Alaska and Birthday Cake, sees three artists working with different strategies to expand on and update complex legacies. Blake Hiltunen draws inspiration from Narcissus, a mythological figure who was doomed after he fell in love with his own reflection and realized that the object of his affection could not materialize. Heeding this cautionary tale, the selfie-like impulse to stare into one’s own eyes is stopped dead by Hiltunen’s two calcified  mirrors, Ossified Gestures 8 & Ossified Gestures 13. The object we typically use to mold our outward appearance instead comes to reflect our most immediate tools of labour. These two works flank Bull/Dog, a centralized iron mass resembling both a meteor and a disembodied head.

David McIntosh’s Quipucamayoc timeframe prints burst into the multitude via a trans-locally networked and shared virtual space of live interactive 3D digital visual and audio performance. The six stills displayed at Super Dutchess are taken from a performance where dancers were connected to digital avatars inspired by the Huarochiri Manuscript, a 16th century compilation of pre-Colombian Andean religious rites. Thirty five artists, designers, historians, theorists and coders in Peru, Argentina and Canada worked together to create a performance that explores the centuries of interactions between Cusco, Peru, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Tatiana Istomina’s soft fabric sculptures from her series Philosophy of the Encounter move between classical marbles and mended dolls. What may at first glance seem playful, upon closer inspection is disrupted by heavy stitches and lacerations of the surface. The works reference the nearly forgotten and disturbing biography of Hélène Rytman, wife of distinguished philosopher, Louis Althusser. Hélène was murdered by her husband in 1980 during a supposed moment of temporary insanity. Today he remains a respected thinker—his texts written before and after the murder are published and read. Hélène, however, has become a mystery: an unexplained embarrassment in the life of a notable intellectual and a possible influence on his theory of social determinism.

Rotation 2: November 15 - December 1, 2018


Bonam Kim is an artist whose work speaks to her cultural identity as someone who has moved to the United States from South Korea. In Between Dream and Dark, Kim conveys a playful sense of strangeness in a game that is impossible to win. In changing the scale of its components, the rules become both unfamiliar and inaccessible for its participants. Touching upon a similar sense of limbo space, The Story of a Stranger, contains a trunk full of miniaturized versions of artifacts from Kim’s previous performances, asking the viewer to consider her displacement and consistent unrest as a working artist abroad.

Kyle Hittmeier’s works examine the property at 377 Union Street—a brownstone in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, purchased by Paul Manafort as means to launder his fortune. After visits to this property, Hittmeier used CAD construction and rendering, to digitally recreate scenes of this site as means of reconciling a gamut of corruption, from the physical space of a seized property, to a seemingly inaccessible landscape of national and international politics. In 377 Union Street I, broken real estate placards display a collection of both found and original images of the brownstone, calling into question the physical access one may have as viewer into a larger network of covert dealings.

Both Kim and Hittmeier look at flip sides of legacy in relation to the American dream, focusing on questions around identity, mobility, security, ownership, and freedom.

Carp Theory at Transfer Gallery

I’m excited to announce that I will be in a three person show, Carp Theory, at Transfer Gallery (curated by Irina Makarova from Alt Esc), opening June 9th, 6 - 10pm

Exhibition runs June 9 - July 7th, 2018, open Saturdays 12-6pm or by appointment.

“Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.”- Stanislaw Lem

“I often think that we are like the carp swimming contentedly in that pond. We live out our lives in our own “pond,” confident that our universe consists of only the familiar and the visible.” - Michio Kaku

TRANSFER Gallery is pleased to present Carp Theory, a group exhibition curated by Alt Esc, featuring the works of Kyle Hittmeier, Viktor Timofeev, and Mohsen Hazrati.

In his 1994 book Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension, the physicist Michio Kaku draws an arresting metaphor between how people and carps in a pond perceive the physical world around them - the existence of other worlds, spaces and realities is not limited to tangible elements that can be seen or touched. The artists in the exhibition explore the possibilities of multiple realities through self-reflection, political hyperboles, and virtual power dynamics.

Hittmeier approaches digital space as a vacuum—one predicated on infinite direction, scale, time and potential. In his video Lead-Based he stages a forensic scene asking the viewer to confront dangerous idealism, while embracing architectural spectacle. The work oscillates between self-defeat and victory in an attempt to reconcile mankind’s seemingly innate desire for dominance.

In his VR installation Physical Capacity Timofeev ask his participants to crawl around the floor within the allocated physical boundaries, while the virtual environment transforms into a labyrinth populated by an increasing number of cockroaches. The cockroaches respond to the participants’ gaze, triggering a pattern recognition game of color and sound, which the participants can choose to engage with or ignore. The architecture of the VR coerces participants to physically move between the virtual walls using their bodies, in turn imitating the randomized movements of the cockroaches.

In his game and VR installation Tey al-Tool, Hazrati presents an ongoing digital self-portrait by creating virtual 3-D worlds based on his experience of working with computer software. Tey al-Tool is a similar word to Tay al-Arz (Tool meaning “length” and Arz meaning “world and width” in Persian). Tay al-Tarzmeans the folding up of the earth or covering long distances in a blink of an eye. It is the name for teleportation in the mystical form of Islamic religious and philosophical tradition. The concept has been expressed as “traversing the earth without moving.”   

Using Format