Spinello Projects moved to Wynwood Lofts for Anthony Spinello’s latest curatorial effort - the group show “Join,” featuring the work of George Sanchez-Calderon, Agustina Woodgate, Nicholas Arehart, Abby Double, Sinisa Kukec, Fedrico Nessi and Manny Prieres.
Dealing with the dynamics between positive and negative, artist and audience, object and gesture as well as the topics of erasure and resurrection “Join” is a rather dark journey with many imaginary and actual blank spaces. Erased features, erased political and geographical borders as well as the pages of “Lolita,” leave space for different stories to be told and images to be envisioned by the audience rather than the artists.
According to Anthony Spinello “Join,” is mainly comprised of art works in his private collection that have never been shown together before. Spinello explains that the show was inspired by “a sheet from Félix González-Torres’ sculpture ‘Untitled (Join)’ the collaborative work between the celebrated Cuban-born American artist and photographer Michael Jenkins.” He adds, “‘Join,’ is an investigation into concepts of invitations, gifts and cooperative act.”
González-Torres and Jenkins’ work was received as a ‘gift’ and remnant to director Anthony Spinello from the collection of Donald and Mera Rubell. “According to the wishes of Gonzalez-Torres, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1996, the sheets of printed paper that comprise the work are intended to be taken by anyone. ‘Value’ or ‘price’ is rendered mute in this context, while free imagery and unfettered social commentary experiences a release.”
The “title image” from the sculpture “Untitled (Join)” is a miniature photograph in black and white printed on top of a large stack of white sheets. The image is an x-rated photograph of a sailor exposing himself in a suggestive pose, smiling brightly and seeming to invite someone to join him. Other pieces are less literally inviting but address the interaction between artist and audience in their own way.
The most prominent piece hangs on one side of a movable wall that almost divides the exhibition space into two parts. Two sets of images start with photographs of twin artists but in each subsequent replica of the photos more and more color, features and content is slowly erased, moving from image, to outline, to blank canvas by the end.
Agustina Woodgate’s art also addresses the concept of significance via erasure. She erases borders off world maps, leaving behind the clean slate of one world without boundaries and power struggles but also without known identities. Whether a Utopian dream or a commentary on world politics, Woodgate’s work provides more than aesthetical value raising questions and sparking debate.
George Sanchez Calderon’s ship steering turbulent seas, ancient coins and a video installation showing men squinting their eyes in the blinding light of beams or flashlights in the pitch black night are just a few more noteworthy pieces in “Join,” trading conversation quietly and discussing value with the audience, inviting everyone into an open dialogue.
The exhibition will run through Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Spinello, Wynwood Lofts, 250 NW 23rd St