|curator's statement||april 2007 selection|
o n t h e s t a g e
c u r a t o r :  t o m o k o a s h i k a w a
When I started looking at the Visual AIDS slide registry, I clearly had an idea of what kind of work I would like to include: performance. I used to be a performance artist before my curatorial career and always believe that the body is the most effective medium to express how human beings are strong and sensitive. It is also the most effective medium to actually interact with the audience. I sold my used panties in the subway, gave audiences a menu with several options of sexual activities to choose from, and lay down with only my underwear in front of an audience and watched a Japanese pornographic video. There was always this amazing moment when I actually felt through my body that I shared the same time and experience with the audience. It was one of the reasons why I chose performance as a medium for my artwork.
Each artist in this Web gallery has a different approach in his performance work, but all use their body most effectively to represent how the human body is an essential medium for the artist.
Stephen Varble performed with the costumes he made, mainly focusing on the natural materials, while John Eric Broaddus made more stage style costumes. Hunter Reynolds' dress is a memorial in which he put over 25,000 names of people who have died of AIDS. This project started in 1993 and continued till now. The dress with its historical materials will be up at Artists Space (www.artistsspace.org) from March 30 - May 12, 2007. Yolanda became a pop icon in his video work, singing about the danger of obsession in beauty. Richard Sawdon Smith and Timothy Lonergan concentrated on the movement of the body and captured it and its relationship to the body in photograph and video.
They are all conscious about the fact that the human body is beautiful and strong, yet sensitive and fragile.
b i o g r a p h y
Tomoko Ashikawa is currently the curator/director at AG Gallery, Brooklyn, and the Artists File Coordinator at Artists Space, NY. She graduated from New York University in Studio Arts, concentrating on Performance Art and Video Installation. While in school, she started an independent curatorial project called "expace[ex-space] projects" and organized several exhibitions and events in New York, including works at the Artists Space, Knitting Factory, hpgrp Gallery, PH Gallery, Transplant Gallery and many others. She recently coordinated a traveling book fair, Japanese Young Artists Book Fair, at Kinokuniya, Printed Matter, St. Marks Bookshop and Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers. www.mokospace.com