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Reception: April 19th, 5-8pm

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DOCUMENT is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Greg Stimac in gallery 2. The exhibit opens on Friday, April 19th with a reception from 5-8pm and continues through June 1st, 2019.

“In Amulet, Greg Stimac presents a new body of photographic prints alongside his series of sculptures made from rifle-stocks. The imagery depicted in the new photographs—which recall Rorschach tests—reference the earth’s masses of land and bodies of water, and represent a kind of experimental cartography. In both the photographs and sculptures, Stimac creates, with simple moves applied to familiar subjects, something surprising and unfamiliar. Amulet offers a particular chance to reflect on the intimate proximity of processes that are typically experienced as foreign to one another. Namely: mundane, everyday thinking and wonder and imagination. In Stimac’s hands, rifle-stocks and landmasses—icons of purely material, modern existence—take on the semblance of something whose nature lies instead in imaginative reflection. 

 
Upon viewing the work: you look, and you find something…and you also find something else, something more. Here, the gun is always at the same time a body; and the landmass, a monster. An elemental creature, a whimsical silhouette, a haunting mask, an erotic organ—for Stimac, these can all be names for the same thing.” Scott Cowan

Christopher Meerdo

Christopher Meerdo (b.1981) is a Chicago based artist who grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Lithuania. Meerdo’s work was recently currently featured in a year-long solo exhibition at the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art. He is the Fellowship 15 International Award winner for his projects Iceland and Cataphote, was an artist in residence at the SIM Program in Reykjavik, Iceland and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. Meerdo received his MFA in Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago and currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include The National Gallery of Kosovo, Exgirlfriend (Berlin); The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL); CocoHunday (Tampa, FL); Floating Museum (Chicago, IL), Cabinet Magazine (Brooklyn, NY); LVL3 Gallery (Chicago, IL); Second Street Gallery (Charlottesville, VA); SIM Gallery (Reykjavik, Iceland) and a traveling exhibition in Birmingham and Leicester, UK. More information can be found at http://0-0.ooo

Christopher Meerdo, Channeling, 2019 & As Sahab/The Cloud, 2019 installation view at Jan Van Eyck Academie, Netherlands

Christopher Meerdo, Channeling, 2019, LED screen, controller, media player, 2.5 x 2.5 meter 30 minute excerpt of 1000 hour loop

Christopher Meerdo, Channeling, 2019, LED screen, controller, media player, 2.5 x 2.5 meter 30 minute excerpt of 1000 hour loop

Christopher Meerdo, As Sahab/The Cloud, 2019, extruded polystyrene, plaster, paint, water transfer print, tinted mirror, 1.5 x 2 meter

Christopher Meerdo, As Sahab/The Cloud, 2019, extruded polystyrene, plaster, paint, water transfer print, tinted mirror, 1.5 x 2 meter (detail)

Christopher Meerdo, The Search, 2019, LCD Monitor, media player, 19'28"

time machine for variation identification and memory, Raspberry pi, micro sd card, power adapter, USB LED clock fan, flameless USB lighter, micro USB LED 10x9x4 in, 2016

integrated simulation and synthesis, Raspberry pi, micro sd card, power adapter, Snoop Dogg BUSH G Slim Liquid Vaporizer, USB powered fan, flexible USB LED Lamp 12x8x5 in, 2016

clustering for similarity in data mining, Raspberry pi, micro sd card, power adapter, programmable USB LED fan, 16Gb USB fake thumb 8x8x6 in, 2016

Active Denial System, Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art installation view, 2016

HD Protech Cite M1G2, 2016 hydroprint on retroreflective fabric, cnc extruded polystyrene, hydrocal, mixed media

Haute VIEW, 2016 hydroprint on retroreflective fabric, cnc extruded polystyrene, hydrocal, mixed media

Metadata, 2016 HD video, 11:01 min custom display monitors, raspberry pis, network switch, sound system

Underground Nuclear Fallout Home Las Vegas NV west wall detail dusk, 2016, Archival pigment prints, 20 x 30 in. each

Underground Nuclear Fallout Home Las Vegas NV, south wall, dawn, Archival Digital Print, 20 x 30 in, 2016

Erythrocyte Ghosts Filled with Quantum Dots Improve Cryogenics with Microarea Custom Freeze Thaw @Document

Erythrocyte Ghosts Filled with Quantum Dots Improve Cryogenics with Microarea Custom Freeze Thaw @ Document

Death Stress Implant Network Detour (DSIND), Custom display monitor, media player, 30” loop, 2016

Earth/Nature + Individual Preparation = Sovereign Integral Realization, Custom display monitor, media player, 2’43” loop, 2016

Lightbody_astral.jpg//white_matter_of_left_cerebral_hemisphere-2.x3d, Extruded polystyrene, hydrocal, plaster, hydroprint, acrylic gloss glaze 36x 24x 20 in, 2016

hplusmagazine-2008-fall.pdf//EMDB-6003-surf-radial.x3d, Extruded polystyrene, hydrocal, plaster, hydroprint, acrylic gloss glaze 44x 36x 14 in, 2016

Collective Human Mind System Reality, Custom display monitor, usb flash drive, LED strobe light, 1’23” loop, 2016

Brute Force, archival digital prints, 2014, Elmhurst Art Museum Biennal, installation view.

Brute Force, archival digital prints, 2014, The Hills, installation view.

Brute Force xtxp8.jpg (cop selfie), Archival Pigment Print, 23 1/2 x 17 1/2 in, 2014

IMG1272.jpg, Archival Digital Print, 15 x 12 1/2 in, 2007-2015

IMG38.jpg, Archival Digital Print, 10 x 9 in, 2007-2015

IMG67_1.jpg, Archival Digital Print, 10 x 9 in, 2007-2015

Kirkjufell, Iceland, archival digital prints, 12x18 each, 2013

Svartsengi, Iceland, archival digital prints, 12x18 each, 2013

Cipher (insurance.aes256), ultraviolet curing ink on seamless paper 350x100 in, 2011

Cipher (insurance.aes256), ultraviolet curing ink on seamless paper 350x100 in, 2011

Cataphote, 2014 welded steel, retroreflective fabric, zippers, vacuum 16x18x9 ft collaboration with May Wilson

 

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Paul Mpagi Sepuya Mines the Queer
History of the Portrait Studio

What are the conditions for making portrait photography? These days, if you’ve got a phone and a face, you’re all set. Historically, though, taking a portrait meant having a studio. For much of the nineteenth century, the length of a camera’s exposure required sitters to hold their poses for as long as a minute; if they moved, they’d be rendered as a blur. The earliest known portrait (also the first selfie and the first scene staged for the camera) was made in 1840, by Hippolyte Bayard, a Parisian pioneer of the medium, whose rival was Louis Daguerre. Bayard posed as a corpse, in part because the process that he had invented entailed keeping still for twelve minutes. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, he spent the rest of his life shooting buildings.) Daguerreotypes, on the other hand, became wildly popular, and studios proliferated all over the world, from France to Liberia, where Augustus Washington, who was born a free man in New Jersey to a formerly enslaved man and an Asian woman, opened one, in 1853. By the mid-twentieth century, a portrait could be shot in a flash anywhere, but the private realm of the studio retained its allure.

“Model Study (0X5A3973),” 2018.

 

“Darkcloth (_2000142),” 2016.

The historical intimacies of the portrait studio and the agency of a black man behind the camera are among the subjects of the impressive pictures in Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s new show, “The Conditions,” at Team Gallery, through April 13th. The series continues an exploration that the thirty-six-year-old photographer, who is based in L.A., began as an undergrad at N.Y.U., from which he graduated in 2004. His subjects are typically lovely queer men—himself included—who pose alone or together, naked or clothed, in puzzle-like compositions, accompanied by such photo-studio staples as clamps, tripods, and lenses. Black and brown velvet backdrops are draped behind bodies, their lush expanses playing off—and standing in for—dark skin, although the bodies that Sepuya eyes are neither exclusively black nor always male. Mirrors and sliced segments of printed photos are incorporated into the pictures, heightening their visual complexity. Sometimes portions of the figures are cropped out of the frame, leaving hands and arms center stage, unencumbered by bodies. The results can appear so kaleidoscopic that it’s hard to believe that they’re not collages.

All of this fragmentation serves a conceptual purpose and also a compositional one, underscoring the marginalized position that L.G.B.T.Q. figures have occupied for most of art history. Sepuya’s frankly queer eye also unlocks a hidden history of the studio as a safe space for free expression. The social stigma of gay desire in the age before Stonewall may be unimaginable now, but, not so long ago, pictures like “Drop Scene (0X5A8165)”—in which the artist steadies his camera against another man’s naked haunch—were distributed surreptitiously. The modernist fashion photographer George Platt Lynes believed that his most important contribution to art was his male nudes, but they were also a secret that he kept until his death, in 1955. In an interview last year, Sepuya spoke of his interest in “queer modernism” like Lynes’s and said that he hoped that his own work would lead viewers “to think about the structures of photography, portraiture, and of queer sociality in new ways.”

“A Portrait (0X5A6109),” 2017.

 

“A Portrait (0X5A2258),” 2017.

 

What is perhaps the most tender portrait in “The Conditions” is one of the simplest. A beautiful young man is seated, with a dancer’s grace, in front of a black backdrop, in a white shirt and a black skirt, unless it is simply the backdrop behind him wound chicly around his waist. The fabrics merge too seamlessly to discern. The figure, who has pale skin and a curly mop of black hair, coupled with holes in his socks, suggests an urchin straight out of Caravaggio. Like all of Sepuya’s increasingly sophisticated work, the reference unites ideas of identity and mechanics. The Italian painter was not only a master of the homoerotic but an artist whose studio tools likely included a mirror, a lens, and dark fabric—the conditions of a camera obscura.

“Studio (_1000021),” 2018.

 

“A Portrait (0X5A8325),” 2018.

 
Andrea K. Scott is the art editor of Goings On About Town and has profiled the artists Cory Arcangel and Sarah Sze for the magazine.

 


Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s “Darkroom Mirror” (2017) in his show “The Conditions” at Team Gallery.

New York Art Galleries: What to See Right Now

March 28the, 2019| by Martha Schwendener

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Through April 13. Team Gallery, 83 Grand Street, Manhattan; 212-279-9219, teamgal.com

Paul Mpagi Sepuya is experiencing a flush of success right now, and his new show — “The Conditions,” at Team Gallery — demonstrates that it is well deserved. His work appears on the cover of Artforum’s March issue and will be included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial . Mr. Sepuya is not an overnight sensation, however; over a decade of working, exhibiting and returning to art school to study with the great photographer Catherine Opie at the University of California, Los Angeles helped him to arrive at a distinctive and timely amalgam of portraiture and conceptual photography.

Mr. Sepuya’s photographs are like visual puzzles. He appears in many of them, but in fragmented form and usually with a camera in hand. Some of the works show multiple hands holding cameras, suggesting that authorship is always some sort of collaboration. Pushing that out further, you, the viewer are reflected against the dark backdrops in the picture and if you photograph Mr. Sepuya’s works (as I of course did), your hand and camera end up nestled surprisingly amid the gesturing fingers of him and his subjects.

“The Conditions” could refer to lighting, studio setups, or social conditions. Mr. Sepuya’s photographs have often been categorized as “queer” (that is, within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cosmos), but they feel more universal to me: Multifarious shades of melanin are represented, and he has included images of women in this show. And while the history of representing bodies in photography — particularly nude ones — is fraught, Mr. Sepuya charges intrepidly into the mire, offering what feel like new, smart conclusions on how to represent power or vulnerability, as well as the unwavering desire to look at such images. MARTHA SCHWENDENER

Full coverage here: Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Press for The Conditions at Team Gallery (March 7-April 13, 2019)

Owner
Aron Gent
aron@documentspace.com
Director
Sibylle Friche
sibylle@documentspace.com
Gallery and Print Studio Assistant
Renata Cruz Lara Guerra
info@documentspace.com

Gallery hours:
Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm

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DOCUMENT is a commercial gallery located in Chicago that specializes in contemporary photography, film and media based art. The gallery has organized more than 40 solo exhibitions since its opening in 2011 and actively promotes the work of emerging national and international artists. Operating conjointly as a professional printmaking studio, DOCUMENT facilitates the production of works by artists from Chicago and the US. At this time we do not accept unsolicited submissions.