Jae Ko at Grounds For Sculpture

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Installation view of Jae Ko’s Shiro at Grounds For Sculpture, NJ.

Contemporary artist Jae Ko, whose work is currently on display in Intersections @ 5, opened an installation at Grounds For Sculpture in New Jersey earlier this year. The works are reminiscent of her original 2010 Intersections contemporary art project for the Phillips, Force of Nature. Both installations primarily use Kraft paper, but Ko responds specifically to the site in color and formation of the rolls.

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Installation view of Jae Ko’s Shiro at Grounds For Sculpture, NJ.

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Installation view of Jae Ko’s Shiro at Grounds For Sculpture, NJ.

Grounds for Sculpture installation view 5

Jae Ko, Escalante

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Installation view of Jae Ko’s Shiro at Grounds For Sculpture, NJ.


Spotlight on Intersections@5: Allan deSouza

The Phillips celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Intersections contemporary art series with Intersections@5, an exhibition comprising work by 20 of the participating artists. In this blog series, each artist writes about his or her work on view.

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Installation view of Allan deSouza’s The World Series (2012)

Allan deSouza’s The World Series (2012), was inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s iconic 1941 Migration Series. While Lawrence’s paintings document the historical migration of African Americans from the South to Northern cities, deSouza presents a visual “script” for a fictional migration to becoming American, seen through the signage and psychology of metaphorical and political sites. Merging the past into the present, deSouza captures what might seem to be otherwise fleeting moments to stage possible futures that speak to the real effects of time and migration within the contemporary world. The four images here, from the full sequence of 60 photographs, depict pivotal points in deSouza’s “script,” in which his fictional migrant undergoes literal rites of passage, moving from one location and one time period to another.

Bringing Breakdancing Into the Performance Art Realm

In preparation for his upcoming performance in Dupont Circle, The Phillips Collection asks performance artist Jefferson Pinder questions about the event and his work at large. See Part 1 here.

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Still from Jefferson Pinder’s Dark Matter. Photo: Matthew Clay-Robison

These questions largely focus on your performance art. Have you or do you work in other mediums?
JP: Yes, I am an interdisciplinary artist. I create sculptures and objects, paintings and collages. An older worker of mine titled Capsule(Mothership) is being installed in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

How has your work changed over the years?
JP: I started my performance practice solely using my body. Over the last five years or so, I’ve begun to remove my body from the picture and now I primarily work with other performers. I got fatigued of looking at myself in my video work and I discovered that I could see my work better if I stepped away from the center. Not to say that I do not perform anymore—I do—but now I’m content with directing the action.

Are there any artists, art historical or otherwise, who inform your work?
JP: I am first and foremost informed by my mentor Dr. David Driskell. I feel fortunate to have his presence in my practice. I am a fan of William Pope.L and Bruce Nauman. In a strange way I am repulsed and attracted to Vanessa Beecroft and Matthew Barney. I like how the body plays an essential role in their work. I think Beecroft has gone off the deep end with her recent work, but I am inspired by her early pieces. I also find Francis Alÿs‘s work of great inspiration recently. I’ve been following him for years but most recently saw a show in Mexico. It was incredible.

How will this iteration of the performance differ from the original performance in 2014?
JP: Well, a lot has happened since the last time this piece was performed. In November of last year, people were still trying to figure out what would be the aftermath of Michael Brown’s murder. The Lionz of Zion and I really sought to physicalize a lot of the actions that took place in Ferguson. The performance was seeking to bring some of the actions closer to home. Since then, we’ve dealt with uprisings in our own area. We are excited to add some new elements in the piece that extend the conversation to include Freddie Gray and Eric Garner as well.

Your work is both emotionally and politically charged. What do you hope viewers walk away with?
JP: I hope the viewers will walk away thinking about the power of the uprisings over the last year. I hope they will have a deeper appreciation for breakdancing as an art form, in particular how it can fit into contemporary performance art models. I hope this performance will open up an understanding about movement and the potential that breakdancing has to be a political genre of expression.