Join us for Tea Time, served daily from 2-5pm on the Gallery Cruise.
Smack Mellon is pleased to present Gallery Cruise by eteam and a series of new charcoal drawings by Charlotte Schulz. Both New York-based 2010 Guggenheim fellows, eteam and Schulz explore the relationship between space and time, real and imagined. Gallery Cruise by eteam, transports visitors to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean via an elaborate cruise ship Tea Room recreated in the gallery. Crew members perform typical rituals observed before, during and after Tea Time on the high seas and viewers, now “passengers”, are invited to partake in this classic cruise ship activity. In the back gallery, Schulz’s multi-dimensional charcoal drawings depict psychological topographies that stretch and multiply onto surfaces of carefully constructed paper. The manipulated surfaces activate multiple perspective points and add actual depth to the rendered layers of space. Images of historical catastrophes are revealed within intricate dream-like landscapes of postmodern architecture and primordial ooze. These unpopulated landscapes create open-ended narratives as they fold in and out of out of themselves, whispering slight shifts in time.
White and pristine, a cruise ship is a reality unto itself; so is a gallery.
For Gallery Cruise, Smack Mellon will be transformed into a Tea Room on a mega cruise ship. The imagined superliner will be on the open sea, with no land in sight, returning to the exact location from where it left 6 weeks earlier. The ship’s displacement, the actual mass of the vessel, is estimated at approximately 100,000 tons.
A cruise ship is a very efficiently packed 24/7 operation, with an abundance of recreational, athletic and entertainment activities for its 6,000 passengers and tightly organized working schedules for the 1500 crewmembers. Ironically, with everything going on, it almost seems as if the ship also maintains a continuous idle state. The vessel, looked at from the outside, is steadily moving forward, but does she really advance? Since passengers don’t see much change in scenery while on open sea, they rather rely on the daily announcements of latitude and longitude and the captain’s daily joke, to have their idea of position reassured. And, as long as they engage in daily routines, they don’t have to decide whether this is true or not.
Every place that operates 24/7 has a certain transparency towards its maintenance. Every day the floors are swept and vacuumed, and tea is served. Since there are never really off hours (the vessel never goes slower than 35 knots per hour) part of being on a cruise is seeing the ship constantly being polished, painted and vacuumed – being protected against the wild and unpredictable ocean. It gives a feeling of security.
Life on the Gallery Cruise is no different; the Tea Room gets cleaned daily by the same person in the exact same way. At 12:30 pm, the carpet is vacuumed, the tables and the chairs polished and the rest of the room mopped. The onboard musicians might be present, practicing. At 1:30pm the next shift starts. The waiter appears. He wears a black suit and a white shirt. He prepares hot water and pulls off the plastic foil that covers the silver platters with the sandwiches and cookies. At 2pm “Tea Time” starts. The waiter puts on his white gloves. Passengers trickle in. They sit down, enjoy the music and choose between green and black tea, cookies and sandwiches. At 5 pm Tea Time is over. The musicians pack up and the waiter collects the cups, scrapes the crumbs and puts the chairs in a position for easy cleaning the next day.
Eteam’s members are Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger. Since 2002, most of their projects have been based on random pieces of land they buy on ebay. Once they have located their lots, they activate the possibilities that are inherent in the site and turn them into temporary realities. This often happens in collaboration with people who live or work in the respective area. eteam’s work has been featured in exhibitions at the PS1, NY; Momenta Art, Brooklyn; Vertexlist, Brooklyn; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Spain, among other venues. Videos by the eteam have been screened at the Transmediale, Berlin; the Marler Video Kunst Preis, Germany; Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City; New York Video Festival, NYC; They have been awarded a NYSCA Grant, a Harvestworks Artist Grant, an EYEBEAM Production Grant, and an Experimental Television Center Finishing Fund. In 2005 they were selected for the “New Commissions Program” with Art in General, NY and were awarded a Digital Matrix Commission. They are fellows of Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony and were Smack Mellon Studio Artists in 2008. More recently they became Creative Capital Grantees and received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger reside in Queens, NYC.
The Uneven Intensities of Duration
Gilles Deleuze’s The Fold, Leibniz and the Baroque has deeply affected the work of Charlotte Schulz. For her, Deleuze’s analysis of Leibniz called forth a new way of thinking about space and events, particularly in relationship to the metaphor of the fold. In 2005, Schulz began creating physical folds by bending and folding the plane of the paper and investigating the ways in which the virtual images locate themselves within these real spaces. Through the careful blending of charcoal and delicate erasure, vignettes of diverse images and spaces are interwoven with each other. What emerges on the paper are psychological topographies that draw upon our collective internal states that have been impacted by outside events, particularly public tragedies such as 9-11 or the assassination of Martin Luther King. Informed by a collection of pictures that includes cities, domestic interiors, weather, and random events, the drawings link personal experience with these large, particularly disturbing, historical events and their concomitant ideas of hate, fear, and un-addressed grievances as well as rescue, hope, and salvation. The drawings, with their folds and bends, provide an alternate way for the viewer to experience a two-dimensional image; an image that embodies a quality of time and that creates an index of our age.
Charlotte Schulz was born in Massillon, Ohio, and studied art as an undergraduate at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. She attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the summer of 1992 and graduated from the University of South Florida with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1993. She is the recipient of individual artist fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2010, the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2009 and 2002, the Pollack-Krasner Foundation in 2005-2006, and the State of Florida in 1996. Her recent solo exhibitions include The Uneven Intensities of Duration, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY and Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, and An Insufficiency in Our Screens, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT and Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA. Notable group exhibitions include Cognitive Unconscious, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY, Vocabularies of Metaphor: More Stories, Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA, and Dark Poets, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD. Schulz’s work is included in the permanent collections of Mill College Art Museum, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, and the University of South Florida. She lives and works in Beacon, NY and teaches at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.
This exhibition is made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties, and with support from Smack Mellon’s Members.
Smack Mellon also receives generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Recovery Act, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The New York Community Trust, The Robert Lehman Foundation, Lambent Foundation Fund of the Tides Foundation, Bloomberg, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation Inc., Helena Rubinstein Foundation, 2010 JPMorgan Chase Regrant Program administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, and Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
Space for Smack Mellon’s programs is generously provided by the Walentas family and Two Trees Management.