Artists Space

Nina in Position
Curated by Jeffrey Uslip

January 25 – March 29, 2008

Nina In Position presents diverse artistic strategies that complicate the legibility of lack and difference in America. The selected artworks employ Walter Benjamin’s assertion, “To live is to leave traces,” as a platform from which to view and critique the body and its environs.

A large bone is arranged vertically against a white background. The center of the bone is a pale ceramic color, while its two ends are a darker brown color.
Josh Tonsfeldt. Untitled, 2005. Bone and mechanics. Courtesy the artist. [A large bone is arranged vertically against a white background. The center of the bone is a pale ceramic color, while its two ends are a darker brown color.]

Occupying Artists Space’s main gallery with a series of sculptural and post-sculptural gestures, Nina In Position reveals emancipated forms that, through their inherent deviance, function as “resistance to regimes of the normal.” Nina In Position is an attempt to articulate a new trajectory of sculptural encounters that rebel against the condition described by Benjamin as “Left Melancholia.”

The exhibition’s curatorial focus aims to unlock the ways in which artistic exercises, histories, and narratives are re-signified within contemporary visual culture. Nina In Position strives to challenge strict parameters of objecthood, exhibiting works that evade limitations and stealthily avoid genre.

The work in the exhibition is hybrid, activated, and hyper-aware of its immediate environment. The gallery functions as a safe-house harboring artworks that, through their radicality and hybridity, challenge hierarchy and authority. The artworks elaborate sculpture’s mercurial qualities by examining materiality, transience, and the processes of making. They dodge overarching paradigms of social change, and instead gesture towards unknown forms, new constructions, and alternative modes of representation. Employing a Socratic strategy, Nina In Position’s curatorial matrix places intergenerational artworks in dialogue in order to identify how social, cultural, and geopolitical change occurs on a local level, as well as to articulate how methodologies, practices, and tolerance shape-shift over decades.

Artists: Kelly Barrie, Justin Beal, Huma Bhabha, Anya Gallaccio, Wade Guyton, Barkley Hendricks, Roni Horn, Igloolik Isuma Productions, Mary Kelly, Charles Long, Michelle Lopez, Andrew Lord, Robert Mapplethorpe, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Jack Pierson, Michael Queenland, Marco Rios, Amanda Ross- Ho, Julia Scher, Haim Steinbach, Lisa Tan, Josh Tonsfeldt

Close up of two rectangular plates of glass resting on top of a thin bed of white salt. A red, blood-like substance forms irregular patterns between the plates.
Nina in Position. Installation view, Artists Space, 2008. Photo: Bill Orcutt. [Close up of two rectangular plates of glass resting on top of a thin bed of white salt. A red, blood-like substance forms irregular patterns between the plates.]
Two shelves and several artworks sit in a gallery space with wooden floors. To the right, there are two empty wooden bookshelves placed at right angles to one another. Above a bookshelf positioned against the gallery wall, there is text that reads "ARTISTS SPACE." To the left of the shelves is a figurine with rectangular torso, arms, and legs and a more naturalistic face made of a brown, clay-like material. Four small monitors are installed on the gallery wall behind the figurine, while a larger monitor rests on the gallery floor to the image
Nina in Position. Installation view, Artists Space, 2008. Photo: Bill Orcutt. [Two shelves and several artworks sit in a gallery space with wooden floors. To the right, there are two empty wooden bookshelves placed at right angles to one another. Above a bookshelf positioned against the gallery wall, there is text that reads "ARTISTS SPACE." To the left of the shelves is a figurine with rectangular torso, arms, and legs and a more naturalistic face made of a brown, clay-like material. Four small monitors are installed on the gallery wall behind the figurine, while a larger monitor rests on the gallery floor to the image's far left.]
Close up of a small sculpture resting on a square wooden support jutting out from a white gallery wall next to a window. The sculpture has a metallic color and an irregular, round shape, with a tree-bark like texture. A similar sculpture and support are mounted on the other side of the gallery window.
Nina in Position. Installation view, Artists Space, 2008. Photo: Bill Orcutt. [Close up of a small sculpture resting on a square wooden support jutting out from a white gallery wall next to a window. The sculpture has a metallic color and an irregular, round shape, with a tree-bark like texture. A similar sculpture and support are mounted on the other side of the gallery window.]
Several photographs and sculptures in a large gallery space with wooden floors and white columns. To the left of the space is a white sculpture forming a rig-like structure, with two wing-like appendages at its top. A large animal skull rests on a triangular support mounted to the gallery wall on the left. Glass panes with red liquid spread across them rest on the gallery floor in the image
Nina in Position. Installation view, Artists Space, 2008. Photo: Bill Orcutt. [Several photographs and sculptures in a large gallery space with wooden floors and white columns. To the left of the space is a white sculpture forming a rig-like structure, with two wing-like appendages at its top. A large animal skull rests on a triangular support mounted to the gallery wall on the left. Glass panes with red liquid spread across them rest on the gallery floor in the image's center.]
Close up of an artwork that consists of a white, rectangular canvas with a black and white image of a planet with a swirling, cloudy atmosphere. Directly below, a shelf made out of worn wooden planks supports several rough, oval and square shaped 2D cutouts that are arranged next to one another. A strip of wall behind the shelf and two "leg" like shapes below it have been gouged out of the gallery wall, revealing insulation and building supports.
Nina in Position. Installation view, Artists Space, 2008. Photo: Bill Orcutt. [Close up of an artwork that consists of a white, rectangular canvas with a black and white image of a planet with a swirling, cloudy atmosphere. Directly below, a shelf made out of worn wooden planks supports several rough, oval and square shaped 2D cutouts that are arranged next to one another. A strip of wall behind the shelf and two "leg" like shapes below it have been gouged out of the gallery wall, revealing insulation and building supports.]
A series of sculptures in a large gallery space with wooden floors. In the center of the image, a dark sculpture forming an hourglass shape rests on a white plinth, while three potted ferns rest on another, low plinth to the right. A long chain with white appendages hangs from the gallery ceiling.
Nina in Position. Installation view, Artists Space, 2008. Photo: Bill Orcutt. [A series of sculptures in a large gallery space with wooden floors. In the center of the image, a dark sculpture forming an hourglass shape rests on a white plinth, while three potted ferns rest on another, low plinth to the right. A long chain with white appendages hangs from the gallery ceiling.]