PHILADELPHIA, PA.-Philagrafika, in partnership with Temple Gallery, is pleased to announce Re:Print Re:Present Re:View. The exhibition will open on September 6 and run through November 3, 2007 at 259 N. 3rd Street. The exhibition features the works of three internationally renowned artists: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Rachid Koraïchi and Berni Searle.
Each artists project will directly engage an aspect of Philadelphias diverse and multiple histories, through a contemporary or historical episode or a site or neighborhood. The exhibition was conceived by guest curator Salah M. Hassan, who is Director of Africana Studies and Research Center and Professor of African and African Diaspora art history and visual culture in the Department of History of Art at Cornell University.
Re:Print Re:Present Re:View is the first curatorial project presented by Philagrafika in preparation for a multi-institutional celebration in 2010. Philagrafika 2010, led by Artistic Director José Roca, will feature emerging and established artists from around the world. Planned for January through April 2010, Philagrafika 2010 will spotlight the printed image, celebrating its emergence as a complex and dynamic force in contemporary art and culture. This festival will enhance the citys profile as an international destination for contemporary art. On November 7, 2007 Philagrafika Artistic Director José Roca will be at the William Penn Foundation for a Philagrafika 2010 press reception.
In preparation for the 2010 festival themes, the Re:Print Re:Present Re:View exhibition guest curator, Salah Hassan chose artists who would challenge the traditional notion of print. Berni Searle created a video installation, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons created wallpaper and Rachid Koraïchi conceived of a printed banner project.
South African artist Bernie Searle continues her exploration of issues around history, memory and place. Literally and figuratively creating a spin on history Searles video creates a whirling mass that draws everything near it towards its centre, eventually becoming subsumed in the process. Playing with visibility and invisibility, Searles video draws on the idea of a vortex as a situation or feeling that seems to swamp and engulf everything. Evoking a sense of illusiveness, the work stands in contrast to the seemingly established notions around patriotism. Searle began with the history of Philadelphia, as the cradle of liberty, as a starting point to develop a work that looks at some of the more troublesome aspects of nationalism, as well as the role of gender and domesticity in the making of a nation.
The exhibition at Temple Gallery will be joined by two site-specific projects: Boston-based Afro-Cuban Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons's Corner Opera. Rethinking a Site, is multi-media work that will be installed at Paul Robeson House, and a series of banners, Homage to Love and Memory, by Paris-based Algerian artist Rachid Koraïchi will be installed at the Church of the Advocate.
In Corner/Opera, Rethinking a Site, her multimedia installations at the Temple Gallery and the Paul Robeson House, Campos-Pons continues her earlier exploration of personal narrative to explore how history and tradition are passed from generation to generation, and how collective memory is preserved in sites and everyday objects. Campos-Pons will transform the Robeson house with elements such as wallpaper and textiles, combined with video projection. Campos-Pons is interested in promoting the efforts of the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and the campaign to restore the Paul Robeson House, located at 4951 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia. Campos-Pons also created a limited edition fine art print at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts of The University of the Arts celebrating Paul Robeson and the contemporary neighborhood youth.
Rachid Koraïchis Homage to Love and Memory is an installation of twenty-one large banners that will be installed at the Church of the Advocate at 1801 W. Diamond Street in North Philadelphia. The drawings for this project will be on view as digital prints at Temple Gallery. The banners were conceived as a dialogue with and homage to seven Philadelphia writers, poets and activists who have connections to historic or current events in Philadelphia. Central to Koraïchis work is the Sufi idea crystallized in Al-Rumis concept of the inseparability of aesthetics and metaphysics; his compositions for the banners are rooted in Sufi significations, by their ordering of numbers and their symbolisms that suggest the transcendent link between human beings and the divine order.
The three artists conceived of small artist publications and printed ephemera designed by Tony Smyrski (of Megawords Magazine). Publication pieces can be collected over the course of the exhibition from the sites and the Philagrafika website. The complete publication package will be released later this fall and available for purchase from Philagrafika.
Programming includes a lecture by the curator Salah Hassan on Thursday, September 6 at 6:30 pm at Temple University and a panel discussion on Saturday, October 13 featuring Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Rachid Koraïchi, and Salah Hassan. For additional information about the artists, the exhibition projects and related programs please visit the Project Description Page.