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Postmasters Gallery presents MOLLY CRABAPPLE || NIDAA BADWAN

Archive | Information & News

10 Sept 2016 to 15 Oct 2016
Tuesday - Saturday 11 – 6 pm

Postmasters Gallery
54 Franklin Street
New York, NY
New York
North America
T: 1 212 727 3323
F: 1 212 229 2829

Annotated Muses
September 10 - October 15, 2016

Artists in this exhibition: Molly Crabapple, Nidaa Badwan

Postmasters Gallery is pleased to open the fall season with two exhibitions

September 10 - October 15, 2016
Opening Reception  Saturday  September 10  5:30-8:00 pm

Annotated Muses

Postmasters Gallery is pleased to present Annotated Muses by Molly Crabapple, an artist and writer.

This will be Crabapple’s first exhibition in three years.
The show will consist of 11 paintings: portraits of ten women and one man.

Crabapple created elaborate portraits of her “muses”: friends, peers and heroes that are activists, journalists, artists, porn stars, musicians, philosophers, witches et al.

The process of making the paintings is three-step. First, she collects her own travel ephemera, and the papers that mean the most to her friends -- their code and manuscripts, military IDs and tarot cards, love letters and eviction notices. Then, she draws her subject on each paper. She draws her friend hundreds of times, their mouths, bodies, eyes, hands. She draws them just out of bed, and as they appear onstage. Their public personas. Their private faces. Then, she makes these portraits into a background for a large scale painting. The third step involves giving control over to her subjects, literally. She hands them the paintbrush, allowing them to annotate, adorn or deface their portraits, in whatever manner they see fit. In "Annotated Muses," the muse is no longer silent. The muse talks back.

Last in the group, a six foot tall, eight foot wide portrait of Stoya will be annotated by her at the opening of the show.

The Muses:

is a porn performer, aerialist and writer
Serene Han
is a hacker and classical pianist
is a stripper, sex worker, sex worker activist -- as well as a producer, curator, writer.
Kim Boekbinder
is a rock star
Fuck Theory
is a philosopher
Katelan Foisy
is an artist, writer and witch
Jen Dziura
is an educator, columnist and author
Natasha Lennard
is a journalist and anarchist
Chelsea G. Summers
is a writer about sex
Najva Sol
is a photographer and writer
Sara Jafary
is a biochemist and revolutionary

100 Days of Solitude

Postmasters Gallery is pleased to present Nidaa Badwan: 100 Days of Solitude.

Showing in the US for the first time.
Palestinian artist Nidaa Badwan’s photographs are from Gaza but not of Gaza.

For close to a year, Nidaa Badwan did not leave her 100 square foot room to face the outside world. Inside, in her war-imposed withdrawal and isolation, she created–and photographed–an immersive world of her own. Safe and free in this small oasis, she produced a series of stunning self-portraits, a project she calls 100 Days of Solitude, an homage to the landmark novel of magical realism by Gabriel García Márquez.

She is alone. She becomes a cook, a seamstress, a dancer, an artist. Mental space creating a bulwark against the world outside, then transcending it, a peaceful new world.

During the first year of the project Badwan composed and photographed 14 tableaux. Each took weeks, or even a month, to realize, given the severe resource constraints and violence of the outside world. As the privations in Gaza continued, so has Badwan’s production; an additional ten images date from the post-bombardment period of 2015-6.

The materials available to construct her tableaux are understandably limited–painted newspapers, a patchwork bedspread, pieces of salvaged wood, household utensils–but Badwan transforms them completely. “Time was the single element that I used to recover a reality that was as clear as possible, in the midst of this city’s racket,” Badwan says. “A city drowned in its own misery, where values are overwhelmed by a vile surrealism, and that knows neither colors nor peace.” Then, as Badwan told The New York Times in 2015, “I wait for the light.”
Time and light, the fundamental medium of the photographer.

Badwan’s 100 Days of Solitude is far more than psychological escapism in the face of violence and uncertainty. Like García Márquez’ utopian city of Macondo, Badwan realizes vistas of a world created and preserved within her mind. It is a willful convergence of fiction and reality. Her conjurings are also a fight for survival through creation, a contemporary embodiment of Scheherazade’s spinning a thousand and one nights’ worth of stories to stave off her own death.

Considered in an art context, Badwan’s images evoke references as far afield as the various staged photo practices of Jeff Wall, Cindy Sherman, and Thomas Demand, and Alyse Emdur’s photos of escapist photo backdrops painted on the walls of prison visiting rooms. It is the transformative power of art, the resolve to create even in the direst conditions, that distinguishes Badwan’s works, and which gives them resonance far beyond her Gaza walls. It’s as if Badwan took the title of Harald Szeemann’s landmark 1969 exhibition literally, to “Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form,” transmuting mental space into physical space, and then into images. Art that, as Gerhard Richter said, “is the highest form of hope.”

Born in 1987 in Abu Dhabi (UAE), Nidaa Badwan has been living in Gaza since 1998 and graduated in 2009 from the Fine Arts Department of Gaza's Al-Aqsa University. Her first exhibition was inaugurated that same year in the ruins of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society's theater, after the Cast Lead operation launched by the Israeli army. Between 2009 and 2012, she worked for the Tamer Institute for Community Education, as a trainer in the fields of plastic arts, artistic expression and photography. Nidaa Badwan has also participated in several collective photography exhibitions in Palestine and in Jordan.

Postmasters Gallery
located at 54 Franklin Street in Tribeca
Tuesday through Saturday 11 – 6 pm
with Thursday hours extended to 8pm
Please contact Magdalena Sawon or
Paulina Bebecka with
questions and image requests

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