[-empyre-] Introducing Monika Weiss

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 18 02:55:37 EST 2014

Welcome Monika! I remember fondly our former exchange when you were a
guest to -empyre as well and you shared with us your work "Sustenazo",
(Laments), so mighty powerful.
I encouraged Alan to invite you I think our discussion at that time
was very relevant for this month's topic.

On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 1:14 PM, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> I'd like to introduce Monika Weiss, who is a guest for the second week of
> our dicussion. I'd like to thank everyone who is participating; please
> continue!
> I've known Monika's work for years;, and identify with the concerns of
> mourning, death, concentration camps. For me, her pieces touch on
> tableau performances that strongly relate to this month's topic.
> Welcome, Monika!
> Monika Weiss is a Polish-American artist working with body, history and
> postmemory.  Her current work focuses on historical amnesia as reflected
> within the physical and political space of a City. Weiss frequently
> employs her own body as a vehicle of artistic expression and invites
> others to inhabit her performances and films. ?Not being a proper witness,
> not being a proper survivor, not being able to recall the very
> overwhelming events, Monika Weiss indirectly, on the basis of found
> fragments of images and encountered sites, chooses to inhabit them
> performatively through her art. She attempts to do so even if, in her
> words, they 'defy narrative reconstructions and exceed comprehension.' She
> does so through lamentation, an original, often public, performative, and
> collaborative form of her art." (Krzysztof Wodiczko, introduction to
> Monika Weiss? performance at GSD, Harvard University, 2014) Originally
> trained as a classical musician, the artist composes sound in her films
> and installations.  In 2005, Lehman College Art Gallery, CUNY organized
> the artist?s first retrospective which was reviewed in The New York Times.
> Weiss? traveling exhibition 'Sustenazo', first commissioned by the Centre
> for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland (2010), was
> subsequently shown at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago,
> Chile (2012-2013), and at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, FIU,
> Miami (2014). Weiss? work has been also featured at Streaming Museum
> ('John Cage Centennial Tribute', 2012), Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation
> CIFO, Miami ('Forms of Classification: Alternative Knowledge and
> Contemporary Art', 2007; 'The Prisoner?s Dilemma', 2009), and part of
> Prague?s Muzeum Montanelli (MuMo)?s inaugural show in 2010. Some other
> notable exhibitions include 'Moment by Moment: Meditations of the Hand' at
> North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks (2006); 'On the Absence of Camps'
> at Kunsthaus Dresden (2006); 'POZA: On the Polishness of Polish
> Contemporary Art' at Real Art Ways, Hartford (2008); and 'Frauen bei
> Olympia' at Frauenmuseum, Bonn (2009). An important part of the artist
> works are public projects which are process-based and site-specific
> environments. Commissioned by The Drawing Center, her public project
> 'Drawing Lethe' (2006) took place at the World Financial Center Winter
> Garden within sight of Ground Zero, where workers were still digging for
> remains. Passersby lay down and marked their presence onto the enormous
> canvas covering the floor, which gradually became a drawing-field. In
> 'Shrouds-Ca?uny' (2012), Weiss filmed, from an airplane, local women
> performing silent gestures of lamentation on the abandoned, forgotten site
> of the former concentration camp Gruenberg, located in Zielona G?ra. Weiss
> has given lectures on her work at institutions around the world and her
> writings have appeared in numerous publications, including New Realities:
> Being Syncretic (Springer, Wien/New York) and Technoetic Arts (Intellect,
> London). In 2007 her work was featured in the survey publication 'Drawing
> Now: Between the Lines of Contemporary Art' (London: I. B. Tauris). Weiss
> is currently Associate Professor at Sam Fox School of Design & Visual
> Arts, Washington University in Saint Louis. Born in Warsaw, Poland the
> artist lives and works in New York City.
> _______________________________________________
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