Photo reportage from exhibitions by Rachel Rossin and Sara Magenheimer at kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga

Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

My Little Green Leaf
RACHEL ROSSIN
8/12/2016 – 15/01/2017

Art in General presents a solo exhibition of newly commissioned work by New York-based multi-media and installation artist Rachel Rossin in partnership with kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Latvia.

Working seamlessly across traditional art forms and new technologies, Rossin investigates the boundaries between, and changing perceptions of, the hyper-real and the imaginary. In My Little Green Leaf, Rossin presents a virtual reality work within a physical installation, using Oculus Rift headset that cut out external stimuli and provide access to an experience of space that defies gravity. These devices—which have integrated headphones with 3D audio effect and rotational and positional tracking—also allow users to experience the work while sitting, standing, or walking around a room. Environments and ‘objects’ appear to disintegrate and reform, explode and implode, confusing our sense of space and what can be within one’s control.

This new VR piece presents an interactive simulation, populated by rebinding animation rigs that were initially intended for different geometries and 3D forms but that are now set into motion by artificial intelligence (AI). Alongside are sculptures and a vista that are essentially folded ‘substrates’ extruded from the VR works. Here, the sculptures act more as three-dimensional paintings that the artist has molded entirely through the pressure of her body, while the vista emulates the idealized landscapes that are o en created for desktop backgrounds/screensavers.

These virtual and physical components cannot be viewed at the same time, but the experience of switching in and out of, or between, such different modes of perception is at the heart of Rossin’s work. For Rossin, the contemporary experience of the world is not a binary one in terms of the relationship between these: much as her practice operates across physical and immaterial states, it rather exists along a gradient between them.

Curated by Anne Barlow

Rachel Rossin (b. 1987) lives and works in New York City. She has been both an artist and computer programmer since her childhood in West Palm Beach, Florida. Rachel Rossin’s solo shows include Lossy, Zieher Smith & Horton, New York (2015); N=7 / The Wake of Heat in Collapse, Signal Gallery, New York (2015); and Tide Offering, New Ideas Biennale for the New Museum with Schoolhouse Projects, New York (2013). Rossin has also participated in group exhibitions including: First Look, co-presented by Rhizome, the New Museum, New York (2016); Olimpia’s Eyes, Zevitas Marcus, Los Angeles (2016); and Reconstructed Landscapes, Apex Art, New York (2016). Forthcoming shows include Hello World: Art after the Internet, Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland (2017) and The Unframed World, HEK, Basel, Switzerland (2017) and a group exhibition at K11 in Shanghai (2017). Rossin is the recipient of several awards and fellowships including a Fellowship in Virtual Reality at New Museum’s Incubator New Inc. (2015-2016), and a Kate Spade & Co Foundation Grant (2015), and her work is in the permanent collections of ALDALA, the Hall Foundation and the Zabludowicz Collection.

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Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Rachel Rossin, My Little Green Leaf, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

Feels Everything Like Shopping
SARA MAGENHEIMER
8/12/2016 – 15/01/2017

Art in General presents a solo exhibition of newly commissioned work by Sara Magenheimer in partnership with the kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Latvia. The forthcoming project includes a series of assemblage sculptures and projected video with original audio. The works on display are unified by subtle atmospheric cues, mimicking the protocols of branded, commercial spaces. A custom fragrance inspired by the artist’s linguistic prompts will infuse the installation—titled LUCKILY, the scent announces itself as a distillation of good omens, permeating the exhibition with a cartoonish optimism.

Magenheimer’s new sculptures incorporate products including kitchen knives, safety pins, mannequin forms, and altered images from the popular Delia*s catalog. In the 1990’s, Delia*s photography presented alternative attitudes for young women, showing models that were tough, cool, smart, confrontational, funny, outspoken, and athletic. Its clothes and styling offered a fresh take on traditional gender roles in the space of advertising, and revealed how progressive identities were packaged and sold. The collaged images of unconventional young women are further complicated in their proximity to items such as kitchen knives—more than a domestic tool, the knife calls to mind phrases like “double edged sword” or “it cuts both ways.” The object also references the process of editing, signifying a viewer who may cut and sequence the catalog’s cast of characters to t an imagined narrative. The disparate sculptural elements are held together by magnetic force in provisional displays, pointing to the precarious nature of “femaleness” in society, and suggesting the possibility of rearranging existing structures.

Throughout the exhibition, images of women and the merchandise strategically marketed to them, such as jewelry, shoes, perfume, and interior design, interrogate gendered aspects of capitalism and the sedative activities of consumerism. Magenheimer addresses how we remain in a perpetual state of desire for material goods, foregrounding conditions of disengagement. An immersive video diptych invokes prevalent contemporary experiences that operate as forms of distraction and separation from one’s present circumstances. Screen-grabs and video capture of online shopping actions proceed at a slow and steady pace, alongside a protracted soundtrack of looping ambient synth audio. Simultaneously, images of idealized architecture represent collective fantasies of comfort and safety—examples of commodified, haute shelters continue in a seemingly endless chain. The video’s droning pace echoes the exhibition’s title that presupposes a subject controlled and numbed by consumerism.

Curated by Kristen Chappa

Sara Magenheimer was born in Philadelphia and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She is the recipient of a 2014 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant, 2015 Artadia Grant, and winner of the Prix De Varti at the 2015 Ann Arbor Film Festival. Recent exhibitions and video screenings include JOAN, Los Angeles; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Futura, Prague; Document Gallery, Chicago; 247365, Brooklyn; Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn; Images Festival, Toronto; the New York Film Festival; Portland Museum of Modern Art; and the Living Art Museum, Reykjavik in 2014-2015. Magenheimer’s collaborative sound project, Bloopers, has received commissions from Triple Canopy and EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Since 2012, she has performed at Recess, MoMA P.S.1, Issue Project Room, and the Performa 13 Biennial. Magenheimer performed in various bands during 2004–2010, touring extensively and releasing five records. She holds a MFA from Bard College and a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

 Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks


Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Sara Magenheimer, Feels Everything Like Shopping, exhibition view, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2016. Photo: Ansis Starks

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Echo Gone Wrong
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January 3, 2017
Published in Photo / Video from Latvia
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