Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arielle Falk Loves Public Art, and We Love Her!

Tell us more about you

I am 27 year old artist working in video, performance and sculpture. I was born in Washington DC, and have been living in NYC for the past 8 years. In 2007, I received a BA in Arts In Context (with a focus on Performance Studies) from Eugene Lang College (NYC). I currently live and work in Brooklyn, NY. (more info on http://www.ariellefalk.com)

Tell us more about your upcoming show?

My upcoming show Lego My Ego (LZ Project Space, July 29 - Aug 21) features a sculpture/photo project. I created objects called SUNGLASSES FOR THE FACE, which are designed to obscure the features of one’s face, and therefore, the identity and ego (self) of the wearer. They serve to defend against a double gaze; the nonspecific, generalized gaze of the other and the self-conscious, inward directed gaze of the ideal-ego (one’s image of their perfect self) as defined by Freud and Lacan.

The face, due to its’ expressive nature, allows others to not only identify and categorize who we are, but also to access information about what we are thinking and feeling at all times. Removing these elements provides a sort of freedom that has become increasingly unattainable in our Facebook-centric age, an age in which people have internalized the logic of the surveillance state and are eager to open their lives for the inspection of others. The SUNGLASSES FOR THE FACE short-circuit the co-symmetry of the face-to-face encounter; the wearer becomes a cipher and their mood, their status becomes unknowable. These objects, which mask identity and expression, reclaim both the private physical and emotional spaces of the individual.

How was your Art in Odd Places experience?

Aiop was a growth experience for me. I performed publicly for the first time, in a very high traffic area (walking along 14th street). It pushed me to go outside of my comfort zone and made me realize that working in the public arena was a possibility for me. There are so many uncontrollable factors in that kind of public setting and I came to embrace that, to truly see all of what was happening around me as part of the piece. That dynamic has inspired a new large-scale public performance piece that I am working on for Spring 2011 -- more details will be up on the Franklin Furnace Fund website in September: http:///www.franklinfurnace.org. (We love when we get to inspire our artists as much as they inspire us!)

Walk us through your thought process in creating your piece for Art in Odd Places.

My project for Aiop was based on a video - I felt it was something that I was interested in translating off the screen in that specific context.

Any words of wisdom for artists who are interested in becoming part of this year's Art in Odd places festival?

New Yorkers are used to seeing pretty weird stuff every single day. (So true!) Give yourself permission to go a bit crazy and do something that perhaps you are little frightened of doing -- unless of course you are leaving unattended boxes or packages in subway stations! And if your project is not selected for AIOP, go ahead and figure out a way to do it anyway on your terms (and document it).

Any final words?

I could not be a bigger fan of public art projects. I think it is extremely important that art is being made that is free and accessible to all. (So do we!)

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