#CORRESPONDENCIA at Community Futures Lab
Alien Architect, Cohen Asher reached out to me through social media to attend a pop-up event at Community Futures Lab, 22nd & Ridge Ave. The thing was I had my own event, a large group show of the Photographic Society of Philadelphia at The Plastic Club, that Sunday afternoon and I wasn’t sure I would have the energy to go. But, he showed up at The Plastic Club with his guest from Mexico City, artist Rebeca Martell, in town, and I had the pleasure of describing the history of the artist run gallery/studio to her. Rebeca expressed her admiration of the long history of the art club and it felt special to introduce an international woman artist to the space. Cohen Asher, like an alien architect, is so ebullient and full of vibrant energy, and love, I knew I’d spring for an Uber ride to Sharwood.
Both Cohen and Rebeca produce Social Practice art events, the #CORRESPONDENCE started at 5:00, but since the duo visited me downtown the show was still in the process of being popped up when I arrived. Being the pushy snoop, I let myself into the gallery space and sat on the floor while Rebeca installed the group show of international artists. Photographs were aligned along a light box, watercolors and prints arranged informally, a relaxed installation of artworks to entertain and inform the viewers. We talked about being an artist in Mexico City, with a population of twenty two million people, and how funding for grants is controlled by the government. Creating social practice events that expose inequity and spotlight social disinformation through art is not going to win grants. It does however create a spirit of community that transcends doctrine and dogma.
Community Futures Lab is a store front space that brings together artists and thought leaders in the community of Sharwood. Being on Ridge Ave. reminded me of when the housing bubble popped and artists were asked to install galleries in the empty stores along the once bustling South Street. It seems to me that artists rise to the challenge time and again to raise awareness, energize spaces and communities, inspire the neighbors and bring together people to promote quality of life. Being part of a global community by being involved in the arts is inspiring and transcends speech and language with visual code, color and narrative that some don’t understand. Those that ‘don’t get’ art still benefit even if they don’t consciously realize it, believe in art’s value or understand why it works so well.
The universe of art connects along an ocean of dots. Each dot is a workstation, where a mind takes brushes or chisels to trace the vortex where the shape, texture and color are aligned within an idea.
Each station fulfills its part in the concert of symbols. Each symbol has its pair in another mind, each bet resonates in many others, choral singing aesthetic, adding tunes, basting the syntax in which the iconographic manifesto of a time is recorded.
The artist is immersed in an inner search of that sign to consider the transferable moment of its uniqueness, correspondence waits in some other unexpected point in the universe of the creators.
A small town in deep Hungary, joins some of those dots generating unexpected correspondences, here’s a symbolic tribute to those open doors.
El artista se sumerje en una búsqueda interior de esa insignia que considere el momento intransferible de su singularidad, la correspondencia aguarda en algún otro punto insospechado del universo de los creadores.
Un pequeño pueblo en Hungría profunda, une algunos puntos generando correspondencias inesperadas, he aquí un homenaje simbólico a esas puertas abiertas.
Olivia Eliash, Chile
Luz Elvira Torres, México
Gerardo Nolasco Magaña, México
Robert Weissenbacher, Robert Weissenbacher – Kunst Alemania, Germany
Ficzek Ferenc, Hungría
Devin Cohen Asher, Alien Architect / Cohen Asher Estados Unidos
Rebeca Martell, México
“Rebeca Martell (MX), who earlier this year exhibited her incredible solo exhibition “Always Somewhere” in Fototeca Juan C. Méndez on June 2nd in Puebla, Mexico, is currently engaged in documenting cultures as she works as freelance photographer and international correspondent for music magazines. Rebeca Martell, along with Devin Asher Cohen (also known as Alien Architect or Cohen Asher) have a gallery named Liliput in Puebla, Mexico which has an amazing artist residency.
Correspondence is a touring international contemporary collective group art exhibition. All of the artists’ who’s pieces are in Correspondence met in Hungary. Thus far the exhibition was first in Puebla, Mexico at Liliput September 3rd, 2016. Then traveled here to Philadelphia’s Community Futures Lab October 2nd, 2016. And soon travels to the upcoming exhibition spaces, which shall be announced soon.” – Cohen Asher
“Community Futurisms: Time & Memory in North Philly” is a social practice, collaborative art, and ethnographic research project exploring oral histories, memories, alternative temporalities, and futures within the North Philadelphia neighborhood known as Sharswood/Blumberg. The area is currently undergoing a major redevelopment project after years of deep poverty, educational inequality, and high crime. “Community Futurisms” will document the redevelopment of Sharswood/Blumberg, through an multidisciplinary community art project that explores the intersections of futurism, literature, visual remixing, sound, and activism as art.
The goal of the Community Futures Lab is to collect, preserve, and share the Sharswood-Blumberg community’s memories and stories for future generations. We are looking for anyone who has ever lived in the neighborhood, and people who still live in the neighborhood and surrounding areas.
A project of The AfroFuturist Affair/Black Quantum Futurism Collective, supported in large part by A Blade of Grass
BQF Collective is inspired by afrofuturism, quantum physics, and african traditions of spatial-temporal consciousness. They weave science fiction realities with african concepts of time, ritual and sound to present innovative works that offer practical ways to escape time loops, oppression vortexes and the digital matrix.
This project is not affiliated with the Philadelphia Housing Authority or the City of Philadelphia
For more info, please contact: email@example.com
Philadelphia’s volunteerism is extraordinary, authentic curiosity and experimentation has always been the blood that runs through the heart of the art scene. Philly is that rare city with rival art schools, rival art clubs, rival artist studios and a multitude of opportunities to show art in bars, coffee houses, restaurants… City Hall even has an art gallery. Philadelphia is a great place to make art happen.
“Social practice is an art medium that focuses on social engagement, inviting collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the creation of participatory art.” – Wikipedia
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