Featured This Week Are Artists Who Live and/or Work in Queens, Including Xin Liu, Samita Sinha, Frisly Soberanis, Alina Tenser & Gabo Camnitzer, and QUEENSBOUND; Greek Artists Contributing to ENTER in Week 4 Include Lena Kitsopoulou, Maria Papadimitriou, and RootlessRoot
ENTER Week 4 Works Will Be Available to View Beginning Monday, May 18, at onassis.org/enter; All ENTER Works Are Free
Onassis USA presents Week 4 of ENTER, their series of new works commissioned from artists in various parts of the world, created in their homes in 120 hours or less and drawing on experiences through the COVID-19 pandemic and its many transformations of life as we know it. For the series’ fourth week, Onassis USA has enlisted the Queens Museum as curator, and the Museum has engaged artists and poets including Xin Liu, Samita Sinha, Frisly Soberanis, Alina Tenser & Gabo Camnitzer, and QUEENSBOUND to contribute new works. These pieces offer a prismatic understanding of this moment as experienced within one of the nation’s most diverse counties, where the virus’ impact has been particularly treacherous. Greek artists sharing works in Week 4 include Lena Kitsopoulou, Maria Papadimitriou, and RootlessRoot. Week 4 works—descriptions of which are featured below—will be shared Monday, May 18, and can be viewed at onassis.org/news/enter-week-4.
With this free series, artists across generations, genres, and continents invite viewers to enter the mental and physical spaces these works inhabit, to press ENTER on a new mode of connection. This series of original works—created in the conditions of the “here and now”—surpass these limitations, as ENTER explores new ways of bringing audiences into contact with art and artists. As this moment feels too big, too strange, and too immediate for any one person to grasp, the works made for ENTER offer myriad observations, which, taken together, create something akin to an online time capsule. This project in its totality speaks to this crisis, from tragedy to banality, from isolation to reimagined socialization and unexpected sources of inspiration.
Vallejo Gantner, Artistic and Executive Director of Onassis USA, says of this collaboration with the Queens Museum, “Onassis is honoured to be working with the Queens Museum on this week’s manifestation of the ENTER program. Aside from being an artistic hub whose groundbreaking leadership is an inspiration to a city replete with wonderful arts organisations, the Museum serves a diverse community in the epicentre of a health, political, and cultural crisis. We hope that this small gesture of solidarity from the Onassis Foundation helps the artists working in that community continue to lead, innovate, and create.”
Sally Tallant, President and Executive Director of the Queens Museum, says “The Queens Museum is thrilled to collaborate with Onassis on commissioning artists living and/or working in Queens to make rapid response work in relation to our current situation. We are excited to be able to support artists at this time and grateful to Onassis for making it possible and developing this new initiative.”
Since its launch on April 24, each week, the project has released new groupings of commissions, and in the coming weeks Onassis USA will continue to collaborate with exciting partners. The Chocolate Factory Theater will curate Week 5, which will be shared Monday, May 25. Artists featured in the most recent week (Week 3) included: acclaimed Independent Spirit Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated actress and writer Isabella Rossellini and Flying Karamazov Brothers member Paul Magid; Ziad Antar; Evi Kalogiropoulou; Kareem Kalokoh; Risa Puno and Avi Dobkin; RootlessRoot; Kostis Stafylakis, Theo Triantafyllidis, and Alexis Fidetzis; and Akira Takayama. Elias Adam, Simos Kakalas, Vasilis Kekatos, Andonis Foniadakis, Emily Johnson, Kathryn Hamilton (Sister Sylvester), RootlessRoot, and Stefanos Tsivopoulos were featured in Week 2; and the series launched in Week 1 with works from Dimitris Karantzas, Efthimis Filippou, 600 HIGHWAYMEN, Maria Antelman, Kimberly Bartosik, Annie Dorsen, and Radiohole.
Afroditi Panagiotakou, Director of Culture of the Onassis Foundation, says of ENTER, “We needed something to breathe differently. To see and live through an experience proving that the mind does not stop giving birth to ideas when you enclose it, out of necessity, in the four walls of a house; that imagination does not stop, when we are surrounded by fear of what is happening, by the agony of what may come to pass. We turned towards the people who transport us to other worlds; to those who, with their art, enrich our lives. The artists. This group of people who tend to our soul and move our thought. How does a dancer dance in his kitchen? How many images capture the eyes of a director, when he spends most of his time on his couch? Is the entire house a scene? We enter in order to see. As guests. You too. ENTER.”
QUEENS MUSEUM CURATED WORKS
Xin Liu: Sleepwalk
Sleepwalk is a solitary adventure game (for macOS and Windows systems) in which you find yourself confined to your apartment in New York City under quarantine. Information about the outside world comes to you through the news, and sometimes filters in through your window. As the days pass, you start to wonder whether this is all a dream.
QUEENSBOUND: In the Here and Now
In the Here and Now Contributors: Nadia Q. Ahmad, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Pichchenda Bao, Nana Brew-Hammond, Jared Harel, Abeer Y. Hoque, Joseph O. Legaspi, Robert Ostrom, KC Trommer
QUEENSBOUND is a collaborative audio project that seeks to connect writers across the borough, showcase and develop a literature of Queens, and reflect the borough back to itself. For In the Here and Now, nine poets from the QUEENSBOUND project created an exquisite corpse poem: a collaborative poem whose primary rule is that each participant is unaware of what the previous contributor has written. Each poet wrote 7 lines in honor of the 7 train that runs through Queens, which is sometimes referred to as the “International Express.”
Samita Sinha: Into the Day
Created by Samita Sinha with video by Sunil Bald
This is a spell to move grief into the light of day, inspired by the riotous singing of the birds on COVID-19 spring mornings. The sounds come from North Indian classical music, broken to pieces and composed into new form, through the body.
Frisly Soberanis: Forces of a city #1
Credits: Frisly Soberanis (Writer, Director)
Diego Alejandro Soberanis (Assistant Camera)
Henri Guillén (Composer)
Lucas Gonzalez (VO Mixer)
Génesis Mancheren Abaj (thank you)
Filmed under the elevated 7 train, Soberanis' audiovisual work slips between memories and reflections on the current moment in Queens. In this suspended reality, heightened by the pandemic, the forces of the city haven’t stopped. The 7 train continues running, the fare is still charged and the rent is still due. The train has moved families, workers, and even the virus. While one part of the city works from home, the other takes the train to work. It seems that everything is going well, but the opposite is true for those who rode and still ride. There is a palpable moment before a drastic change. This is where we are.
Alina Tenser & Gabo Camnitzer: A Compass for the House Door
In A Compass for the House Door, Alina Tenser and Gabo Camnitzer use the floor plan of their apartment as a schema to consider the shifting boundaries of traditional conceptions of space during the COVID-19 crisis. Made using an old camera and craft materials the artists had at home, the video grapples with a wide set of topics including: Lucretius’ conception of the clinamen, marketing consultant Faith Popcorn’s term “cocooning”, Angela Mitropoulos’ consideration of Oikonomia and Edward Hall’s theory of proxemics.
ENTER WEEK 4 WORKS FROM GREEK ARTISTS
Lena Kitsopoulou: LALKA
This project addresses man’s right to let time flow without the arrogance of doing good deeds and great works all the time. Life is not fear and panic, not even a monthly wage without which you’ll die. Life is the air you have to let guide you and not devalue it. This project proposes to love our instincts, celebrate them, at least not oppress them anymore on the altar of a so-called civilized and unfree/restrictive/illiberal life.
Maria Papadimitriou: Alter Ego
The artist has a chat with her alter ego as it watches her slowly cutting her hair. Sometimes it encourages her, other times it tries to stop her. Alter Ego exists in the thin borderline between paranoia and extremist self-expression. It is essentially: a parody of loneliness and isolation, and the existential void which evolves from the present situation.
RootlessRoot: OUR FEET
How dynamic our posture is depends on our feet’s intelligence.
We age from our feet
Keep them alive
About Onassis USA
Founded in 2000, Onassis USA was the first international affiliate of the Onassis Foundation. It is dedicated to culture, community, and education, with projects that can effectively inspire social change and justice across borders. By collaborating with Onassis Stegi in Athens and educational and cultural institutions throughout the Americas, Onassis USA presents theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits, conversations, lectures, and other initiatives, triggering discussions about democratic values, human rights, civil rights, and the ever-changing realities facing today’s citizens on a global scale.
About Onassis Foundation
Onassis Foundation’s mission is and will always be human-centric. Since 1975, focusing on the fields of culture, health, and education, it creates the conditions, explores the ideas, and triggers the discussions that lead to a better society. Releasing the potential οf artists, scholars, and scientists, it has supported Greek programs in universities around the world; has granted more than 7,000 scholarships and research fellowships for postgraduate and doctorate studies; has continuously supported Special Education; has acquired the Cavafy Archive to ensure its openness and accessibility to researchers and the wider public; has rare book collections in the Onassis Library; has built and donated to the Greek State the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre (OCSC) and is currently building the much-needed Onassis National Transplant Center in Athens; has established Onassis USA (NY & LA), and last but not least, Onassis Stegi in Athens, a cultural center which hosts performances and activities across the whole spectrum of the arts from theatre, dance, music, cinema and the visual arts to the written word, with an emphasis on contemporary cultural expression. The Onassis Foundation believes in active citizens with bold ideas and optimistic dreams, and embraces process, research, study, experimentation, as well as the values of freedom, democracy and human rights.
About the Queens Museum
The Queens Museum is dedicated to presenting the highest quality visual arts and educational programming for people in the New York metropolitan area, and particularly for the residents of Queens, a uniquely diverse, ethnic, cultural, and international community.
The Museum fulfills its mission by designing and providing art exhibitions, public programs and educational experiences that promote the appreciation and enjoyment of art, support the creative efforts of artists, and enhance the quality of life through interpreting, collecting, and exhibiting art, architecture, and design.
The Queens Museum presents artistic and educational programs and exhibitions that directly relate to the contemporary urban life of its constituents, while maintaining the highest standards of professional, intellectual, and ethical responsibility.