Reception: Sept 18, 6-8pm Public Unpacking of Crate #89: Oct 11 Closing Reception: Oct 23, 6-8pm
On September 2, 2014, Mira Friedlaender will begin work on Half of What’s There as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation.
Over the course of her Session, the artist will unpack, document, and inventory the life’s work of Bilge Civelekoglu Friedlaender.
Bilge came to New York at the age of 24 to become an artist. A Turkish émigré active from the 1970s-1990s, she produced non-objective work in the form of works with paper, installations, and sculpture. She was also Mira’s mother.
When Bilge died, her gallery did not continue representation, and so her life’s output has remained in storage, undisturbed, for years. Bringing these works from storage to Recess to be unpacked, Mira will take on the role of artist, art handler and registrar. Each week of the Session she will present a new installation of excavated works. She will display her mother’s work alongside the materials that have housed and informed it: storage bins, packing supplies, and a selection of original ephemera.
As she sorts these materials, Mira’s labor will become a public performance that draws attention to the epic archives that represent the fate of most artworks. Throughout the Session she will respond to the formal components of the evolving installation as well as her mother’s work by creating new works in video, on paper and with reconstituted stored materials.
In a series of conversations with art industry workers she will further excavate ideas of value, legacy, presentation and labor. Reframing the installation, deinstallation, and storage processes as the center of artistic activity, Mira will present the hidden economy of art removed from the market.
Performance with Installation of unopened art storage items from Bilge Civelekoglu Friedlaender Estate. FiveMyles, March 2014
"Mia Friedlander’s small installation, assembled from unopened crates, folders, and packing tubes that belonged to her late mother, Bilgé Civelekoglu Friedlander, embodies this idea of absence made present. The artist’s statement confesses that she does not know what’s inside, so one can deduce that aesthetics were the primary consideration in placing them just so. The containers express a separate and perhaps more evocative narrative than what might be contained within. Each is labeled with Bilge’s name or address, so that she becomes a character, or perhaps an extension of Mira Friedlander herself." Anna Tome