October 26, 2012 – December 7, 2012
Curated by: Ginevra Shay
Working in an era of shifting consciousness and hyperreality, four artists, Dina Kelberman, Marina Pinsky, Luis Arnías and Alex Ebstein explore their perceptions of memories and culture. Drawing from personal and mass media sources, the artists in NEW HISTORY create art works that portray impressions of time and place, along with lived and fabricated experiences. Each of the artists in this exhibition approach this theme differently, utilizing material, form, and structure to describe and understand the world that surrounds them.
In a time when parts of our culture are changing and others are rapidly in decline, Dina Kelberman addresses the two American staples, which most readily register these shifts – television and the internet. Through her art, Kelberman transforms some of the most available mass media content into a new form of familiar experience. By organizing and archiving web-sourced images and videos into personally relevant arrangements, Kelberman re-contextualizes this material into something memorable and strange. In constructing these visual experiences and environments out of images and materials that are instantly recognizable to most viewers, she allows content that could have otherwise been under-appreciated to take on new meaning and interpretation.
While Kelberman modifies an extant reality by miniaturizing the internet, Marina Pinsky takes impressions of another world and packs them into a dense visual experience all it’s own. Pinsky’s work outlines a struggle to understand her relationship with the historical consequences of two countries that have shaped her existence as a Russian-American. Interested in the physical and philosophical depth of nations in transition, Pinsky incorporates collage and sculpture into meticulous arrangements. She produces an environment for objects, sculptures and typical elements from everyday life so that the viewer may contemplate their histories and existence.
Similarly inspired by the histories and materials produced by a nation in transition is Luis Arnías. Immigrating to the United States at the age of nineteen while making work as a photographer and filmmaker, the Venezuelan-born artist found refuge in the plastics and discarded materials he discovered in his new environment. Out of a reverence for these “humble materials,” he shifted from producing images to constructing sculptures. While retaining a sense of color he feels to be indicative of Venezuelan culture, Arnías plays with forms of memory and language. His sculptures illustrate portraits, hinting at shared experiences, often with humorous connotations. As much as his work may first appear to be esoteric, it is readily conducive to associations brought on by the viewer. After creating films and sculptures independently for a number of years, Arnías chose to combine the two mediums to better elaborate on specific personal memories.
If Kelberman’s fabricated experiences culled from mass media sources occupy one end of NEW HISTORY’s spectrum, Alex Ebstein’s mixed media works influenced by personal experience and the nature of time reside at the other. Ebstein explores how space, line and material, in their most abstract forms, can create something that feels referential. She captures a sense of nostalgia in works that are nonfigurative and which contain no narrative, solely on the arrangement and use of materials. Ebstein seeks objects she deems characteristically “comfortable”, selecting materials that take on a talismanic quality in the works. Her meticulous practice straddles domestic and contemporary techniques, often working yarn and fabric into a shallow-relief surface, while implying a sense of expansiveness. In creating works that could be thought of as nonfigurative dioramas, Ebstein explores a mode that can appear simultaneously otherworldly and memorious.
Alex Ebstein is a Baltimore-based artist, curator and writer. Since 2009, she has co-directed Nudashank, a contemporary art gallery, founded with partner Seth Adelsberger. Her work was recently exhibited in Chicago at Manifest Exhibitions and LVL 3 galleries, and at the University of Cincinnati. In October, she has a solo exhibition at SophiaJacob gallery in Baltimore, MD, and is currently working toward her MFA at Towson University.
Luis Arnías, born 1982 in Venezuela, currently lives and works in Boston, MA. Arnías received a full scholarship to attend Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts, where he completed his diploma in 2009. He has exhibited work both nationally and internationally. Earlier in 2012, he co-curated From Gust to Hail, an east coast tour of experimental 16mm films featuring the works of fifteen filmmakers.
Marina Pinsky, born 1986 in Moscow, Russia, currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BFA from Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2008 and her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012. She has received grants from both schools. Pinsky has also been a guest lecturer and critic at both the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf and Umass Amherst. Her work has been featured on Artforum.com and in both Art Review and Photograph magazine. Recently, she has shown at Venus Over Manhattan, Cleopatra’s, Workspace, and Night Gallery. She currently has two solo exhibitions – one at Vancouver’s Exercise Projects and the other at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Dina Kelberman is an artist living and working in Baltimore, MD. She works in a wide variety of media including comics, painting, web media, animation, play writing, photography, screencaps, and sculpture. She is a founding member of the Wham City collective and a comics contributor to the Baltimore City Paper and Tiny Mix Tapes. Her work can be seen at dinakelberman.com and importantcomics.com.
Ginevra Shay (Curator), born 1987 in Washington D.C., is an artist, curator and photo archivist living and working in Baltimore, MD. Her photography has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally. This past September her photography book, “TOO MANY PLACES AND TIMES TO REMEMBER” was exhibited at The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, FI. She is currently doing research and archival work in partnership with Project Gado, The Afro American Newspaper and Baltimore Heritage to create an African-American centered walking tour in East Baltimore.