Abrons Arts Center presents Island Letter, the 2022–23 Visual Artist AIRspace Exhibition, featuring work by Alex Dolores Salerno, Emily Manwaring, nina macintosh, and Shirt. Island Letter is organized by 2022–23 Curatorial AIRspace Residents Laura Serejo Genes & Kiyoto Koseki together with the artists. The exhibition is presented in partnership with CCProjects, an independent gallery and community space based in the Lower East Side.
The artists assembled in Island Letter are bonded by time shared at Abrons Arts Center. Drawing from their shared home of New York and studio space in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the works on display tell lyrical stories of city life and its persistent weight—a force that compresses but also joins.
This exhibition will be held at CCProjects (17 Allen Street, Floor 2, New York, NY 10002), open Wednesday through Sunday from 12pm to 6pm. CCProjects will be closed on July 2nd.
Opening reception 14 June, 6–8pm.
nina macintosh is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and organizer born and raised in Manhattan (Lenapehoking). Working between film, painting, ceramics, and printmaking, macintosh explores and honors the parallel grief of gentrification and dissociation– ruptures from home, body and land. Key to their practice is also working collaboratively on films to approach healing and collective liberation from different roles.
Emily Manwaring lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Manwaring graduated from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art with a BA in Fine Arts. The influence of New York lives in her paintings and sculptures from depictions of public transportation to the brick buildings that fill the city. With her family being from Trinidad and Haiti, the diaspora is celebrated through the vibrancy of the work. Manwaring’s work focuses on the heartening interactions of everyday life. The works are intimate snapshots of people’s lives, and captures how joy and love is shared with others.
Alex Dolores Salerno is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Informed by queer-crip experience, they work to critique standards of productivity, notions of normative embodiment, the commodification of rest, and 24/7 society. Salerno’s practice incorporates found, used and accumulated objects to depict the materiality of interdependence and reveal tensions between our needs and societal values of self-reliance. Beds and bedding are some of their primary materials which allow them to explore the bed as a site of care, collectivity and protest. Salerno’s practice embraces slowness, and they argue that to celebrate diverse bodyminds requires a reconfiguration of time and value away from capitalist frameworks.
Shirt is a multiform artist from Queens, New York City. Working across rap music, writing, performance, video, photography, painting and sculpture, Shirt’s practice often resembles the interplay between Black Dada, Conceptual Art and Hip-Hop, forming a bricolage of language, sound and object wherein notions of authorship and publics are blurred to create a more expansive readership. Exploring modes of social critique through a deep investment in radical imagination and found practices, Shirt’s work considers ways of unlearning and seeks to propose questions such as: Who gets to be called an artist? and What is considered art?
Laura Serejo Genes & Kiyoto Koseki work together as a curatorial partnership based in New York. They produce exhibitions and programs for specific sites, building upon existing systems to draw new social, material, and historical connections. Laura and Kiyoto each participated in SOMA Summer and the Newburgh Community Land Bank Artist-In-Vacancy initiative where they developed public programs in collaboration with local organizations and businesses. Past projects have been presented outside of art institutions and in venues including Ann Street Gallery, Newburgh; American Medium, New York; Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge; Time Farm Gallery, Cambridge; Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco, Mexico City; Bienal de las Fronteras, Instituto Tamaulipeco, Tamaulipas; Palácio Nacional de Belém, Lisbon; CAC, Torres Vedras; Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Aubervilliers; Etablissement d’en face, Brussels; NSK State-in-Time Pavillion, Venice; and Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo.
Abrons Arts Center’s Visual Artist AIRspace residencies are made possible through the generosity of The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.