Narrative Objects

When you open a novel—and I mean of course the real thing—you enter into a state of intimacy with its writer… Such a writer has power over distraction and fragmentation, and out of distressing unrest, even from the edge of chaos, he can bring unity and carry us into a state of intransitive attention. -Saul Bellow, The Distracted Public, 1994

601 West 26th St., Suite 1755, New York, NY
June 14, 2011
7:30 p.m.

601Artspace presents Narrative Objects: A discussion about the artist’s novel, audience, and protracted engagements. In its most common form, the novel involves a coherent sequence that unfolds around an interrelated set of characters. Taking his novel Illusion as a starting point, artist David Maroto proposes a dual purpose for the artist’s novel: For the artist, the novel serves as a conceptual proposition, linking narratives within other art projects and generating new ideas, but as an artwork in and of itself, the artist’s novel acts as a more humble contribution to the sweeping history of literary prose. Joined by Christopher K. Ho (artist, curator and author) and Alexander Campos (Center for Book Arts), the panel will discuss how the artist’s novel measures up against other novels and whether increasing interest in the novel among visual artists is intended to counteract tendencies of perpetual distraction. The panel will be moderated by Erin Sickler (601Artspace). Related books and other materials from the participants will be available at the event.

Synopsis of Illusion:

Illusion is an art project in the form of a novel. Tarot Arcane VI, The Lover, is a lost young man caught in a state of indecision between two options. Even his clothes, a multicolored doublet, reflect his state of internal division. Similarly, the protagonist of Illusion is immersed in a process of progressive fragmentation. He is always in the need of a model to imitate. The problem is that, the closer he gets to that model, the more he enters in competition with it in order to attain the object of their mutual desires.

Image: David Maroto, Illusion, Paperback, 220 pages, 5.25” x 8”

We gratefully acknowledge the Consulate General of Spain for their support of this event.

Alexander Campos has over 20 years experience in Arts Management, with positions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. Since 2004 he has serve as executive director of the Center for Book Arts, during which time he has organized numerous major exhibitions and overseen the expansion of the Center’s Visual Arts Program. He has served on committees for strategic and master facility planning at several of these organizations. Throughout his career, he has organized numerous public programs and exhibitions. His education includes an MA from New York University in Arts Administration and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in the History of Art. He has served on advisory commissions and review panels, including the New York State Council on the Arts, Department of Cultural Affairs, IMLS, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

Christopher K. Ho’s conceptual work examines the possibilities and parameters of advanced art today. For his 2010 solo exhibition at Winkleman Gallery, Regional Painting, Ho created a series of paintings and an eponymous memoir under the guise of a fictional alter ego, painter Hirsch E.P. Rothko, all while living for a year in a license plate covered shed in the southwest mountains of Colorado. The recourse to a romantic tradition was both an earnest attempt to rediscover painting and a response to the exhaustion of conceptual art. Recent projects include Busan 2020 for the 2008 Busan Biennial, One World One Dream for the 2009 Chinese Biennial, and Monumental Compost Heap for MASS MoCA at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens. Solo exhibitions include Et in Arcadia Ego at Galeria EDS in Mexico City (2009) and Happy Birthday at Winkleman Gallery in New York (2008), the latter reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, and other publications. He has exhibited at the Queens Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, Franconia Sculpture Park, Dallas Contemporary, and the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art; and internationally at the Freies Museum in Berlin, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Srpska, and the Other Gallery in Shanghai. He was born in Hong Kong and is based in New York. He received his B.F.A. and B.S. from Cornell University and his M.Phil from Columbia University.

David Maroto is a Spanish artist based in The Netherlands. His work has been shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions: S.M.A.K. (Ghent, Belgium), ECAT (Toledo, Spain), EFA Project Space (New York), Tina B Festival (Prague), TENT. (Rotterdam), W139 (Amsterdam). His wide-ranging practice has led him to exhibit his work on psychoanalysis at the Freud Dreams Museum in St Petersburg, whereas his 8-year project to create a board game lead to the inclusion of his project Disillusion at the Internationale Spieltage in 2006 (Essen, Germany) and other game fairs worldwide. Currently, he is preparing a number of public events around the recent publication of his novel Illusion, as well as a solo show in Gallery Sign (Groningen, The Netherlands).

Erin Sickler is Director of Curatorial Programs at 601Artspace.

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