An installation by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy
October 26th - Nov 9th, 2020
601Artspace, 88 Eldridge Street
Paper Mirror is the final installment of 601Artspace’s Storefront Exhibition series, which has featured site-specific installations in the facade of our gallery, designed to be viewed from outside.
Save the date: The artists will be hosting a socially-distanced sidewalk chat with visitors on Saturday, Nov 7th from 2-4pm
As we emerge slowly from the pandemic lockdown, we see New York City storefronts in various stages of development,
from fully open, to provisionally boarded up with wood and cardboard, to empty and labelled with "For Rent" signs.“ We also see street art both sanctioned and unsanctioned, signals of the city’s eternal creative life. The storefronts of New York have become markers of the city’s hidden (or, sadly, past) life behind closed doors. For 601’s storefront, we present a new way of marking place using the architecture itself. We have created intricate drawings that trace the contours of the windows’ usual reflection from across Eldridge Street. Over the last few years, Kevin has developed a large scale software driven plotter that deploys traditional art materials (in this case ballpoint pen) to translate source photography into crazily detailed line drawings. In this manner, we render photos of the facing facade into a “Paper Mirror”.
This project extends our use of technology in our collaborations in various ways. One common idea in many of our projects is to record, stream, or include images of the site in which the artwork is presented. In our work, technology serves as a mediator between the human and the world, and as an active force which not only shapes its material but reframes the entire project of what we choose to see. Often, we find that lived experience outstrips available modes of presentation and discourse. By inserting a technical layer of mediation we can often reinscribe the feeling of surprise usually only available through chance encounters.
Jennifer & Kevin McCoy’s multimedia artworks examine the genres and conventions of filmmaking, memory and language. They are well known for constructing subjective databases of narrative material and making fragmentary miniature film sets with lights, video cameras, and moving sculptural elements to create live cinematic events. The McCoys' work has been widely exhibited in the US and internationally - their exhibitions include the Pompidou Center, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, BFI (British Film Institute) Southbank in London, Hanover Kunstverein, The Beall Center in Irvine, CA, pkm Gallery in Beijing, The San Jose Museum of Art, Palazzo della Papesse, The Addison Museum of American Art, The Sundance Film Festival, and Artists Space in New York. Their work can be seen in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the 21C Museum, and the Speed Museum. They received a Creative Capital award in 2003, the Wired Rave Award for Art in 2005, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011, a Headlands Alumni Award in 2014, and a Tow Foundation Award in 2018. Their work is represented by Postmasters Gallery in New York and Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA.
Images: Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Paper Mirror, 2020. Ballpoint pen on paper. Courtesy of 601Artspace / Photograph by Etienne Frossard.