Well folks it's officially that time of year again. The 11th Annual Art Under the Bridge Festival officially gets underway this Friday, September 28th through Sunday, September 30 here in Brooklyn, New York.
Dumbo Arts Center, the Festival’s Producer is anticipating over 150,000 visitors again this year. Sixty new art works will be scattered throughout the neighborhood, while 158 private studios will open to the public. Exhibitions will run in sixteen different venues.
The hood's already buzzing with art galleries filling every last space and a palpable sense of creative preparation in the air. The event is the single largest urban forum for experimental art in the United States, transforming this distinctive waterfront neighborhood of DUMBO into a multi-sensory public art arena.
Brooklyn Art Project is a proud sponsor of the 11th Annual Art Under the Bridge Festival. We'll be opening our studios to the public during the festival and featuring the work of select members to be announced this week as well as the three winning submissions from our Battle for Brooklyn where members submitted 100 entries then voted which would go on to show in Brooklyn. Winners included Stool Nude - By Raphe, Hello Friend by John W. Golden, and New Ballard Fashion, by Jane Yohnson.
///// VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
If you're an artist, a great way to get out there and network is to volunteer for the event. Dumbo Arts Center is still accepting volunteers so if you're interested call them ASAP at 718.694.0831 or via email at email@example.com.
///// 2007 FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
MOST POPULAR 2007 ARTIST THEME - GREEN
If the pick of each year is a barometer of the prevailing cultural climate, then the GREEN theme probably wins for 2007, manifest both in the use of recycled materials and eco-conscious strategies.
* In a performance piece titled Transform Jackson Martin breathes new life into a pick-up truck, reincarnated as a mobile greenhouse.
* Chicken Invasion '07 is a metaphor for the stigmatization of immigrants, where Alfonso Munoz recycles plastic bags and bottles to fabricate the chickens.
* Eve Mosher's High Water Line draws attention to global warming in a projected flood mark drawn in chalk along the Brooklyn Waterfront.
* Smudge Studio explores the aesthetics and efficiency of sustainability with The Poetics of Night Soil, an interactive art piece consisting of a functional outdoor composting toilet.
* Myk Henry and Cynthia Ruse encourage festival-goers to waltz along a lush grass sidewalk and on Sunday afternoon, take a sod-to-go for planting at home.
* Independent curator, Aniko Erdosi curates, Remarks from Yesterday for Tomorrow, a group show of young Hungarians at 111 Front Street, which includes a recycling station, where visitors can create their own handbag or notebook from used fruit juice cartons and street ad vinyl.
OTHER 2007 POPULAR ARTIST THEMES - SEX / IDENTITY / GENDER
Running a close second to the theme of GREEN, issues of SEX, IDENTITY and GENDER surface in other projects.
* Dumbo Arts Center hosts Sex in the City, a group exhibition by independent curator, Dean Daderko. In conjunction with the gallery show, Daderko presents, Third Sex-y, in the loading dock of 45 Main Street: an evening of debauchery, celebratory, revelatory, queer uproar and mixed media mélange of video, performance, poetry and full-on entertainment from a surprise cast.
* At 111 Front Street, independent curator, Felicity Hogan, will present Rashaad Newsome and Duran Jackson, two artists whose common denominator is an exploration of black identity in popular culture and contemporary society. Using performance, installation, video and digital technology, both artists harness the language of gesture, choreographed actors and specific use of male and female performers.
* With Party Dress in the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dana and Karla Karwas show how a party dress is meant to be worn: waist-clinching, corseted gowns, monumental in scale, with skirts so vast they provide a tent for a chamber music ensemble. The music pavilion is "worn" by six women, seamlessly injecting architecture into fashion in its use of body as space. Step under the skirts, taste a sweet cupcake and enjoy the music...
* Visitors can hop on a water taxi at the Fulton Ferry Landing and travel as far as the Manhattan Bridge and back to enjoy long-running favorite, Project Glo, art works, which illuminate the East River waterfront. After sparkling success in 2006, chandelier artist, NATSU, returns to outdo the Manhattan skyline with thousands of sequins.
* Watch out for members of Caitlin Berrigan's Smelling Committee, who have to make their way blindfold through Dumbo via nothing, but their sense of smell in a new category we're calling the Conceptual Tour Guide.
* A car's blinking taillight will reveal a self-referential coded message in Zach Gold's hilarious nighttime projection, The Sun Shines Out of Our Behinds.
* Numerous Simultaneous Projections will be lighting up the night on facades in Dumbo. Public art collaborative, Illegal Art, mastermind of the recent highly popular interactive Post-It project on Front Street, will present a new project, which invites Dumbo residents and visitors to participate in discovering the value of the neighborhood's past, present and future as an active and creative community.
* In a live presentation by international artist Vitaly Komar, co-founder (with Alex Melamid) of an elephant art academy in Thailand, the fresh-out-of-art school elephant, Dondi, swings her massive trunk and demonstrates her artistic prowess (sponsored by Two Trees Management Inc.)
* For more international exotic flavor, The Hungarian Cultural Center challenges national and international artists to interpret Hungary's national dish, Stuffed Cabbage, at street vendor style carts along Water Street.
* At 81 Front Street, Caspar Stracke and Gabriella Monroy, present a new showcase of cutting edge, contemporary video art including a special program from Seoul and Pusan, South Korea and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
* Saturday, Sept. 29th and Sunday, Sept. 30th, 1:00-6:00 pm: hundreds of artists welcome the public into their studio spaces to get a behind the scenes look at the old factory buildings, where artists have been flourishing for decades. Smack Mellon will feature seven current Artists-in-Residence in their recently relocated basement studios.
FESTIVAL KICK-OFF: SEX, TRIANGLES AND CAROUSELS
* Friday, September 28, 6-9 pm: Sex and the City, curated by Dean Daderko, at the Dumbo Arts Center along with openings at 111 Front Street (special projects by independent curators, Aniko Erdosi and Felicity Hogan); Smack Mellon, LAND (League Artists Natural Design); Nelson Hancock Gallery; Gleason's Gym and Robert Martin Designs.
* Triangle Arts Association will be celebrating its 25th anniversary with an Alumni Exhibition, including artists dating as far back as the organization's inception in 1982.
* Jane's Carousel: Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30, noon-4 pm: Jane Walentas' fully-restored 48-horse carousel, constructed in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and unveiled at last year's festival, will be operating again this year. All rides @ $1.00. Proceeds will be generously donated to the Dumbo Arts Center.