Due North

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  • The Icebox
  • January 9-26, 2014
  • Closing Party: January 24, 2014 (7pm gallery walkthrough / 8pm The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra)
  • Wed - Sat 12-6PM
  • Free & Open To The Public

Due North is an international collaboration envisioned by artist-curator Marianne Bernstein. In January 2014, the Icebox Project Space in Philadelphia (one of the largest independent exhibition venues in the city) will be transformed into a winterscape featuring video and prints created by selected artists from Philadelphia and Reykjavik. New works will be presented as the result of a series of group expeditions and residencies in Iceland. Due North marks the debut of Philagrafika Projects. This is a new venture for Philagrafika, which brought the 2010 Festival to Philadelphia, marking a groundbreaking international dialogue within contemporary print practices.

The main theme and critical exploration for Due North is a re-imagining of the idea of north: whether romantic or treacherous, uncharted or familiar. “North” is a space upon which we project our desire for raw wilderness, for solitude, and the terrifying beauty of the sublime. Both real and imagined, Iceland, from an outsider’s perspective is viewed as exotic, mythical and supernatural.

The American participants will take cues from their Icelandic counterparts, opening themselves to qualities found at the very heart of Icelandic art making: a wild independence, reverence for untamed nature, ancient and intimate links to the sea, a sense of mystery and unquiet stillness in everyday life, and paradoxical qualities of the land (black and white; fire and ice).

Curator Marianne Bernstein has selected the participating American artists: Katie Baldwin, Shawn Bitters, Diane Burko, Marianne Dages, Cindi Ettinger, Katya Gorker, John Heron, David Kessler, Kelsey Halliday Johnson, Rebeca Méndez, Serena Perrone, Paul Soulellis, and Julia Staples. Each artist works with significant environmental, historical, and personal elements of the landscape.

Icelandic artist Rúrí met with the participating US artists in Philadelphia in late February. For Due North, Rúrí will be creating large-scale cartographic works of America and Iceland for her ongoing series “Future Cartography.” Made in collaboration with the geographer Gunnlaugur M. Einarsson, her maps project the future shorelines of our planet, exploring the grave threats to ocean levels and global ice reserves.

The following Icelandic artists have also been selected: Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir, Kristinn Hrafnsson, Kolbeinn Hugi, Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir, Haraldur Jónsson, Ragnar Kjartansson, Erling T.V. Klingenberg, Anna Hrund Másdóttir, Mundi, Rúrí, Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir, and Magnus Sigurðarson.

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Closing Party:

January 24, 2014 at the Icebox Project Space

7pm – Gallery walkthrough with curator Marianne Bernstein and exhibiting Due North artists.

8pm – The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra play a live score to the 20 x 92 foot video installations by Rebeca Mendez and David Kessler in collaboration with Katya Gorker. Accompanied by an opening performance by Jeff Zeigler and followed by the Data Garden record release performance for Ben Warfield’s debut album.

Please join Due North for the closing party of our exhibition, which united over 13 American artists with 13 Icelandic artists in a groundbreaking international artistic dialogue. At 7pm, curator Marianne Bernstein and participating artists will host a gallery walkthrough, revealing personal anecdotes about their travel experiences along with insight into their work and studio practices. This gallery talk will be followed by three musical performances and the Data Garden record release party for “Songs of Light & Dust.”

American Due North artists had the unique opportunity to explore the extreme shifts and phenomena in light that makes the Icelandic landscape remarkable. For this event, curator Marianne Bernstein is pleased to join forces with record label and producer Data Garden for an evening of related musical performances. Ben Warfield, a photonic researcher in the field of lighting and human health, examines how light impacts our psyche and bodies, with direct applications for astronauts. His interest in light, the cosmos, and our perceptions of the world around us inform his musical practice and have lead to his debut album of soft synths and sonic grooves on the Data Garden label entitled “Songs of Light & Dust.”

Warfield also contributes to the improvisatory musical collective The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, joined by musicians John Pettit, Gretchen Lohse, Jesse Sparhawk, Laura Baird, and Michael Dur who collectively scored the film for Due North artist David Kessler. The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra will be playing a live score to Kessler’s film “Lopi: a Traveler’s Saga in Four Divinations” and other orchestral ambient ruminations alongside the video installation of artist Rebeca Mendez entitled “Circumsolar, Migration 1”. The music that accompanies these video pieces were part of the Icelandic collaboration of the project, with David Kessler featuring Icelandic vocalist Silla from múm alongside the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra and Rebeca Mendez collaborating with Icelandic composer Ben Frost. Both pieces will be on view with the scored recordings during the gallery walkthrough at 7pm.

Opening the evening will be a musical performance by renowned Philadelphia musician, audio engineer and producer Jeff Zeigler. His musical projects include Relay, Arc in Round, and solo and collaborative performances alongside his audio work as Uniform Recording (producing the likes of Kurt Vile, Purling Hiss, Clockcleaner, the War on Drugs, and many more). An audio tech guru, Zeigler will begin the evening with synths and experimental sounds that are sure to please.

Beverages provided by Due North’s generous sponsor, Victory Brewing Company.

Data Garden is a journal and record label encouraging the discovery of electronic music through the windows of history, science and community. Ben Warfield’s album “Songs of Light & Dust” will be available for purchase after the show. Donations for performing artists welcome.

Due North has been made possible by the Independence Foundation, Crane Arts, Pennsylvania Council of the Arts PPA Project Stream Grants, Philagrafika, and PECO.

More info: www.duenorth2014.com

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