T O ______ B R I D G E S ______ is pleased to present solo exhibitions by Indrė Šerpytytė and Richard Osterweil, with a video work by Achraf Touloub.
Calling upon viewers to contextualize figures obscured, absent and relocated in narratives of legacy, each artist distinctly manipulates the image frame to challenge our experience with history and its connection to today.
In the film Reflections (on attitude), 2014, Paris-based artist Achraf Touloub (b. 1986, Casablanca) films his own back while walking and running on a treadmill set on a deserted Berlin street. Cropped tightly so his torso fills the entire frame, a disorienting landscape with a familiar, looping rhythm unfolds. Wrapped in a black track jacket, the artist keeps pace on the machine as the dark nylon contracts and expands continually, his wardrobe adopting the same mechanical behavior as his own. Direct sunlight plays on the black jacket, creating variations within the dark monochromatic tone -- real-time experience, movement functioning as pigment. In a hypnotic portrait of routine and rigor, he demonstrates the penetrating impact of habit in thought and action.
Richard Osterweil’s (b. 1953, New York) Monet Studio series from 1983-1984 peers into the master’s empty Giverny atelier. Through each portal, the encapsulating architecture and strewn objects repeat, while inhabitants have wandered out of frame. The lens through which Osterweil gazes away from the scene’s protagonist is tinted by the same pale, pastel tones found in the subject’s masterpieces. The two painters share Monet’s joyous fascination with the lush world immediately surrounding him, though Osterweil seems not to prefer the natural one. His innocent voyeurism bathes the intimate space of the French Impressionist in a curious reverence for solitude, an airy spin on the gravitas usually associated with the realm of genius.
Lithuania’s Grutas Park controversially houses monuments of Soviet hegemons relocated from their original positions in the formerly communist country’s civic centers. Through a research-based practice combining original and archived imagery with commissioned audio narrative, Indrė Šerpytytė (b. 1983, Palanga, Lithuania) investigates her country’s turbulent past as part of the Soviet Union in Pedestals, 2016. By physically layering images sourced from historical archives atop her own photographs of reconstituted monuments in Grutas Park, she generates paradox in single statues once representing heroism and solidarity, that are now innocuous, somewhat shameful relics. Šerpytytė collaborated with a professional narrator specializing in film and television descriptions for the blind who recounts footage the artist compiled of celebrating citizens dismantling monuments after the fall of the Soviet Union. The soundtrack supports the arrangement of her wallworks -- the audio recording of these back-to-back rituals of symbolic change bridges the photographs in the surrounding pairs, suggesting how one begot the other.
Located in the South Bronx, T O ______ B R I D G E S ______ features two main entrances accessible by roll-up gates. One contains a 60 square-foot project space open to the street entitled Overhead, and behind the other lies Practical Arts, a workshop dedicated to community based educational initiatives. In the rear of the building, two galleries exist side-by-side, programmed bi-monthly.