Marcy Freedman

Featuring Marcy B. Freedman and Marcy Sue Freedman
with resident artists Peter Coffin and Xylor Jane

Curated by Anthony Marcellini

Exhibition dates: February 10 through March 7, 2007
Opening reception: Saturday, February 10, 2007, 4 to 6pm

Having the same name as another artist is never easy. In a field in which establishing an idiosyncratic vision is crucial, the prospect of having your artwork, personal statements, CV, or bio mistaken for another’s is vexing. This duplicity is made even more complicated and public through the expansive yet undiscerning World Wide Web, where names are easily searchable but identity is always indeterminate. A friend, having done some research on your practice might remark, I had no idea you had a Master’s degree from Princeton, or I didn’t realize you have shown so extensively in Europe. Eliciting the slightly envious reply that unfortunately, your friend had confused you with someone else.

Marcy Sue Freedman and Marcy B. Freedman have never met, but because they share the same name, they have known about each other for as long as they have been exhibiting. They have casually followed the progress of each other’s work and careers through misdirected searches, mistakes by friends and colleagues, and just plain curiosity.

This exhibition titled Marcy Freedman is their meeting point. It brings together the studio work of these two artists along with their social practices as a way of sharing, integrating and complicating aesthetic practices and personal histories.

For Marcy Freedman, Marcy Sue Freedman, an artist and cultural producer, will present two delicate works in the gallery: a photograph composed from sculptures created by pouring liquid candy, and a small sculpture conveying a sense of lightness and ephemerality. She will also present two new works by two artists, Peter Coffin and Xylor Jane, created through a supplemental New York City edition of Drawing In Residence.

Drawing In Residence is a program Marcy has produced since 1999, in which she invites an artist to her home or an auxiliary site to collaborate on a drawing with her in exchange for a home cooked meal. All the drawings are then archived and exhibited as part of the Drawing In Residence collection.
Marcy B. Freedman is a performance artist, video artist, art historian and teacher. She will present 2 video works in the gallery dealing with the communication and understanding of contemporary art. Then at the gallery on Saturday, February, 17, 2007, at 3:00pm, Marcy B. Freedman will give a presentation on the DrawingInResidence program, relating the work of the invited artists to Marcy Sue Freedman’s work, her own history and art history.

Artists’ statements

“I met Marcy Freedman when I was in Art school in San Francisco. We were both attending a graduate course taught by a famous artist who was a visiting faculty member that year. We hung out one night after class and bonded over a couple of drinks. We talked about art, our class together and a project that Marcy had just begun: Drawing in Residence. For this program, Marcy would invite an artist to create a drawing in exchange for a home cooked meal. Later that night we went to a rave.

After Marcy graduated, she moved to L.A. I went down to visit her there one spring with a friend. She agreed to let us stay in the living room of her apartment, despite our aimless state of mind having just graduated from Art School with no plans. She endured us, when  we came home drunk in the middle of the night,   when we carelessly left the door to her apartment open all day, and when we thoughtlessly drank all of her roommate’s Israeli coffee. She playfully chided us with the epithet “The 21 Year Olds”. On another occasion, when we came home at three in the morning, Marcy was still awake. We asked her to make food for us, which she agreed to do, as long as we would make a drawing for her and formalize this exchange as part of the Drawing Residency. We made some drawings with ink on paper, but were not satisfied with them, So, we decided to use the Thomas Guide. The Thomas Guide is a book with detailed maps of LA County, which has an almost biblical power for the LA native, because it helps one to navigate the streets and freeways of this car-dependent city. Marcy had loaned it to us for the week, with a daily warning that we were not to damage it and should be especially careful of the front page, which was the key to all the maps. So, for our drawing, we decided to rip out the front page and write on it ‘Marcy’s most important page,’ thereby sealing the exchange.”

“I met Marcy Freedman while working at Art in General.  She had submitted an application to the commissions program. After learning that her proposal had not been selected, she decided to attend an informal meeting to speak with a staff member.  I was the staff member who spoke with Marcy. We talked about her proposal and her other projects. I mentioned that I knew another artist named Marcy Freedman. At the end of the meeting, she invited me to visit Peekskill, the town in which her studio is located and the site of a thriving art scene.

Half a year later, I accepted her invitation. I came up to Peekskill to experience Dead of Winter, a project presented by The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA). Marcy met me and and my friend at the Peekskill train station. She took us to the  HVCCA museum to get information about Dead of Winter, then to an exhibition space above a theater for which she had curated a couple of projects, and finally to a commercial gallery where she occasionally shows her work. She then left us to tour the artworks, promising to meet us later for dinner.

When we finished the tour, I met Marcy and other people from the Peekskill art-world for dinner at a bar by the Hudson River.  After we sat down ordered food and drinks, a blues band began to set up in front of us. The band was good — but so loud that any spoken conversation was out of the question. Rather than leave the bar and speak outside, Marcy and I decided to communicate by writing in a small notebook that I had brought with me. Passing the notebook back and forth, we wrote to each other about our family history, our ideas of home and how and why we got involved in art. Before we said goodbye, I told her about my idea for this show.”