Image designed by Anna Kenneth for Presence

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space and Residency Unlimited (RU) are pleased to present the summer group show Presence, featuring works realized by RU artists-in-residence Jakub Choma (Czech Republic), Fernanda Feher (Brazil), Hamza Kirbas (Turkey), Enxhi Mehmeti (Germany/Kosovo), and Andrew M. Mezvinsky (Austria/US).

Presence examines literal, conceptual, and metaphorical representations of the human. In Choma’s video, the human is at the limit of exhaustion in a threshold space situated between a final defeat and an opening into the realm of new possibilities. The viewer travels into a haptic delirium through wormholes, phantom tricks, and feedback loops, with quotations by Vaida Stepanovaite that respond to the cultural and political presence(s) of post-socialism.

Feher’s paintings challenge the reality of the known by transposing familiar subjects such as friends and family into unnatural and surreal settings. Here, she explores the unspoken rules of “dating” in human behavior which she humorously likens to mating dances performed by birds that she has seen in documentaries by David Attenborough. 

Mehmeti explores the power within humans to deal with innocence and danger, and the hide and seek strategies resulting from this dynamic. In delicately rendered works on paper, the artist aims to reveal who is able to show face and who is not, whilst conjuring the phantastic.  Mehmeti likens this endeavor to “a love letter to the underestimated.”

In his 3D animations, Kirbas evokes a society that is increasingly insensitive to the detriment of the individual. In his depictions of imaginary figures, the artist’s intention is to activate the viewers’ social identity and reflect upon their perception of themselves in relation to historical memory; in other words, their sense of belonging within a group with a common culture. 

Mezvinsky addresses ethics of care by creating situations that can be seen as mini atmospheres in which everyday objects and figures are altered or detached from their natural function. In his practice, he employs labor-intensive processes that can be seen explicitly as a personal exorcism ritual, saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés, and bad jokes.

Jakub Choma is the winner of the 2020 Jindrich Chalupecky Award in  Czech Republic. His work addresses the aesthetics of digital waste with an emphasis on the material nature of the seemingly immaterial virtual environment.

Fernanda Feher is a multimedia artist who subverts traditional portraiture by placing subjects in fantastic, sometimes impossible landscapes heavy with symbolism. Women and nature are a main focus.

Hamza Kırbaş views his artistic practice as a communication model between space, time and the audience. His subjects are taken from daily life and explore links between past,  future and present.

Andrew M. Mezvinsky works in a variety of media and appropriated materials borrowed from a day-to-day context. He creates situations in which everyday objects are altered or detached from their natural function.

Enxhi Mehmeti is the winning artist of the 2021 Artist of Tomorrow Award in Prishtina, Kosovo. Her drawings, sound, and assemblage works conjure and make visible the phantastic as an act of  “patience and affection”. 

Residency Unlimited (RU) supports the creative process of local, US-based, and international artists and curators at all stages of their careers through its unique, customized residencies and year-round public programs. Collaboration and partnership are at the heart of our mission, an approach that promotes inclusivity and lasting connections among RU’s growing global network.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space exhibition programming is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. This exhibition benefits from the support of The Trust for Mutual Understanding, as well as private sponsors. Artists Alliance Inc.’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.