Systems Entwined

Blood Memory: Genesis and Han, 2020-2021. 2-channel HD video by A young Yu in collaboration with Nicholas Oh.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is pleased to present Systems Entwined, a group exhibition curated by Christie Neptune, a former artist-in-residence of the LES Studio Program, through which this exhibition is made possible.

In Systems Entwined, visual artists Luba Drozd, Antonia Kuo, Keisha Scarville, and A young Yu examine a collision of systems within natural and built environments. In a multidisciplinary exposition of works across photography, video, sculpture, performance, and sound, each artist explores disintegration that reimagines and subverts logical thinking. Artificial forms superimposed on natural environments collapse binary divisions in space. Unorthodox processes yield fragmentation that distorts and repurposes ordinary objects and surfaces. Each work is anchored by a subversive methodology that destabilizes time and meaning to produce contemplative terrains which evoke a range of associations from transcendent spirituality to the immaterial and abstract.

In rs180223 (G; T), (2021), Luba Drozd utilizes piano strings, Arduino, steel sheets and beams, motors, glass architecture, and single-channel projections to build a site-specific sound and animation installation within the gallery. A pre-programmed Arduino regulates sound amplified by vibrating piano strings, small motors, and steel sheets. 3D animations projected refract and echo the architectural elements within the space. The process produces a holographic effect that creates visible shadows and new pockets of perception within the gallery.  Drozd’s work conveys a collision of systems that re-orient architecture through repetition, the offset of materials, sound, and vision parallax.

Antonia Kuo’s chemical paintings on light-sensitive silver gelatin paper, Filament 1 and Filament 2 (2021), utilizes a hybrid of alternative photographic and printmaking processes. The works are permutations rendered through a shifting methodology, chance actions, and development. Kuo’s process yields an emphasis on materiality and the artist’s hand; through resists, incisions, silkscreen, masking materials, and varied applications of chemistry, unique abstractions are created in dialogue with the transitory and degenerative. Kuo’s works are subject to elements of time as they are impermanent, in flux, and undergo successive transformations from their original state.

Keisha Scarville’s photographic series, Mama’s Clothes (2018), investigates the materiality of absence. In Scarville’s photographs, her late mother’s clothing serves as a surrogate link between the physical and the spiritual world. Patterned fabric superimposed on natural landscapes, and the body collapses space to highlight symmetries hidden within microcosmic and macrocosmic structures. This collapse produces a contemplative terrain where Scarville can engage in the process of healing–one that conjures and memorializes the spirit of her late mother.

A young Yu’s two-part performance-based film, Blood Memory: Genesis and Han (2020-2021), made in collaboration with Nicholas Oh,  reimagines Korean folklore and pre-colonial spiritual practices to reflect personal and Asian American perspectives. In Genesis, Yu utilizes organic ingredients to construct an immersive environment that serves as a sanctuary for new rituals. Movement documented through a series of slow-moving images in Han channels an ancient ritual performance rooted in pre-Buddhist shamanic religions. Yu’s work transgresses older traditions, regenerating them within diasporic contexts through methods of disruption. Reclaiming her heritage language, she creates new narratives and rituals that meditate on belonging, trauma, and migration.

Luba Drozd is an installation artist working with site-specific sound, 3D animation, and sculpture. She is the recipient of the NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship in Digital and Electronic Arts, MacDowell Fellowship, Yaddo Residency, Millay Colony Residency, Pioneer Works Technology Residency, BRIC Media Arts Fellowship, a grant from Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Her installations are commissioned by and exhibited at such institutions as the Hessel Museum of Art, Knockdown Center, and Bronx Museum. She received a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from Bard College.

Antonia Kuo is an interdisciplinary artist working with photography, film, sculpture, drawing, painting, and printmaking. She received an MFA from Yale University, her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and  Tufts University, and a one-year certificate from the School of the International Center of Photography under the Alan L. Model Grant. Antonia was awarded the Robert and  Stephanie Olmsted Award as a MacDowell Colony Fellow, as well as fellowships at  Mass MoCA, The Banff Centre, Center for Photography at Woodstock, The Vermont  Studio Center, and Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. Her work has exhibited internationally at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA PS1,  Eyebeam, Microscope Gallery, Pioneer Works, and the Knockdown Center in New  York; the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in Montreal; and the West Bund Art  Fair in Shanghai, among others. Her work is in private collections and the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art and Centre Pompidou.

Christie Neptune has a B.A. in Visual Arts from Fordham University. Her films and photography have been included in shows at BASS Museum, (Miami, FL); Tilton Gallery, (New York, NY);  The University of Massachusetts Boston, (Boston, MA); and Rubber Factory, (New York, NY) among others. Her work has been featured in publications including Artforum, The New York Times, Hyperallergic, and The Washington Post. Neptune has been awarded the Bronx Museum of the Arts: Artist in Marketplace (AIM), Smack Mellon Studio Residency, NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Arts, and Light Work Artist-in-Residence among others.

Keisha Scarville is a lens-based and mixed media artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been widely exhibited, including the Studio Museum of Harlem, ICA Philadelphia, The Brooklyn Museum, Syracuse Lightwork, Lesley Heller Gallery, Higher Pictures Generation, and Baxter Street CCNY. She has participated in artist residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Lightwork, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program, Stoneleaf, BRIC Workspace, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In addition, her work has appeared in publications including Vice, Transition, Nueva Luz, Small Axe, Oxford American, The Village Voice, Hyperallergic, and The New York Times where her work has also received a critical review. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the International Center of Photography and Parsons School of Design.

A young Yu received her MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University. She was awarded an artist fellowship at the Bronx Museum of the Arts: Artist in the Marketplace (AIM); Gold Prize by the AHL-T&W Foundation, Individual Artist Fellowship by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation; and was nominated for the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s Emerging Artist Grant. Her work has been exhibited at venues such as Times Square Space, New York, NY; Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL; LeRoy Neiman Gallery, New York, NY; Jewish Museum, New York, NY; Vermont Studio Center, New York, NY. Her work was also featured in the Christie’s Educational annual journal.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is located inside Essex Market, which is fully accessible by ADA standards. The gallery can be accessed from any ground floor entrance. Cuchifritos Gallery welcomes assistance dogs and has wheelchair-accessible restroom facilities on the lower level and 2nd floor, which can be accessed by the east-side elevator. For access inquiries please contact Artists Alliance at info@artistsallianceinc.org or (212) 420-9202.

Artists Alliance Inc. is 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos Gallery is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Exhibition programming is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc for their continued support. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers and interns, without whom this program would not be possible.