Fragmented Imaginaries: Sarah Anderson, Rachel Guardiola, Emily Oliveira, Macon Reed, Victoria-Idongesit Undonian



Macon Reed, Still from All The World Must Suffer A Big Jolt, 2016

July 21 - August 6, 2017

Opening Reception: July 29, 2017, 3-5pm
Open Studios Weekend: July 29 & 30, 2017, 12-5pm

Fragmented Imaginaries presents works by the first round of artists participating in the 2017 A.I.R. Summer Residency at Governors Island. Sarah Anderson, Rachel Guardiola, Emily Oliveira, Macon Reed, and Victoria-idongesit Undonian share an interest in exploring the breaks within contemporary conditions and historical events. The included artworks manifest as artifacts of another present –  amalgamations of both real and imagined pasts – to express the slippage between fact and fiction, and the past, present, and future.


Hours: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12-5 pm
Location: House 4A, Nolan Park, Governor's Island, NY

Panel Discussion: Thinking Beyond Limits - Age, Culture and Economics

Wednesday, July 26th, 6:30-8pm

A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth Street, NY 11201


Jayanthi Moorthy, Moving Through His Body, 2016Archival pigment print on paper. 

This panel will discuss limits we have imposed on ourselves through various ways and how they have shaped our personal practices. 


Srinivas Kaushik, partner, Kirkland and Ellis LLP, New York


Candy Argondizza, chef, educator, and triathlete. Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts, International Culinary Center, New York

Daria Dorosh, artist, fashion researcher (SMARTlab, University College Dublin), former educator (FIT & Parsons, New York). Co-founder of A.I.R. Gallery

Loreen Oren, architect, Ismael Levya Architects, New York

Jayanthi Moorthy, artist, freelance graphic & communication designer and educator (Abron Arts Center, New York).


Intersectional feminism: histories, strategies, and imagined futures

Join us on Friday, July 7th at 7pm for Intersectional feminism: histories, strategies, and imagined futures, a conversation with artist luciana achugar, writer Laina Dawes, artist Michelle Young Lee, and poet Candace Williams, organized by A.I.R. Fellowship artist Naomi Elena Ramirez.

This event is being held in conjunction with Ramirez's first solo show in NYC. A Dangerous Body is on view at A.I.R. from June 29 - July 30, 2017.


In response to the feminist foundation and history of the A.I.R Gallery project, with the intention of provoking rigorous examination of how now established feminist organizations, individuals, and cooperatives can continue to respond to vectors of oppression and bias, fellowship artist Naomi Elena Ramirez has organized a conversation on Intersectional Feminism with artist luciana achugar, writer Laina Dawes, artist Michelle Y Lee, and poet Candace Williams.

Intersectionality, a term coined by scholar and civil rights advocate Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, describes how overlapping systems of oppression create experiences that differ from a single-axis framework.  The intersectional framework holds that multidimensional basis of gender, race, social class, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, age, mental disability, physical disability, mental illness, physical illness, and other forms of discrimination must be examined and considered in simultaneity in order to respond to the complex formations of social inequalities. 


luciana achugar is a Brooklyn-based choreographer from Uruguay who has been making work independently and collaboratively since 1999. She is a two-time “Bessie” Award recipient, a Guggenheim Fellow, Creative Capital Grantee and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grantee, amongst other accolades. Most recently she received the 2017 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for Dance.  She was one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2012 and her Bessie Award-winning work PURO DESEO was named one of 2010 TimeOUT NY’s “Best of Dance”. She received the 2015 Austin Critic’s Award for Best Touring work for OTRO TEATRO, after being presented at the Fusebox Festival, and having premiered in 2014 at the Walker Art Center and NYLA. Her latest work, An Epilogue for OTRO TEATRO: True Love, premiered at Gibney Dance in December 2015 and was nominated for a 2016 BESSIE Award for Outstanding Production. Follow her new process as well as her ongoing The Pleasure Project on Instagram @achugarluciana.

Laina Dawes is the author of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal (Bazillion Points Books, 2012). A music and cultural critic, her writings and photography can be found in various print, online publications and radio programs, such as The Wire (UK), Fader, Decibel Bitch, MTV Iggy, NPR, Cuepoint (Medium) and Bandcamp.  Laina has been invited to several colleges and universities as a guest lecturer and has spoken at a number of music and academic conferences in Canada and the United States. She also served as an adjunct Lecturer at Eugene Lang College / The New School. This fall, Laina will start her second year in Columbia University’s Ph.D. program in Ethnomusicology.

Michelle Young Lee (b. 1981, Los Angeles California) is an interdisciplinary visual artist. Her works have been featured in international exhibitions, festivals and magazines including Hearing Landscapes Critically at Harvard University, Boston, MA; 80 WSE Gallery, NYC, New York;  the Pingyao Photography Festival, Pingyao, China; 2013 Philosophy and Arts Conference,  NYC, New York;  Boda Center for Visual Arts, Seoul, South Korea; Museo Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico City, Mexico; Sala Rekalde, Bilbao Spain; Schindler House/MAK Center, Los Angeles, California; Wolgan Sajin: Monthly Photo Magazine Korea and Glamour Magazine, France.  Lee received her BFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2006 and MFA from New York University in 2013. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. 

Candace Williams’ poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Hyperallergic, Lambda Literary Review, and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press), among other places. Her first collection, Spells for Black Wizards, won the Atlas Review’s 2017 Chapbook Series. She’s earned an MA in Elementary Education from Stanford University, a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship, and scholarships from Cave Canem. She's performed, presented, and taught workshops at the Obie-winning Bushwick Starr Theater, the New Museum, Dixon Place, Eyebeam, and the Museum of Arts and Design.

Artist Emily Harris Investigates How A Body Imprints Itself On An Environment, and Vice Versa

We’re thrilled to announce that our former employee, Emily Harris, is featured in an article on The Huffington Post. Please see the article below!

Artist Emily Harris Investigates How a Body Imprints Itself on an Environment
Written by Jacqueline Bishop (Author, Artist, NYU Professor)

At first they were a nuisance: the long, thin pieces of thread that Emily Harris installed in a hallway as part of her thesis show. For the first few days I would continually walk into and become tangled up in the threads, and, truth be told, I felt that the threads were getting in my way. As the summer progressed, however, I got used to the presence of the threads in the hallway, and then there was a subtle shift, in that I could actually see the threads as they swayed or were still in the long, narrow hallway. Before long I started walking around the threads. And wouldn’t you know it, at the conclusion of Harris’s thesis show, when she took them down, I actually missed the long, slender, at first invisible, pieces of threads. And in this way Emily Harris had succeeded in not only making the invisible visible, but in doing what she had set out to do in her thesis work: show us how we as humans are activated by the environment around us.

Emily Harris was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and grew up on a large, rambling farm that would leave an indelible imprint upon her. “We lived in an old farmhouse that had woods in the back, wild turkeys about the yard, and a large garden. My sister and I had a lot of time to explore the woods and nature, and I guess this continues to show up in my work because I remain very interested in the collaboration between people and the environment,” Harris told me.

During high school she got very interested in photography and, through a chance encounter, took a photograph of three ducks on a river that heightened her appreciation even more of the environment. At Kenyon College as an art and philosophy major, her art practice would expand to include drawing, video and installation work. Her thesis show at Kenyon College was a video piece in which she investigated where in the body memories and images are kept. The work consisted of projections, video and audio pieces, and transparencies.

After graduating from Kenyon College, Harris worked at an aerial mapping company which furthered her appreciation for how the land was changing and transforming, due in large part to changing infrastructure and technology. “It was an interesting time for me doing this work, because technologies were rapidly changing and I felt as if I was straddling the analog and digital worlds.”

This straddling of worlds would help her enormously in the work that she was later to do.

Wanting a change from the life she had always known, and seeking more of an artistic community, in 2005 Emily Harris moved to New York City and started working at A.I.R Gallery — a female-run gallery that has been advocating for women in the arts since 1972. At A.I.R she not only met fantastic artists but her time at the gallery expanded her idea of what art could be. “Growing up in the Midwest and just coming out of undergrad, I confess that I had a pretty limited idea of what art could be,” she admitted. “At A.I.R I learned that art did not have to be something that was saleable. That realization alone changed so many things for me. What I saw and absorbed at A.I.R was that artists could get together through consensus and democratically run an organization. I also slowly started to get the idea out of my head that drawing had to look a certain way and had to be ‘elegant.’ All of that was exploded and I grew to love the work of artists that helped me challenge my own notions of what art could or should be.”

Harris would work at the gallery for five years, before branching out to work independently with artists whose work she admired. During that time she would take trips back to Minnesota, where she had more space to make the nature-based works that she was making. Among the works she made during this period was a series of quilt patterns painted onto plywood and mounted outside the three barns on her parents’ property. She also made papier-mâché structures, architectural pieces, and trails and maps. “These works were a way for me to go back home and make things that related directly to the space, and what I learned was that ideas of home and space are intricately linked for me.”

At about this time Harris decided to go back to graduate school, but for a long while she was unclear what to study. You see, in addition to being a visual artist, Harris is also a musician and had performed a lot by then. Oftentimes she would, in both her work as a visual artist and as a musician, fuse her installation practice and her performance-based work. In time she came to see what she was doing as a musician as another form of visual art work. Increasingly, she started to give central importance to her installation and visual art work because of its relationship to the body.

“In looking back, I guess I wanted more spaces of freedom. I was resenting the restrictions and constraints of what I call “totalitarian environments” and how I had to fit my body into a given space. The visual arts seemed the place I could best work out my ideas, and so I made a decision to commit to the visual arts in the form of a graduate program. I was interested in learning more about theory and being with people who felt that art was important. In addition, at that time I was just beginning to have an inclination that my body and my installation work were ‘drawings’, but this time I was drawing in space. I started looking for a program where I could work out and understand these ideas better.”

The program she eventually settled on was Maryland Institute College of Art’s low-residency MFAST Program. She liked the fact that this program was longer than most other MFA programs, taking place over four summers, with winter sessions in between, because she did not want to go to a program that she could hurry through very quickly. Interestingly enough, despite the length of the program, Harris remembers her first few semesters at MICA as being very anxious ones. “My first summer or two there, I produced a lot of work before I started realizing that making all that work all at once was not that beneficial to me. As I slowed down I started to hone in more on what I really wanted to examine, which was the relationship of a site to a body and how the body responds to the shape and organization of a site. In slowing down I came to realize that what I was really interested in was the mutual defining of body and site.”

Consequently, in her thesis show she used threads, strings, tape and clay to call attention to her investigations. As individuals moved through the installation of threads in a long hallway, the threads would move in relationship to the currents generated, and individuals would, hopefully, as it was in my case, come to realize how something so seemingly minuscule as a piece of thread made us more aware of our environment and our bodies and how we were affecting — and in turn were affected by — the environment. It was a delicate but thoroughly effective piece of work.

“Right now, this is very important to me because there is something going on where the body is being erased,” Harris explained. “Technology in our lives is so ever-present that I feel the need to reinsert the body that, to me, is being diminished by technology. We are losing body awareness. The mutual defining of body and environment is important because there are seemingly invisible things that are affecting us that we don’t pay enough attention to.

“The body can impart really meaningful information, like we see take place in REM sleep. But I wonder how much we pay attention to and trust our own experiences and our own bodies anymore? We turn to technology too often to understand what we are feeling, what we are thinking, what we are seeing. What I hope my work will force us to do is pay more attention to our bodies and at the same time pay more attention to our environment. I would like to see us pay more attention to what they both have to say, especially to each other.”

Until next time.