November 9, 2013 – January 19, 2014
New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens NY 11368
With the sixth iteration of Queens International, the Queens Museum’s signature biennial evolves into yet another phase. Taiwan-based Meiya Cheng, the first non-New York-based curator to participate, joins the Museum’s Hitomi Iwasaki on an exhibition emphasizing site-specificity as a collaborative practice between the curators and artists and their surroundings. As one of the inaugural exhibitions in the Museum’s expanded space, Queens International 2013 echoes the institution’s own hyperawareness of its new environs.
Reaching out to active producers both in and out of the visual arts, Queens International 2013 is composed of a number of event- and performance-based projects, including many off-site programs charged with idiosyncratic and unexpected insights and approaches. 38 artists and collaboratives stretch ideas and practices of cooperative creativity in surprising directions and degrees, between and among artists, Museum staff (beyond the curatorial team), outside organizations and other specialists. The results transgress the boundaries of disciplines beyond visual art practices – cinema, community engagement, music, open-forum discussion, guided touring, architecture, theatre, literature and food – mashing, matching and revitalizing all for wider accessibility and larger communication.
From community-based experimental art-sharing programs to specialized investigations into obscure local vernaculars, to seemingly conventional photographs and sculptural objects and performances that challenge the new Museum spaces, Queens International 2013 teems with ambitious artistries that challenge boundaries of media, methods, and concepts in current creative productions and museum practices alike. With a guided fishing trip in search of the invasive snakehead, a Queens/Brooklyn border walk, a pickling workshop, a Bulgarian women’s a capella choir, a do-it-yourself/together movie soundtrack performance, an participatory DJ performance, group drone-building workshop, paintings exhibited by way of video and live sound performance, an intercontinental duet concert via Skype, and a deconstructed theatrical play taking place simultaneously in multiple locations throughout the Museum spaces, the exhibition both energizes and escapes from the Museum’s new 105,000 sq. ft. home.
Parameters are further blurred, crossed, and reconsidered by Cheng’s fresh perspective on the borough of Queens today. Together with Iwasaki, Cheng has intensely surveyed the local artistic environment, and infused Queens International 2013 with artistic and socio-cultural parallels and counterpoints from her native Taiwan to examine how these distant places – Queens and Taiwan – define themselves and are defined by each other. To further explore this dynamic, for the first time, Queens International includes non-Queens-based artists, in this case a cohort of nine artists from Taiwan’s contemporary art scene. This group investigates the possibility of a community as the collective imagination of “a place” beyond geographical boundaries, societal and cultural divisions, and global conflicts over labor and capital. Video pieces address the intertwined themes of border control, cultural identity, and the ambiguity of language and translation, all issues germane to ongoing discourse in both contemporary Queens and Taiwan, while additional commissioned performances and site-related projects find the artists interpreting the historical and social context of the Museum and the borough as a whole.
Queens International 2013 participants include:
Nobutaka Aozaki; Art & The Commons: (David Andersson and Antonio Serna); Kevin Beasley; Jane Benson; Lynley Bernstein; Alberto Borea; Chang Chien-Chi; Michelle Marie Charles; Chen Chieh-jen; Chou Yu-Cheng; Deville Cohen; Bulgarian Collaborative: Joro Boro, Milena Deleva, Daniela Kostova/Mario Mohan, Vlada Tomova, Tushevs Aerials (Georgi and Nina Tushev), Meglena Zapreva; Jeff Feld; Flux Factory (Douglas Paulson and Christina Vassallo); Richard Garet; Wojciech Gilewicz; Joseph Heathcott; Hsu Chia-Wei; Zeynab Izadyar; Anna K.E.; Theatre 167/ Ari Laura Kreith; Siobhan Landry; Cheon Pyo Lee; Liu Ho-Jang; Luo Jr-shin; Alex White Mazzarella; Florian Meisenberg; Ander Mikalson; Nitin Mukul; Arthur Ou; Queens World Film Festival (Don and Katha Cato); Aida Šehović; Matthew Volz (and Juan Wauters with Carmelle Safdie); Fujui Wang; Kristof Wickman; Jun Yang; Yu Cheng-Ta, and Bryan Zanisnik.
Queens International 2013 is organized by guest curator Meiya Cheng and Hitomi Iwasaki, the Queens Museum’s Director of Exhibitions.
Queens International 2013 is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, La Guardia Corporation, Contemporary Art Foundation, Target, and Holosonic Research Labs, Inc. Additional funding provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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The Queens Museum is a local international art space in Flushing Meadows Corona Park with contemporary art, events and educational programs reflecting the diversity of Queens and New York City. The Museum presents the work of emerging and established artists, changing exhibitions that speak to contemporary urban issues, and projects that focus on the rich history of its site. In November 2013, the Museum opened its new space, a 105,000 square foot venue with a soaring sky lit atrium, suite of day lit galleries and improved flexible event space. Some highlights of the Queens Museum after its reopening include the Panorama of the City of New York, the 9,335 square foot scale model of the five boroughs, a reinstallation of the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, a new visible storage facility for the Museum’s collection of artifacts from the 1939 and 1964 New York World’s Fairs, and a new studio wing with nine artists studios. It also features a new exhibition in partnership with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection centered on the 1939 World’s Fair WPA model of the watershed and contemporary conservation efforts and the first show in the Shelley and Donald Rubin Exhibition Series, Citizens of the World: Cuba in Queens. The Museum seeks to exact positive change in surrounding communities through engagement initiatives ranging from the multilingual outreach and educational opportunities for adult immigrants, to the residency program, Corona Studio, which embeds artists in the local community. The Museum also conducts educational outreach tailored toward schoolchildren, teens, families, seniors as well as those individuals with physical and mental disabilities.
The Queens Museum is located on property owned in full by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided though the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The Museum’s hours are: Wednesday – Sunday: noon - 6 pm. Admission to the Museum is by suggested donation: $8 for adults, $4 for seniors, students and children, and free for members and children under 5. For general visitor information, please visit the Museum’s website or call 718.592.9700.