Natasha Johns Messenger: ThreeFold
El Museo de Los Sures
Brooklyn, New York
Curated by Melissa Bianca Amore
September 18–November 29, 2015
International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) and El Museo de Los Sures are pleased to present the first US solo exhibition of Australian-born artist, Natasha Johns-Messenger, who is an ISCP alumna now based in New York. The exhibition, titled ThreeFold, is curated by Melissa Bianca Amore, and presents an interactive installation that directly disrupts the spatial continuity and perceptual reading of the Los Sures space. The site, a street-level gallery on the ground floor of an apartment building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is the focus of the artist’s investigation, both as a subject and a pictorial object.
Furthering her study of phenomenology, spatial awareness and the psychology of perception, here Johns-Messenger creates a new site within the site, employing common architectural and perceptually charged materials: mirror, peepholes and live projections. The front room and entryway to Los Sures is transformed into a fully immersive structure of optical illusions into which visitors enter, seeing the space as an extension of the work. “The installation is ultimately about a window and a room, and the intermediary space between the two,” says Johns- Messenger. “My initial response to the space was to create a viewing corridor that extends the space from the inside back to the outside, with the aim of returning the viewer back to the point of entry.”
The back room of the gallery features new works in photography and digital painting, which extend Johns-Messenger’s investigations using light and space. Of the entire exhibition, curator Melissa Bianca Amore notes, “By physically modifying the spaces we occupy on a daily basis, Johns-Messenger de-stabilizes the body’s automated memory and perceptual orientation. The exhibition is not about a traditional art object or a single concept; rather it is a momentary encounter, designed to examine what it means to perceive and what it means to be awake in your own consciousness. These new works, LightBodies, extend the limitations of the space itself, beyond the physical or observable space, and into a mystifying simulated echo, appearing as an infinite horizon.”
About the artist:
Natasha Johns-Messenger was recently commissioned by Percent For Art and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs to produce Alterview, 2013 for Hunters Point HS/IS 404 Public School, New York; and her work will be the subject of a solo exhibition curated by Linda Michael at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Australia in 2016. Recent exhibitions include, Yellow, 2011, ACCA (The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art), Melbourne, Australia; Re-Collection, 2010, The Sixth Borough, No Longer Empty, Colonel’s Row, Governor’s Island, New York; Through to You, 2010, Keukenhof, The Netherlands Commission, Keukenhof; Of Water, 2008, GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art), Brisbane, Australia; ISCP Open Studio Exhibition, 2007, ISCP, New York; U-Turn, 2006, Glendale College Gallery, Glendale, Los Angeles; Zilverkamer (Silver-room) and Trappenhuis (Stairwell) Installations, 2007, Den Haag Scuulptur, Escher Museum, The Hague, The Netherlands; NEW06, 2006, at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia; Primavera, 2004, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Australia; and Drift, 2004, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth, Australia.
About the curator:
Melissa Bianca Amore is an international curator, art critic and independent scholar. Her primary area of exploration surrounds the study of phenomenology, interactive spatial aesthetics and the limitations of perceived space. Amore’s curatorial projects have been presented at institutions including, The Jewish Museum of Australia, Melbourne and Arc One Gallery, Melbourne. In 2012, she was appointed the Senior Curator and Creative Director for a non-profit organization, NotFair. Melbourne. Amore has been a critic in Australia since 2006 and is highly acclaimed for her contributions to leading publications and authoring catalogue essays for artists and arts organizations. She received a MFA in Art Criticism & Writing from the School of Visual Arts, New York, 2014; and a BA in Philosophy and Creative Writing (Double) from Deakin University, Melbourne, 2005. She participated in the Emerging Writer’s Program, in 2006, at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne.
The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) supports the creative development of artists and curators, and promotes exchange through residencies and public programs.
El Museo de Los Sures was born by a partnership between Southside United with Cornell University and Churches United for Fair Housing to preserve the history of the neighborhood’s residents. This exhibition is the sixth collaboration between Los Sures and ISCP.
This program is supported, in part, by the Australian Consulate-General in New York and the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Antonio Reynoso, Council Member, 34th District, and the New York State Council on the Arts.