E10: Conceptual Art

July 11, 2013 - August 17, 2013


Transformer is proud to present the 10th year of our Exercises for Emerging Artists program, a peer critique & mentorship series created to support artists at critical points in their professional growth and development, and advance their creative careers. E10: Conceptual Art features three individual exhibitions by artists Adrian Parsons, Jane Claire Remick, and chukwumaa, exploring concepts related to appropriation, linguistics & communication, and identity through conceptual and physical means.

Adrian Parsons: EVERYNONE
July 11 – July 20, 2013
Opening Reception:
Thursday, July 11, 6pm – Friday, July 12, 6pm

Jane Claire Remick: ESL for Native Speakers
July 25 – August 3 2013
Opening Reception and Class Registration:
Thursday, July 25, 4-8pm

chukwumaa: Thee Urban(e)
August 8 – August 17, 2013
Opening Reception and Performance: Thursday, August 8, 6-8pm

E10 Artist Talk: August 10, 4-6pm

Launched in March 2004, Transformer’s annual Exercises For Emerging Artists series consists of comprehensive bi-weekly gatherings spanning four months, designed to stimulate and encourage the participating artists as they create new work. In addition to peer critique sessions, the participating artists received mentorship and critical feedback on their work from E10 Guest Lead Mentor Kathryn Cornelius, E10 Coordinator Eames Armstrong, Transformer Executive & Artistic Director Victoria Reis, and visiting mentors: Alberto Gaitán, Rebecca Goyette, and Phyllis Klein of FabLab.

E10 Lead Guest Mentor Kathryn Cornelius remarks, “The opportunity to work with and learn from these talented, thoughtful artists is a gift. Many of their ideas and inclinations are developed out of the messy aftermath of previous generations that also challenged the use and abuse of language, epistemology, and identity politics. Rather than reproduce a state that is comfortably numb or snark disguised as critique, the artists walk the viewer directly into the pyre. They take as material the constant vicissitudes of culture, and the lack of stability and cohesion among institutions and humanity. We are living in a time of transition. Relationships inherent to staid dualities illustrate the need for change, and mainstream media has nothing to say. These exhibitions ask us to look for legitimate ways to compare apples and oranges, to negotiate peace treaties between Yes and No, Us and Them. Harmony emerges from conflict. Let instability do its work.”

E10 Coordinator Eames Armstrong states, "The artists were selected for their individual motivation, accomplishments and strength of their disparate practices, in addition to a common interest in the intersection of conceptual work and social practice. Through critical conversation and feedback, the artists worked out their own problems in part through answering each other's questions. The final exhibitions privilege process and concept. Transformer's support of artists, alternative practices, and process over product provided the essential time and space for these dynamic projects to be realized.”

Adrian Parsons' installation EVERYNONE displays every one of his discarded ideas, collected over 8 years in written notes, transcribed in full on Transformer’s walls during a 48-hour endurance installation. Questioning the commerce or carelessness of re-appropriation through producing a space-as-document, Parsons invites the public to take his concepts for themselves or delete the text through their own gesture of erasure.

Adrian Parsons is an activist and performance artist whose work is based on aiding or subverting the body and its provocative interactions with systems. Parsons has shown at The Fridge, Flashpoint, NYC’s Dorian Grey and The Warehouse in an offshoot of the DC Arts Fair. His continuing Drone series began as an imagined post-apocalypse through a POV helmet channeling the gaze of a remote curator atop the Gansevoort Hotel roof during Art Basel Miami Beach in 2009. He has collaborated with SUNY Buffalo’s Matt Sargent in sound & video offerings, and more recently founded the performance art team Kool Raunch Collective with dancer Sebastian Rousseau of Korzo Theater Den Haag. Last year he gained international attention for a twenty-five day hunger strike promoting DC voting rights.

Jane Claire Remick’s ESL for Native Speakers explores ways in which linguistic and contextual cues inform the parameters of daily interactions and the self. By sourcing language-instruction materials that emphasize communicative learning over literacy, Transformer is transformed into the Transformer Institute Language Lab. The viewer as student is asked to deduce and learn appropriate responses using role-play and interactive web applications.

Jane Claire says of her practice, "Influenced by my background in sociology and linguistics, I source symbolic and codified imagery from historical reference and media sources using tools like google image search or library archives. Just as in spoken language there is often a disparity between what is said and what is understood, there is often gap between what is seen and the concept associated with it. I aim to reveal and explore spaces of silence between what is stated and experienced while acknowledging that neither represents a definitive reality, evoking both social consciousness and the emotional tension of ambiguity."

Visit www.ESLfornativespeakers.com to register for classes. Classes will be held at Transformer on Saturday, July 27, 1-2:30pm and 4-5:30pm, Thursday, August 1, 6-7:30pm, Saturday, August 3, 1-2:30pm and 4-5:30pm.

chukwumaa’s Thee Urban(e) explores the complex intersection of education, affluence and race using the symbols of clothing, the book and metamorphosis. The adage goes ‘know thyself, and adorn thyself accordingly’, but it's never that simple when contending with another’s gaze. chukkwumaa states: “In external perception and actuality, education - and, by extension, intelligence - has always been a fraught arena for young men of color. For many it can be hopelessly out of reach or very difficult to attain. And when attaining education is directly conflated with success, this can be an especially sore situation. This conflation moves education into the realm of class marker, the way that possessions like a house, car or clothes can function."

Lagos, Nigeria born chukwumaa, (pronounced CHOO-KWOO-mah, all lower-case,) graduated from the University of Maryland in 2012. He has exhibited and performed at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, (e)merge art fair, Artisphere, Hillyer Art Space, and in public around Washington, DC and Maryland.


E10: CONCEPTUAL ART EXHIBITION HOURS: Each of the three E10: Conceptual Art solo exhibitions are open to the public for seven days each. Launching with a Thursday evening opening reception, public hours are offered from noon-6pm the following Friday & Saturday, and then the following week, Wednesday –Saturday, and by appointment.