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Visual Art

Siebren Versteeg

 
 
Sep 14—Dec 25, 2017
 
 
LOCATION:
Dorothy W. Levitt Lobby and Diker Gallery Café, Peter Jay Sharp Building
 
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Peter Jay Sharp Building
Dorothy W. Levitt Lobby: 8am—11pm daily
Natman Room: 8am—6pm daily
Diker Gallery Café: 2:30—6pm Mondays and during BAMcafé hours (see calendar at BAM.org for details)

BAM Fisher
12—5pm daily with extended hours before evening performances in the Fishman Space

 
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This group exhibition, Loss For Words, spans multiple spaces across BAM’s campus and examines the shift from a culture that communicates with text-based language to one where the image is the dominant tool of communication.

Each morning in the Dorothy W. Levitt Lobby, Siebren Versteeg’s video work Daily Times (performer) downloads a digital image of The New York Times front page to an 80-inch screen. An algorithmic program immediately goes to work, rendering a painterly abstraction that is forever in progress. Strokes are placed slowly, picking up on the particularities of color and composition of the given layout, while simultaneously displaying a nearly endless variety of color, density, and breadth. As digital paint builds and drips down the page, its layering effects obstruct and obliterate their newsroom source. The auto-generated gestural marks call into question notions of authorship in both the painting and the newspaper, while the blanketing over of information in the newspaper sets forth a new value system—the painting’s next mark is now the “breaking news.”

A second video work by Versteeg, titled small IS beautiful (after E.F.Schumacher), is on view in the Diker Gallery Café. Last fall, Versteeg, with the help of Fringe Projects, staged a public intervention in downtown Miami on the facade of the Intercontinental Hotel. Over the course of five nights, each chapter of the seminal Buddhist economics theory text Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered, by E.F. Schumacher, was broadcast to the city at a monumental scale. The piece at BAM exhibits composite documentation of all five chapters and nights at once in an 11-hour ultra-high-definition video.

Leadership support for BAM Visual Art provided by Agnes Gund and Toby Devan Lewis