Toward and Away
Alina Bliumis, Jeff Bliumis, and Jakob S. Boeskov
May 20 – June 11, 2023
Opening reception: Saturday, May 20, 4-6 pm
On view during Open Hours, Bushel programs, by chance, and by appointment
(for appointments, email email@example.com)
Approach, retreat, repeat. In Toward and Away, alumni curating artists Alina and Jeff Bliumis present selections from serial projects which, while different in medium and aesthetic, each deal with modes of relation that hinge on conflict—enacted, anticipated, or evaded.
In Dance as a Weapon, a drawing-based transnational study of war dances from more than two dozen sources, Alina Bliumis considers dance as a social and political tool “which has the power, at once, to bolster the status quo or to resist the damaging effects of repression”; a new video created for this exhibition adds kaleidoscopic evidence of dance-as-protest, collaging clips from recent videos posted to youtube from all over the world. Zooming in both culturally and pictorially, her “Bruise Series” paintings employ abstraction and magnification to amplify the message of their source: images of state harm posted to social media by protesters who faced suppression and detainment after uprisings against the 2020 election in the artist’s native Belarus. Jeff Bliumis’s oversize paintings of individuals hiding behind their hair evoke the outsized emotion of a familiar invisible (and sometimes unconscious) inner conflict: when being visible and invisible both seem impossible, and even identifying which of the two warring desires is strongest can elude us. His loose term for this subset of paintings, “ear in/ear out,” suggests the small gestures we might make to adjust our vulnerability to the world of others, when neither a committed approach nor a full retreat can quite answer our needs. Another ambivalence is explored with his series of miniature bronze sculptures depicting magic carpets—vehicles for flights of fancy, for freedom and escape, that are prevented from real flight by the facts of physics and gravity at work on their material substance. The Bliumis’s guest artist, Jakob S Boeskov, contributes artifacts from his infamous “art hoax” ID Sniper, in which he infiltrated a Chinese weapons fair to present a fake GPS tracking techno-rifle with a realistic prototype and fictional sales materials that generated real interest—including orders from weapons dealers and security agencies worldwide. Bringing the interactive element of each artist’s work into the space at Bushel, a chess set, open for any gallery-goer who wants to take a turn, reminds us of how rules, strategy, manipulation, play, conflict and collaboration are figured and refigured each time we attempt to face one another across the table.
Toward and Away is part of our ongoing series of Alumni shows—exhibitions and happenings proposed by artists who have exhibited at Bushel in the past, and who agree to invite or engage at least one other artist or maker who has not yet been exhibited at Bushel. Alina Bliumis and Jeff Bliumis had a two-person exhibition in 2016 at Bushel’s former location.
Alina Bliumis is New York-based artist, born in Minsk, Belarus. Alina received her BFA from the School of Visual Art in 1999 and a diploma from the Advanced Course in Visual Arts in Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como, Italy in 2005. Alina has exhibited internationally at the Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration (Paris, France), the First Moscow Biennales of Contemporary Art (Russia), Busan Biennale (South Korea), Tokio Biennial (Japan), Assab One (Milan, Italy), the Bronx Museum of the Arts (New York, US), Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France), Centre d’art Contemporain (Meymac, France), the James Gallery, The Graduate Center CUNY (New York, US), Museum of Contemporary Art (Cleveland, US), Museums of Bat Yam ( Israel), the Jewish Museum (New York, US), the Saatchi Gallery (London, UK), Botanique Museum (Brussels, Belgium), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK), MAC VAL – Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne (France). Her works are in various private and public collections, including MAC VAL – Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne, France; Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration (Paris, France); The Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK); Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Russia); Bat Yam Museum for Contemporary Art, (Israel); The Saatchi Collection (UK); The Harvard Business School (USA); The National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, USA) and Missoni Collection (Italy).
Jeff Bliumis is New York-based artist. Jeff received his BA from Columbia university in 1980. Attended Berkeley University, California College of Arts and Crafts, and The New School. Jeff has exhibited internationally at the First, Second, and Third Moscow Biennales of Contemporary Art (Moscow, Russia), Busan Biennale 2006 (Busan, South Korea), Assab One (Milan, Italy), the Bronx Museum of the Arts (New York, US), Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France), Centre d’art Contemporain (Meymac, France), The James Gallery, The Graduate Center CUNY (New York, US), Museum of Contemporary Art (Cleveland, US), Museums of Bat Yam (Bat-Yam, Israel), the Jewish Museum (New York, US), the Saatchi Gallery (London, UK) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK).His works are in various private and public collections, including the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Russia), Museums of Bat Yam (Israel), the Saatchi Collection (UK), the Harvard Business School (US), the Museum of Immigration History, Paris (France) and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (UK).
Jakob S. Boeskov is an artist based in New York. He has written and directed the films Empire North and Roy Camera. His art has been shown at New Museum, Stedelijk Museum, and The Danish National Gallery as well as other venues around the world.
Image: Alina Bliumis, Bruise Series 5 (detail). Watercolor on printed linen, 2020