VALS Lecture: Raha Raissnia, Tuesday Feb 20 @ 6:30pm

Dear all,
We are delighted to invite you all to the next VALS: RAHA Raissnia, This Tuesday, February 20th at 6:30pm!
“Tehran-born, Brooklyn-based artist Raha Raissnia works in film, painting, and drawing, with each medium informing the other. Her film works are the result of an iterative approach: footage shot on Super-8, 16mm, digital, and even mobile phone is manipulated in the studio; Raissnia projects the footage onto paintings and screens, integrating found materials and additional film and digital imagery, and refilms the whole to yield densely layered celluloid films. These films, in turn, are often screened superimposed with handmade slides or fashioned into film loops that Raissnia manually manipulates on projectors, which take on the role of instruments.”
There will be a reception afterwards in Prentis 315
Find below, further information about the artist.
2017/18 VALS Team
(Poster by Shireen Abrishamian)
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Tuesday Feb 13 @ 630pm: Rashaad Newsome VALS lecture

Rashaad Newsome is a multidisciplinary artist whose work blends several practices together including: collage, sculpture, video, music, computer programming and performance, to form an altogether new field. Best known for his visually stunning collages housed in custom frames, Newsomes’ work is deeply invested in how images used in media and popular culture communicate distorted notions of power. Using the equalizing force of sampling, he crafts compositions that surprise in their associative potential and walk the tightrope between intersectionality, social practice and abstraction. Newsomes’ works opposes cultural essentialisms. They lead us into a realm of uncertainty, in which the symbols presented transform, but are nonetheless made tangible.Newsome lives and works in New York City. He was born in 1979 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received a BFA in Art History at Tulane University in 2001. In 2004, he received a certificate of study in Digital Post Production from Film/Video Arts Inc. (NYC). In 2005 he studied MAX/MSP Programming at Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center (NYC). He has exhibited and performed in galleries, museums, institutions, and festivals throughout the world including: The Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), The National Museum of African American History and Culture (DC), The Whitney Museum (NYC), Brooklyn Museum (NYC), MoMAPS1 (NYC), SFMOMA (CA), New Orleans Museum of Art (LA), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture (Moscow, Russia), and MUSA (Vienna, Austria).

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VALS Schedule for Spring 2018

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Tuesday, January 16 @ 6:30 Ulrike Müller

Dear All,

It is of great pleasure to invite you on behalf of the VALS team to our upcoming lecture of Ulrike Muller on Tuesday, January 16, 6:30.

Born in Austria, Ulrike Müller’s paintings explore precise geometric forms that engage with feminist and queer histories. She is also the editor of “Herstory Inventory: 100 Feminist Drawings by 100 Artists (2009–2012)”.

Frieze Article about Ulrike Müller’s work.
Bomb Magazine interview about “Herstory Inventory”, by Thom Donovan.


“In her artistic work, Ulrike Müller explores the relationships between abstraction and bodies through a conception of painting that is not limited to brush and canvas. Investigations of the visual strategies of modernism and of feminist practices of the 1960s and 1970s result in images that are closely related to current questions of body and identity politics. The geometries of figure and color in her compositions are never “purely” abstract. They carry erotic and sexual associations, they tease, touch, and penetrate each other without collapsing into binary logics. Müller uses abstraction as an idiom that can be figuratively appropriated, emotionally charged and politically connoted—depending on the context and the viewer.” – Manuela Ammer, Mumok, Vienna, 2015

“Ulrike Müller’s practice investigates form as a mode of critical engagement. Employing a wide range of materials and techniques, from text to audio and video, performance, publishing, and, most recently, intimately scaled drawings and paintings, it moves between different contexts and publics, invites collaboration, and expands to other realms of production in processes of exploration and exchange.” – Barbara Schröder, DF Press, New York, 2012


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Tuesday, December 5th @ 6:30pm TANIA BRUGUERA

Dear All,

It is of great pleasure to invite you on behalf of the VALS team to our upcoming lecture of Tania Bruguera on Tuesday, December 5, 6:30.

There is perhaps no other artist that has risen more conscious dialogue (and indeed at times controversy) when it comes to the Social role, possibilities, and responsibilities of artists within the political climate of our Globalizing, Post-Socialist, Neoliberalist world.
I will put a pause on my enthusiastic rambling mind and simply invite you to check some extra resources below and once again, just confess our excitement over the upcoming lecture.

Extra Resources:
-bio by Guggenheim:
-Her fabulous website:
-her art21:
-her conversation with our own recent VALS guest, Claire Bishop:
-a very fascinating take by the incredible Coco Fusco on the controversy around her detention in 2015:
and of course a Bomb interview:

And finally for the soul a bit of Foucault from his interview There Can’t Be Societies Without Uprisings

“That’s where we meet back up again with this conception of Uprising I was just talking about. The Idea that the role of the intellectual is to show how this reality that’s presented to us as self-evident and taken for granted is in fact fragile”

Thank you,


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Tuesday October 24 @ 6:30pm SONDRA PERRY

VALS is pleased to announce Sondra Perry on Thursday October 19.

Sondra Perry is a media artist whose work investigates the role of digital technology in the systemic oppression of black identity, often centering on the way blackness influences technology and image making. Perry explores the duality of intelligence and seductivity in the contexts of black family heritage, black history, and black femininity.

Interviews with Sondra:

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Thursday October 19 / Claire Bishop

Poster by Ana Rivera

VALS is pleased to announce Claire Bishop on Thursday October 19.

Bishop is currently a professor at CUNY (City University of New York) Graduate Center, and has taught at Warwick University and the Royal College of Art, in London. One of Bishop’s most iconic works of writing which remains relevant and urgent to this day is “Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics” (2004), an essay that presents a critique to Nicolas Bourriaud definition of relational aesthetics. Bishop is also the author of the book “Radical Museology” where she analyzes the role of contemporary public institution. In this book she portrays the problematics of the rise of the museum as entertainment and offers an alternative in a case study of three unique and self-critical European museums that have reinvented themselves beyond the spectacle.

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Tuesday September 19th @ 6:30pm: RENEE COX

VALS is pleased to present Renee Cox Tuesday September 19th 2017 at 6:30 P.M.

Renee Cox is a Jamaican-American who uses the body as a subject to evoke conversations about culture, gender, and activism. Cox uses digital technology to reconfigure the black woman’s body and disturb religious imagery. Her work from the beginning is concerned with social issues in America, particularly in relation to racism and sexism. Some of Renee Cox most notable works are American Family, Yo Mama’s Last Supper, and The Discreet Charm of the Bougies.

(by Ruhee Maknojia)
Some research material:
Dope Brooklyn Museum Archive
Her Website’s Collection of Press:
Finally some thought by me (Yasi), if you want to tolerate my rambling mind
Yesterday, I was walking the streets of this city, with the never-ending anxiety I carry—specifically about our weird world and the limits of all I can do as a maker,
and I had a sudden unexpected talk with the people of our beloved juice place “Oasis” and he told me, enthusiastically, of the revolution of his Ethopia that is in the making right now.
And I felt a warmth,
I thought of the poem below.
And I thought how happy I was Renee Cox coming, this fighter that has never stopped speaking up, never even paused.
How delighted I am to meet and listen to one of those that has been carved this path I’m on.
Anyway, That’s all
“To be in a time of War”, Etel Adnan, (the Lebanese poet/painter writing in response to the news of war in Iraq)
To destroy both the inner and the outer wall. To inhabit the city which has been conquered by murder. To add ruins over ruins. To be jealous of Babylon. To spray hatred on its corpses as well as on the living. To burn live matter. To water the palm trees with
fire; that’s a barbarian’s job. To diagnose madness in those who exterminate Iraq. Not to forget the British in this. Not to
forget, ever. To swear by the mountain and its height that nothing will ever be forgotten. To brand the brain’s skin with Inanna’s
name, to call her to life. To bring her to resurrection. To revive the belief in metempsychosis. Not to love. To sleep in order to
stay late at night. To discover that the infinitive is a delusion. To lose one’s footing. 
To turn the page without moving into a new life. To put on the radio. To listen and receive much poison on one’s face. To curse the hour, the fire, the deluge and hell. To lose patience. To lynch misfortune. To prevent the trajectory of inner defeat from reaching the centre. To resist. To stand up. To raise the volume. To learn that the marches against the war are growing in number. To admit that human nature is multifaceted. To know that war is everywhere. To admit that some do win. To drink some water. To turn in circles. To pretend that one is not spent out. To believe it. To pretend. To discuss with one’s heart. To talk to it. To quiet it down, if possible. To curse the savagery of the technologically powered new crusades. To remain in doubt. To come out of it in triumph.

To dream of deserts, to count the cactuses and all venomous plants

Chux Y’all

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Tuesday September 12th @ 6:30pm: ANICKA YI

WHEN ANICKA YI began making art in her late thirties with no formal training, her entry point was unusual: a self-directed study of science. She doesn’t fully identify with the term “artist.” The art world was not her destination but simply a receptive venue for her ideas, which she culls from the experimental corners of cuisine, biology, and perfumery.

The Korean-born Yi, who studied at Hunter College in New York, produced her first artworks in 2008 with a collective called Circular File, numbering among its members artist Josh Kline and designer Jon Santos. Around the same time, she took an interest in natural fragrances, which led to early, self-directed tests with tinctures and olfactory art. One of her first projects in this vein was a scent named Shigenobu Twilight, after Fusako Shigenobu, leader of the radical left faction Japanese Red Army. The fragrance blended cedar, violet leaf, yuzu, shiso, and black pepper.

Yi’s work is characterized by unorthodox combinations of esoteric ingredients. She often uses materials that are—or were recently—alive, which can make her sculpture volatile and difficult to archive. She deep-fries flowers, displays live snails, grows a leathery fiber from the film produced by brewing kombucha, and cultivates human-borne bacteria. For her 2015 exhibition “You Can Call Me F” at the Kitchen in New York, Yi asked one hundred women to swab their microbe-rich orifices, cultured the samples, and used the resulting green-brown growth to paint and write on an agar-coated surface set in a glowing vitrine. The final work had an overwhelming smell, with notes of cheese and decay, both corporeally familiar and sensorially challenging.

by Ross Simonini for Art In America

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FALL 2017 Schedule


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