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Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Presents ONE PART HUMAN, Opens 1/9

January 13, 2010 - by NYC News Desk
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With its exhibition, One Part Human, The Feldman Gallery brings together artists who explore the tension between human and technological capabilities in today's scientific society. The exhibition includes two remarkable motorized sculptures by Canadian artists who have not exhibited previously in New York: Perfect Vehicle by Simone Jones and Robotic Chair conceived by visual artist Max Dean and realized in collaboration with Raffaello D'Andrea and Matt Donovan. Brian Knep, an artist in residence at Harvard Medical School, will exhibit photography and high definition video related to the microscopic worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, one of the most studied multi-cellular organisms in the world.

Simone Jones' Perfect Vehicle (2003-2006) is a three-wheeled machine, eleven-feet long, that contains sensors which monitor the breathing of its occupant to control its speed. A video of a filmed performance depicts its journey across the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Pathos surrounds the work as the vehicle inches its way across the surrealistic landscape, an anti-heroic and absurd gesture. Jones, who has been making kinetic sculpture since 1989, is an Associate Professor of Art at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto.

The Robotic Chair (1984-2006) by Max Dean, Raffaello D'Andrea, and Matt Donovan is a generic wooden chair that has the capacity to totally fall apart, collapsing with great force, and put itself back together with seemingly persistence and determination without human intervention. As a stand in for the human body, the chair, and its cycle of falling and recovery, evokes existential themes relating to fragility and resilience. Exhibited internationally at art institutions and technological gatherings, the chair was aired on the Discovery Channel and on YouTube, inspiring impassioned responses. Dean, who has created more than thirty-five years of significant work, has said of his invention: "I thought I was making a sculpture, and I realize that we have created a performer."

Brian Knep challenges the limits of science to retain the sublime awe of the unknown. His new series of digital images depicts microscopic worms, created in the laboratory and unseen by the naked eye, as they negotiate fabricated environments - labyrinths and other meditative structures, buildings that suggest futuristic intergalactic worlds, and the outline of a male and female figure lifted from the plaque attached to the Pioneer spacecraft to communicate with other forms of life. The male figure gestures with a Namaste greeting that means "the divine in me greets the divine in you." Images of hair are also evidence of a human presence that both grace and spoil the C. elegans micro-cosmos. Knep exhibited installations of video projections that require audience participation in his first exhibition at the Feldman Gallery in 2007.

There will be a reception January 9, 6 - 8. Gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 10 - 6. Monday by appointment.

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