Cannupa Hanska Luger, We Live – Future Ancestral Technologies Entry Log, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
Featuring works by Kevin Jerome Everson, Ilana Harris-Babou, Jasmina Cibic, Cheng Ran, and more
Evenings on the High Line at 14th Street
High Line Art announces the 2022 season of exhibitions for High Line Channels—an ongoing series of video projections in the semi-enclosed passageway on the High Line at 14th Street. High Line Channels is the only video program in a New York City park available 365 days a year, and features emerging and established artists from around the world. Rotating every two months, this year’s program includes solo presentations by Kevin Jerome Everson, Ilana Harris-Babou, Jasmina Cibic, and Cheng Ran, as well as a thematic group exhibition, Spiritual Technology.
The films and videos presented by these artists explore a broad range of themes: birds and our relationship to wilderness with Kevin Jerome Everson; self-improvement and wellness culture with Ilana Harris-Babou; how governments assert power and values through architecture with Jasmina Cibic; the poetics of daily life in China with Cheng Ran in a US premiere, and the relationship between techno utopias and psychic connections to the earth in Spiritual Technology. In addition to these five exhibitions, a sixth program, the next High Line Originals commissioned film, will be announced in the coming months. High Line Channels is organized by Melanie Kress, High Line Art associate curator.
Kevin Jerome Everson
January 6–March 16, 2022
Kevin Jerome Everson (b. 1965, Mansfield, Ohio) is an artist based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Professor of Art at the University of Virginia. Everson, whose practice encompasses printmaking, photography, sculpture, and film, makes work that reflects gestures or tasks caused by certain conditions in the lives of working class African Americans and other people of African descent. Everson’s sculptures are often casts of everyday objects made in the factories in his Ohio hometown.
For the High Line, Everson presents four films: Brown Thrasher (2020), Mockingbird, (2020), Cardinal (2019); and The Foothills of the Allegheny Plateau (2019). The films begin with a pair of binoculars made in the Mansfield Ohio Westinghouse factory during WWII (where the artist was briefly employed) that Everson cast in bronze and rubber, rendering them useless. Everson staged the films in Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio (the first three films are named for those places’ state birds), inviting family members to “look” for birds with the props. Everson limits these films to the extreme foreground, denying viewers any clarity as to the exact place of filming.
Presented on the High Line from winter into early spring, the exhibition brings brightness to winter days in the park and ushers us into the season when the birds start to sing again in New York and the park comes alive.
March 17–May 11, 2022
Ilana Harris-Babou (b. 1991, Brooklyn, New York) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn. Harris-Babou is known for her videos that parody reality television tropes such as cooking and home-improvement shows, and star her and her mother, Sheila Harris. Across her videos and sculptures, she focuses on “self-improvement” and how aspirations for health and wellness become framed as moral decisions in contemporary culture. Especially in Harris-Babou’s most recent work, she shifts her frame to question how inequality in the US is presented as a failure of personal decision-making and commitments to wellness.
For the High Line, Harris-Babou shares four films: In Cooking with the Erotic (2016), the artist and her mother use real food, art materials, and construction materials to offer tutorials for absurd concoctions. Finishing a Raw Basement (2017) is filled with home-improvement buzzwords like “modern,” “transitional,” and “classic” alongside Harris’s calls for reparations. In Fine Lines (2020), Harris performs her beauty routine tutorial for a meeting with a real estate developer who is trying to buy her Brooklyn home. For Leaf of Life (2021) Harris-Babou interviewed her sister about her experience working as a disillusioned health-care professional, as well as diet and wellness practices following the popular health guru, herbalist, and healer Dr. Sebi.
Halls of Power
July 7–September 14, 2022
Jasmina Cibic (b. 1979, Slovenia) works in film, sculpture, performance, and installation to explore “soft power” and the ways that governments use state-sanctioned culture—dance, music, painting, and architecture—to communicate certain principles and aspirations. She begins her projects in archives, researching moments in history through what she calls “historical readymades”: speeches, government meeting minutes, architectural plans, or even dances or songs that reflect government values. Her artworks often focus on how Modernist architecture has been used to establish various state identities, particularly during moments of ideological and political crises.
On the High Line, Cibic shares three films. In The Pavilion (2015), five dancers assemble an architectural model that merges two buildings created to house patriarchal desire: the pavilion the Kingdom of Yugoslavia built for the 1929 Barcelona EXPO and the unrealized house for iconic performer Josephine Baker designed by Austrian architect Adolf Loos. Nada: Act II (2017) restages famed Hungarian composer Béla Bartók’s 1924 pantomime ballet The Miraculous Mandarin, as selected by Yugoslavia to represent its new political and aesthetic direction at the 1958 Brussels EXPO. State of Illusion (2018) posits the disappearing act of a nation state— former socialist Yugoslavia—as a magician’s illusion.
Taking place on the High Line, a relic of infrastructure that has become a civic monument for industrial reuse, this exhibition invites us to think about the ways that the buildings and structures around us reflect the values of those who build them.
Chung Kuo (Ck2k2x)
September 15–November 9, 2022
Cheng Ran (b. 1981, Inner Mongolia, China) lives and works in Hangzhou, China. He is best known for his poetic films and videos that describe specific places and the experience of living in them. Cheng staged some of his earliest video works in his apartment, on the streets of Amsterdam, on a car ride through Iceland, telling grand truths through the mundane poetry of everyday life. His works have since expanded to immersive multi-channel installations and epic films that contrast historical sagas and rapid modernization.
For the High Line, Cheng presents the US premiere of his feature-length film Chung Kuo (Ck2k2k) (2017–2022). The film revisits famed Italian filmmaker Michaelangelo Antonioni’s controversial documentary portrait Chung Kuno—Cina (1972). Anotioni filmed the work at the invitation of the Chinese government, but focused on the people presumed to have been at the edges of his official tour. The final film sparked outrage among Chinese cultural critics and the general public for its failure to show an accurate portrait of the country.
Cheng’s film offers a new portrait of contemporary China, opening with the question “Is this another dream?” The film comprises 100 short documentary-style videos, each ranging from a few seconds to almost one hour. Taking place among skyscrapers, farmland, and wilderness, some of the clips are staged while others are filmed from life. With this work, the artist records the present and imagines future ghosts of modernization.
November 10, 2022–January 4, 2023
Spiritual Technology features three artists exploring how relations between spirituality and technology shift over time, including links between science, myth, belief systems, and our connection to the planet. Science fiction holds up a mirror to our potential futures and to our present. The works in this exhibition tease apart tensions between techno-utopian promises and intuitive connections to the biological world.
Cannupa Hanska Luger’s (b. 1979, Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota) We Live Future Ancestral Technologies Entry Log (2019) is an Indigenous science fiction film wherein two figures perform land based rituals, wearing regalia that mutes the senses. The film describes a mass exodus from earth by those who destroyed much of it, and those remaining behind to repair it. Ursula Mayer’s (b. 1970, Ried im Innkreis, Austria) Atom Spirit (2016) is also set in the near future, one of increasing biomedical innovation. Made with individuals from the LGBT community in Trinidad and Tobago, the work follows a group of evolutionary geneticists creating a cryogenically frozen arc of DNA from all forms of life on the islands. In Suzanne Treister’s (b. 1958, London, England) HFT The Gardener (2015), Hillel Fisher Traumberg is a stock trader who experiences hallucinogenic states while observing high-frequency trading graph patterns. Deep research into psychoactive drugs converts Traumberg into a techno shamanic outsider artist, connecting psychoactive plant names with companies in the Financial Times Global 500 in a search for the true nature of consciousness.
ABOUT HIGH LINE ART
Founded in 2009, High Line Art commissions and produces a wide array of artwork, including site specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. Led by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator of High Line Art, and presented by the High Line, the art program invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the unique architecture, history, and design of the park, and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.
For more information about High Line Art, please visit thehighline.org/art.
ABOUT THE HIGH LINE
The High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through our work with communities on and off the High Line, we’re devoted to reimagining public spaces to create connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities.
Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food and beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors—all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City.
Nearly 100% of our annual budget comes through donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and we operate under a license agreement with NYC Parks.
Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support for High Line Art is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and Charina Endowment Fund. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.
For more information, visit thehighline.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
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