Javier Téllez and Matthew Buckingham for Creative Time New York

March 25, 2008

The two new projects by the New York-based art and entertainment organization Creative Time are both among the highlights of the Armory Show agenda.

Presented on March 6 on the occasion of the Whitney Biennial, which was already enriched by a series of live events and performances held at the Armory, was Javier Téllez’s new project. It was commissioned by Creative Time and co-produced by Peter Kilchmann Gallery, which currently represents the Venezuelan-born, New York based artist. Last year Téllez presented a piece for Performa07 and in 2006 was an artist in residence and the Aspen Art Museum.
Letter on the Blind For the Use of Those Who See is a film based on the ancient parable of “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” which appeared to have originated from South Asia, though its original source is still debated, and has been attributed to Sufis, Jainists, Buddhists and Hindus. For the artist this story, greatly readapted by John Godfrey Saxe and published in 1978, is the starting point for questions around issues of visibility and blindness. Letter on the Blind For the Use of Those of Who See was shot last November in McCarren Park Pool Brooklyn, featuring six New Yorkers who are blind.
The second project is by Matthew Buckingham and is due to be premiered on March 28. The artist, who is currently the main subject of a traveling show originated at Des Moines Art Center in Iowa (where the artist was born), will present Muhheakantuck – Everything has a Name. A 40-minute-long single and continuous shot from a helicopter traveling above the Hudson River and accompanied by the artist’s narration, Muhheakantuck – Everything has a Name explores the violent contact between the Dutch and English settlers and the lower Hudson River’s indigenous people, the Lenape.
The title, recalling Henry Hudson’s journey, reflects how thing are not discovered but “invented and re-invented.” The film will be screened aboard a NY Water Taxi – navigating from Christopher Street to the Statue of Liberty – in the early evening, when the light is low yet still present.
A free talk with the artist is scheduled for April 1 at NYU Canton Film Center at 6:30 pm.

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