un/mute | Artist Talk & Public Reception
September 24, 2021
6 – 7 PM Artist Talk
7 – 9 PM Public Reception
Join us on Friday, September 24, 2021, from 6 – 9 PM at Undercurrent for an artist talk and public reception in celebration of the opening of un/mute, an international group exhibition of collaborative works by 28 artists across multiple disciplines.
An artist talk focusing on challenges of the art practice during a pandemic will take place from 6 – 7 PM. Participating in the discussion include featured un/mute artists: Sydney Shavers (NYC), Kris Grey (NYC), Luisa Muhr (Austria), Yi Hsuan Lai (NYC), and co-curator Daina Mattis. The panel will be moderated by Romanian Cultural Institute Director / EUNIC New York Preseident Dorian Branea. A public reception will follow from 7 – 9 PM.
Please note that in compliance with New York law, proof of COVID-19 vaccination, as well as an I.D., will be required for entry. We kindly ask that visitors wear a mask covering both mouth and nose at all times.
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
Dorian Branea is the director of the Romanian Cultural Institute and the president of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) New York Cluster. He is a cultural diplomat, cultural entrepreneur, author, and translator. Completed English and American Studies at the Western University of Timișoara, followed by graduate work in International Relations at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Negotiation at Oxford University’s Said Business School.
Ph.D. in English and American Studies.
Yi Hsuan Lai (b,1988) is a visual artist from Taiwan currently working in New York. She recently completed her MFA in Photography and Related Video Media from the School of Visual Arts. Her graphic design and live theatre documentation background led her to develop an artistic process that combines performance, staged self-portraiture, installation, and sculpture-based photography. Yi Hsuan Lai combines photography and sculpture to create work that speaks to the physical and psychological experiences that reflect the complexity of self-identity and the Otherness.
Sydney Shavers is a performance-based transmedia artist living and working in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Mumbai, and throughout the Northeast and Midwest USA. Shavers is also an educator & programmer who has developed workshops and lectures for alternative education platforms (Drawstring Magazine’s LEARN) as well as institutional academia.
Kris Grey is a New York City-based transgender artist who uses their body as raw material, often presenting themselves in states of extreme vulnerability as an invitation to experience transcendence or discover hidden queer histories. Grey’s cultural work includes curatorial projects, performance, writing, and studio production in ceramics. Grey has been a resident artist at the Bronx Museum, Fire Island Artist Residency, ANTI Festival for Contemporary Art, International Centre for Training in the Performing Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson.
Luisa Muhr is a multi-lingual, multi- and interdisciplinary performer, improviser, director, installation artist, sound artist, theater maker, originally from Vienna (Austria), lives and works in New York, and is at home in the experimental/avant-garde.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
On view at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York and Undercurrent, the exhibition is the culmination of an 18-month-long project that was launched in 2020 to provide European and NYC-based artists an opportunity for critical exchange and collaboration during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Co-curated by Daina Mattis and Melinda Wang, un/mute is the physical manifestation of online conversations among strangers who became collaborators. What began as abstract, ephemeral and digital are now 14 tactile, analog and concrete artworks presented across two locations. The artists confronted the parameters imposed by the lockdowns and each team found creative solutions that we might all learn from. The common thread that runs through the sculptures, installations, films, drawings, photographs and performances is the importance of language.
Exhibiting artists: Eren Aksu (Germany), Anna Bera (Poland), Aaron Bezzina (Malta), Alex Camilleri (Malta), Mariella Cassar-Cordina (Malta), Saddie Choua (Flanders, Belgium), Sanne De Wilde (Flanders, Belgium), FOQL (Poland), Gabrielė Gervickaitė (Lithuania), Nicola Ginzel (Austria), Justyna Górowska (Poland), Kris Grey (NYC), Kyle Hittmeier (NYC), Ada Van Hoorebeke (Flanders, Belgium), Olesja Katšanovskaja–Münd (Estonia), Mo Kong (NYC), Yi Hsuan Lai (NYC), H. Lan Thao Lam (NYC), Marie Lukáčová (Czech Republic), Sheila Maldonado (NYC), Ieva Mediodia (Lithuania), Emmanuel Massillon (NYC), Alex Mirutziu (Romania), Luisa Muhr (Austria), Barbara Maria Neu (Austria), Emily Shanahan (NYC), Sydney Shavers (NYC) and Terttu Uibopuu (Estonia)
un/mute is a project by Undercurrent and the following members of EUNIC NY – European Union National Institutes for Culture: Austrian Cultural Forum New York, Czech Center New York, Consulate General of Estonia in New York, Delegation of Flanders to the USA, Goethe-Institut New York, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Arts Council Malta in New York, Polish Cultural Institute New York and Romanian Cultural Institute. This project is also supported by EUNIC Global, the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, Hope Recycling Station and Jindřich Chalupecký Society.
Established in 1969 as the Romanian Library, the Romanian Cultural Institute (RCI) in North America is one of Romania’s oldest cultural diplomacy vehicles. The transformation from a library to a cultural center and, since 2004, a cultural institute has marked almost five decades of development and periodic reinvention.
Endowed with a versatile institutional identity, the RCI is at once a curator, promoter, producer of artistic and cultural events, resource center and learning hub, which act in synergy to showcase the diversity and vibrancy of the Romanian artistic, cultural and academic scene and to galvanize the Romanian-American cultural relations at all levels. While based in New York City, the RCI aspires to a Pan-American presence as our projects cover the whole of the United States and major cultural centers in Canada.