Tracing Obsolescence – Group Show

apexart, New York, NY, United States
08 Sep 2018 - 27 Oct 2018

Dana Whabira, Nobody's Thing, 2018, Dress form, black cotton thread, Documentation of work in progress.

Dana Whabira, Nobody's Thing, 2018, Dress form, black cotton thread, Documentation of work in progress.

Tracing Obsolescence brings together four artists who explore the material and psychic traces left by declining industrial-scale manufacturing and extraction. Through printmaking, sculpture, installation, and performance, they attend to goods that have been discarded, places that are abandoned, and memories that seem forgotten. In so doing, they question the finality of obsolescence, reactivating materials and intervening in processes of deterioration in order to investigate contemporary environmental, socio-economic, and geo-political crises.

Tahir Karmali explores abusive mining practices in Africa, as well as disposable consumerism; he ritually deconstructs discarded technologies such as old mobile phones to obtain substances like cobalt and copper, disrupting their typical path toward the trash heap. Sto Len makes monoprints directly from the polluted waterways of New York City’s Newtown Creek, drawing attention to environmental problems of urban post-industrial wastelands by repurposing their effluence in-situ as an artistic medium. Selasi Awusi Sosu uses video and sound to create ghostly holographic re- stagings of the now defunct glass bottle manufacturing process in Ghana, while Dana Whabira’s installation highlights the rise of automation and the fall of machinery, technology and people that have become redundant or terminated.

Together, these artists’ works propose non-linear, context-embedded ways of tracing obsolescence in post-industrial landscapes, revealing material circuits and trajectories that may be redirected to create unexpected, problematic, and mysterious beauty.

Tracing Obsolescence is organized by Evelyn Owen. The exhibition was selected through apexart’s Open Call.


Related events:

September 6, 2018, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Artist’s Talk: Dana Whabira in conversation with M. Neelika Jayawardane

In anticipation of the occasion of the opening of Tracing Obsolescence, artist Dana Whabiradiscusses her artistic practice with writer M. Neelika Jayawardane and curator Evelyn Owen.

September 29, 2018, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Art-Making Workshop with Tahir Karmali 

Tahir Karmali opens his studio to demonstrate and explain the techniques of his practice, and leads a workshop in which participants try out the approaches to create their own work of art.




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