Cities Without Citizens: Statelessness and Settlements
The Rosenbach Museum and Library
July 08-September 28, 2003
Rosenbach Museum (2008-2010 DeLancey Place)
Reception on Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Cities Without Citizens, curated by Aaron Levy of Slought Foundation, juxtaposes historical materials from the Rosenbach collections with contemporary works to examine the cities, settlements and peoples of early America and illuminate how our nation's past connects with contemporary life. As a commentary on art, archiving and human rights, the exhibition re-indexes Rosenbach holdings according to four social parameters--settlement, citizenship, discipline, and liquidation. (click here to preview the exhibition holdings). "Cities Without Citizens presents an inquisitive look at the processes and idiosyncrasies of building and liquidating a city in both early and modern times," says Levy. "How did early American settlers determine borders? How did they identify citizens versus outsiders, criminals and slaves, and further negotiate the respective freedoms and limitations of each? And how are these functions handled in modern-day contexts?"
The exhibition also explores theories of curatorial innovation, prompting the question of how one might renew or reinvent an archival collection. Levy approached the project with an acute awareness of the delicate balance between innovative interpretation of historical objects and the conscientious preservation of heritage. Contributing artists include forensic photographer Lars Wallsten, the disaster relief architectural team of Gans & Jelacic, and installation artist Katrin Sigurdardottir. Aaron Levy is Executive Director and Curator of Slought Foundation, an arts organization, gallery, and archival resource engaging contemporary life through critical theories about art.
Cities Without Citizens is the second phase of a two-part Slought Foundation project, and will culminate with a published compilation of essays by contemporary artists and theorists in conjunction with the four veins of the exhibition, plus illustrative examples from the Rosenbach collections. The exhibition runs through September 28.
The Rosenbach will host an opening reception for Cities Without Citizens on Wednesday, July 9, 5:30-7:30pm. The event is free and open to the public. The Rosenbach is a historic house, museum, and research institution, which offers changing exhibitions and programs inspired by its world-renowned collections of rare books, manuscripts, and fine and decorative art.
Deborah Gans and Matthew Jelacic are partners in the office Gans & Jelacic, Architecture and Design. Their work in the fields of industrial design and architecture has been exhibited at RIBA, London, IFA, Paris and the Van Alen Institute in New York City. Their recent investigation into disaster relief housing has won international awards and a grant for development from the Johnny Walker Fund. Both Gans and Jelacic are Professors in architecture at Pratt Institute in New York. Deborah Gans is the author of The Le Corbusier Guide (Princeton Architectural Press) and the editor of The Organic Appproach (Architecture/John Wiley- London).
Lars Wallsten was born in 1957 in Stockholm, Sweden, where he currently resides. He has exhibited in individual and group shows throughout Scandinavia, including the 1999 exhibition "Modern Times II" at the Hasselblad Center, Sweden. Recent projects including "Pictures of Crime" and "Crimescape" engage his earlier work as a policeman. Along with Chris Burden, Zbigniew Libera and Olav Westphalen, he was the subject of an extended feature in a recent issue of the bilingual magazine "Index" on Art and the Law.
Katrin Sigurdardottir was born in 1967 in Reykjavik and currently lives in New York. Her work examines distance and memory and their embodiment in and through architecture, urbanism and cartography. She has exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States, including the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, the Icelandic National Gallery of Art, Iceland, the Victoria Miro Warehouse, London, the Centre d´Art Contemporaine á Séte, France, and the Hannover Kunstverein, Germany. She received a 2002-2003 fellowship through the Icelandic National Endowment for the Arts, and was a finalist for the Carnegie Art Award in 2002. Recent lectures on her work in the United States include Colgate University and Middlebury College. She recently had a solo show with Galleria Maze, Torino.
Aaron Levy is Curator and Executive Director of Slought Foundation, an arts organization, gallery, and archival resource, also available online (http://slought.org). He recently edited "Of the Diagram", on the work of artist and critic Marjorie Welish, "Searching for Romberg," on artist Osvaldo Romberg, and "Untitled (After Cinema)," on photography and cinema. He curated "Cities without Citizens" at the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia (July 8 through September 23, 2003) as their 2003 artist-in-residence.
The Rosenbach Museum and Library. "Cities Without Citizens: Statelessness and Settlements." Slought Foundation Online Content. [09 July 2003;
Accessed 10 December 2013]. <http://slought.org/content/11159/>.