Exhibition: Contours of Meaning
image: Lillian P.H. Kology, I Fall To Pieces, Ely Center of Contemporary Art, New Haven, 2019 (installation view). Courtesy of the artist.
Contours of Meaning
Curated by Jameson Johnson
Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts
August 8–October 6, 2019
Opening Reception | Friday, August 8, 6–9 pm
Featuring: Leika Akiyama, Lillian P.H. Kology, Georgina Lewis, Allison Maria Rodriguez, Sandrine Schaefer, Miriam Shenitzer, Nate Tucker
Bringing together a group of seven interdisciplinary artists, this exhibition is comprised entirely of site-specific installations that utilize the gallery space to revisit and recontextualize objects that reflect personal practices, narratives and histories. The works presented in this show consider the deeply embedded symbols, images and traces we rely upon to comprehend and navigate the rapidly changing world around us.
Ranging in mediums from sculpture and drawing to video and performance, the installations are not isolated, but rather elicit an interdisciplinary examination of how humans create meaning. A clock transformed into a musical instrument; a toy bathtub cast in resin; the construction of a sacred site; a display of relics. Together, these works invoke a broader examination of accumulation, ancestry, nostalgia and performativity. There is inherent playfulness in situating this work within the context of the gallery walls. Here, the viewer becomes a spectator to memories, experiences or happenings that are not their own, creating a sense of distance while simultaneously inviting interpretation.
Each of the seven artists work within Boston Center for the Arts’ Artist Studio Building. The works in this show were selected and presented collaboratively between curator, Jameson Johnson, and the artists—allowing space for the work to develop upon leaving the studio and entering the gallery. While some bodies of work present fantastical, parafictional or exaggerated narratives, others reveal historical, sacred and personal accounts. To this end, viewers are asked to consider duality and contradictions between the installations in order to understand the complex nature through which we ascribe meaning to objects, spaces and happenings. Considered together, the exhibition posits that meaning might just be situated in the contours of nuance.
Entry to the gallery is free and open to the public.
Sandrine awarded Visual Artist Residency at the Boston Center for the Arts
Sandrine was named one of the 2019-2020 Visual Art Residents at the Boston Center for the Arts. Sandrine will use their residency this Fall to work on ongoing artistic research around their project gaggle.
Exhibition: Ruffles, Repair & Ritual: the Fine Art of Fixing
Ruffles, Repair & Ritual: the Fine Art of Fixing
Dirt Palace-Wedding Cake House
May 2019-May 2020
Ruffles, Repair & Ritual: the Fine Art of Fixing celebrates the extensive renovation of the Wedding Cake House into a cultural facility that will support an Artist in Residence program and expansion of the Dirt Palace, a feminist art space going strong in Providence since 2000. This inaugural exhibition, opening on May 18th 2019, mounts 150 artist works to honor the 150th anniversary of the house being built. The exhibition is comprised of four components : Long term installations composed of commissions built into the space, flat works for viewing on the walls, literary and research projects that will be presented on web and in print formats, and time-based pieces that will be part of a series of events programed. Conceptually artists have been asked to consider the following; pattern and the textile materials acquisitioned from the house in the collections of the RISD Museum and URI, decoration and the ornate architecture of the house, the history of the neighborhood and city over the last 150 years, immigrant experiences, changing ideas within feminism and concepts of sisterhood, as well as big picture ideas about what it means to repair both material things and relationships, cultures and histories. This scale of exhibition foregrounds the breadth and depth of extraordinary artists in Providence, in our extended community of artist run spaces, as well as artists who have built relationships with us from afar - seeking out models of alternative spaces that integrate feminism and identity in cooperative, accountable, and visionary ways.
Sandrine's work featured in PUBLIC 58: SMOKE: FIGURES, GENRES, FORMS
PUBLIC 58: SMOKE: FIGURES, GENRES, FORMS proposes smoke as a pressing figure of our global present that calls forth a capacious counter-archive of knowledge and sociality.
EDITORS: Rosa Aiello, Nataleah Hunter-Young, Michael Litwack
Sandrine Schaefer's contribution, Reflecting Torpor documents methods, research, and reflections on a performance artwork titled, Torpor (Pace Investigations No.5) developed on site at Banff Centre for Art and Creativity. The text engages ideas and strategies around how the acceleration and deceleration of actions can make mechanical, geological, and felt time palpable. Other themes explored in this reflective text include, surveillance, site-sensitivity, the body as material, anthropocentrism, witness participation, visibility, and TRAnsferenCE.
PUBLIC 58 can be purchased from publicjournal.ca
Sandrine receives a residency award from Vermont Studio Center
This summer, Sandrine will participate in an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Sandrine will use this time to work on finding new ways to document and share their ephemeral works.
Sandrine awarded 2018 Live Arts Boston Grant
The Boston Foundation recently awarded Sandrine a 2018 Live Arts Boston grant in support of continued work on Pace Investigations No. 6!
Live Arts Boston (LAB) is designed to respond directly to the needs articulated by Boston's arts community through Boston Creates. LAB provides critically needed, flexible, project-specific grants to Greater Boston’s performing artists and small nonprofit performing arts organizations to create, produce or present artistic work for Greater Boston audiences. To learn more about this grant program, go to http://www.tbf.org/lab.
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation. In 2017, the Foundation and its donors paid $130 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. The Foundation is a close partner in philanthropy with its donors, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. It also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a distinct operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit tbf.org.
image: Sandrine Schaefer | Pace Investigations No. 6.3 (spring) | photo by Daniel DeLuca (2018)
Review in Delicious Line
WCC 2018 Project Grant Recipient
Sandrine was awarded a 2018 Project Grant from the Waltham Cultural Council in support of Pace Investigations No. 6, a yearlong performance artwork that investigates Waltham's historic role in the mass synchronization of mechanical time, considers pre-colonial understandings of time buried by Industrialization, and proposes ways time might be felt and measured in the future.
The Waltham Cultural Council is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Pace Investigations No. 6 in The Boston Hassle
Write up on Pace Investigations No. 6 by Emily Cobb in the Boston Hassle
ART TAKES OVER CITY HALL - CONCRETE ACTIONS: INTERDICIPLINARY ART AT CITY HALL
Preview of ESCALATE/DE-ESCALATE by Emily Cobb published in The Boston Hassle. Cobb writes:
"Sandrine Schaefer expressed some glee when she told me that she would be changing the speed of the escalators for her piece. Look for her there, possibly in camouflage.This performance builds upon an earlier piece where she stood in a revolving door to the Salt Lake City Library, situating her body to reveal the tacit social agreements that happen every day without us even noticing. Exposing this evidence of cooperation opens a strange well of intimacy and optimism. What can happen in these between-places where we all behave without even realizing it?"
To Some, Boston City Hall Is An Eyesore. To These Artists, It's Inspiration
Preview of CONCRETE ACTIONS by Amelia Mason on WBUR.
Art and Surveillance: Watching and Being Watched
This Fall, Sandrine will be teaching a new course through the Experimental College at Tufts University. Registration is currently open for Tufts students.
If you are unable to register but interested in auditing the class, please email Sandrine@SandrineSchaefer.com
EXP-0016-F Art and Surveillance: Watching and Being Watched
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
%How is art changing in a climate where many in the Western world have access to technology and social platforms to surveil one another? How does the ubiquity of media surveillance influence artists practicing today? How is the spectatorship of art changing in a society under constant surveillance?
This course will investigate the impact of surveillance on art history, current art discourse, and current socio-political issues. Through class exercises, readings, assignments, and field trips, students will consider strategies for witnessing, observing, and contending with being on display. Students will journal/sketch ideas, and create art projects generated from course content. Although art is the primary lens that we use to engage the theme, no art practice experience is required.%
% image: Sandrine Schaefer, For You....and anyone else who might be watching (2014) screen shot from surveillance footage%
Sandrine goes to Banff!
This summer, Sandrine will be participating in the Banff Research in Culture program - The Year 2067!
During this 5 week program, creative thinkers gather to ask what the world might look like in fifty years and how we might shape it. Moving beyond apocalyptic predictions, post-apocalyptic theories, and techno-utopianism, this program aims to shake up our sense of the political, social, and environmental. 2067 asks us to prod and plot the pathway from a present that needs work, to a future that works better.
During this residency, Sandrine will be developing a new iteration of her ongoing project, Pace Investigations that utilizes time structures inspired by premonitions of how time might be understood and measured in the year 2067.
Sandrine awarded a Live Arts Boston Grant
The Boston Foundation recently awarded Sandrine Schaefer a Live Arts Boston grant in support of a new iteration of Pace Investigations sited in Waltham, MA, also known as "Watch City". In the 1850’s, The Waltham Watch Company developed machinery that could produce interchangeable watch parts. This revolutionized the mass production of timepieces on an international scale, making watches more affordable and accessible than ever before. Waltham has been praised as a site that changed the “world’s time consciousness." Pace Investigations explores Waltham's historic role in the mass synchronization of mechanical time, while also resurrecting buried time structures. How was time measured in pre-colonial Waltham? Waltham is currently enduring rapid gentrification. How is time consciousness in this location changing during this transition into its future?
For updates on this project, please sign up for Sandrine's seasonal newsletter.
Live Arts Boston (LAB) is designed to respond directly to the needs articulated by Boston's arts community through Boston Creates. LAB provides critically needed, flexible, project-specific grants to Greater Boston’s performing artists and small nonprofit performing arts organizations to create, produce or present artistic work for Greater Boston audiences. To learn more about this grant program, go to www.tbf.org/lab.
Sandrine awarded Assets for Artists Matched Savings Grant
Sandrine was recently awarded an Assets for Artists 2017 Matched Savings Grant. Sandrine is 1 of 12 Massachusetts-based artists enrolled in this program that supports artists working across artistic disciplines by providing funding and professional development services.
Sandrine awarded 2015 Brother Thomas Fellowship
Sandrine was named 1 of 10 local artists as a 2015 Brother Thomas Fellow through The Boston Foundation. The Brother Thomas Fund honors the life of Brother Thomas Bezanson, a Benedictine monk and ceramist whose work can be found in museums nationwide.
The award is not tied to any particular project and designed to assist mid-career artists to evolve their practices. Working with a site-sensitive approach, Sandrine plans to use the funds for travel opportunities to make new work."
Read more about this year's award in The Boston Globe
ICA Foster Prize show emphasizes action and flux
Cate McQuaid's review of Sandrine's work published in The Boston Globe.
"What I saw of it was lucid, lyrical, and affecting. Schaefer’s naked legs protruded from one end of the carpet; her hair spilled out the other end. It was a comical scene, and it captured the incremental back-and-forth of existence. Playing out against the backdrop of the harbor, her motion echoed the water’s, and the long horizontal thrust of her performance traced the horizon line." - Cate McQuaid
Read full review HERE
Pick up a copy of the Improper Bostonian to read Scott Kearnan's feature, Off the Wall: With new Institutional Support, Performance Art is Moving from the Margins to the Museum Floor.Sandrine is quoted throughout.
Interview with BR&S
Sandrine's interview with Big Red & Shiny about The Foster Prize Exhibition!
ICA Foster Prize announcement in Art Forum
Sandrine Schaefer awarded the 2015 ICA Foster Prize
Sandrine Schaefer has been named one of The Institute of Contemporary Art's James and Audrey Foster Prize recipients. Beginning in April, Schaefer will create a piece comprised of 5 performance art works that site the spaces in and around the ICA Boston's waterfront, Founders Gallery. Each live performance art piece will leave traces that accumulate in the space, shifting the audience's sensorial encounter with the site. Congratulations to her fellow winners: Vela Phelan, Ricardo DeLima, and kijidome.
Textual Archiving for Venice International Performance Art Week
Sandrine was recently invited to participate in the Discourse program at the 2014 Venice International Performance Art Week: Ritual Body-Political Body. Sandrine wrote about the long-durational program for the Art Week's blog and is working on a text for a forthcoming print publication. Her writing can be viewed here by following the links below:
An interview with Sandrine
Check out Sandrine's recent interview on the Other People's Pixel's blog.
Review of "Untitled View"
Allison Vanouse's review of Sandrine Schaefer and Philip Fryer's piece "Untitled View" created for Odd Spaces at The MFA. For her full review visit www.howlround.com
"A piece by Sandrine Schaefer and Phil Fryer, titled Untitled View participated in this realm of activity in a performance about (as much as aboutness is an available quality for work of such simplicity) the action of looking. From the afternoon until the evening, over hours rather than minutes, Schaefer and Fryer stood variously distant from each other, and looked at art. The piece created no feeling in the pit of the stomach in the way Arsem's did, no frissons: but then we weren't directed here to an elemental human experience, but to a politics of viewing and social space. "People would move around my gaze," Schaefer related at the evening's panel, "sometimes people would come and look with me, which was nice". But this piece, for me, was ultimately not about activating the objects viewed. Watching the pair looking, I was struck by the way prolonged, premeditated activity contrasts and heightens the frenetic spectacle of "ordinary" human behavior, even when the action is ostensibly congruent with the objective of the crowd: the patrons, too, were probably there to look at art, but much is changed by a tempo and quality of attention less deliberate and less vast. In Untitled View this textural difference rose to the surface."
Rapid Pulse Discourse
Visit the 2013 Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival's blog to read Sandrine's writing about select performances.
Performance Art is Thriving in Boston by Cate McQuaid
Sandrine is quoted in this Boston Globe article written by Cate McQuaid on the current climate in Boston for Performance Art.
The Interface as Place
Sandrine Schaefer and Bradley Benedetti in Conversation on Big Red & Shiny
Interview with Robert Moeller in Art New England Online
Review of Sandrine's piece "Thinking Of A Goldfish" in Big Red & Shiny
"Next into the room was Sandrine Schaefer. Sandrine began her piece with a large glass vase full of water sitting in the middle of the room as she walked along the wall eating a banana. Stopping in the corner, she finished the banana and dropped the peel on the ground, then stood staring at the vase for a moment. Eventually she walked over and picked up the vase, which turned out to have a hole in the bottom. She plugged the hole with her finger and walked back over to the corner. She did her best to contain the water but a steady trickle ran down her knuckles to the floor. The vase was tall enough that with the base of it held down by her waist, the top came up to her chin, and at an angle where she slightly rested her face in the opening while standing there.
After about fifteen minutes, showing fatigue from holding the weight of the vase, Sandrine carried the vase outside and allowed the contents to drain out onto the grass as she walked the length of a ledge outside the gallery. Once it was empty, she re-entered the gallery and placed the vase where she had been standing, then sat in the middle of the floor and ran out the remainder of her hour watching the condensation from her breath slowly evaporate from the surface of the glass.
For the audience it was a combined experience of watching the vase, watching Sandrine as she sat as still as possible, and fitting the pieces together. The piece could be viewed as a durational exhibition, or you could look further into the space that was occupied by Sandrine and these objects. The relations between these spaces and the transitory states of being that they went through are things that happen all around us every day, and Sandrine’s piece turns the viewer’s focus toward contemplating these ubiquitous principles of existence.
If she had stood there long enough, all the water in the vase would have eventually drained out and we would have seen the vase go through a full change in its state of being from full to empty. The corner she stood in was occupied, then empty save for the remnants of her being there: the vase and the banana peel. Then there was an immediate remnant of Sandrine in the vase while the condensation was there, but once it disappeared all immediate traces of her body ever being there were, too.
There were also several stratifications of states of permanence displayed within the piece, albeit abstractly. The least permanent object in the performance was the water. If all the water drained onto the floor it would have completely evaporated within a couple of hours. As an object, water holds a very short presence. After that is the banana peel. Given enough time, it would biodegrade and also disappear. Next is Sandrine herself. If enough time passed, Sandrine would also biodegrade and disappear, leaving only the vase. Then after hundreds of years the vase, and also building, would eventually disappear, leaving only the space itself as the one true permanent presence we can count on, at least as far as we’re aware. "
- Matt Kuhlman