Queer Thoughts

A guide to the New York galleries hosting their international networks for the city’s first Condo, Jun 29 – Jul 29

28 June 2017

The first ever Condo New York is on at galleries around the city, running June 29 to July 29.

The collaborative exhibition acts as a space of collaboration and exchange: founded in London in 2016 by Vanessa Carlos of Carlos/Ishikawa, the project was set up to offer international galleries an opportunity to show in London-based galleries. This year, New York opens its gallery doors to host 36 visiting galleries across 16 spaces and is organized by Nicole Russo of Chapter NY and Simone Subal of Simone Subal Gallery.  

The project “arose from a reevaluation of existing exhibition models, a desire to pool resources and act communally, and the need to activate the gallery space in a different manner, ” with a strong focus on experimental exhibitions. 

Some recommended shows include:

– Metro Pictures hosting Shanghai’s Leo Xu with A New Ballardian Vision, featuring Nina Beier, Camille Henrot, Oliver Laric, Li Qing and Pixy Liao among others.

– Off Vendome hosting Los Angeles’ Freedman Fitzpatrick, featuring Shimabuku.

– Bodega hosting Vienna’s Croy Nielsen, featuring Georgia Gardner Gray and Birke Gorm.

Bridget Donahue hosting London’s Project Native Informant, featuring Harumi Yamaguchi.

– Foxy Production hosting Paris’ Sultana — featuring Jesse Darling, Celia Hempton, Walter Pfeiffer, Jacin Giordano — and Los Angeles’ Château Shatto, with Jean Baudrillard, Body by Body, Aria Dean and Jacqueline De Jong.

– Queer Thoughts hosting Munich’s Deborah Schamoni, featuring Gerry Bibby, Siera Hyte + others. 

– Rachel Uffner Gallery hosting Berlin’s Sandy Brown, featuring Kamilla Bischof, Timothy Davies and Dena Yago.

See the Condo New York website for the full programme and more details.**

Harumi Yamaguchi, ‘Selected Works 1974 – 1985’ Installation view. Courtesy the artist + Project Native Informant, London.
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How do we see from here? Puppies Puppies presents Lena Youkhana’s found video works at Queer Thoughts

30 March 2017

Lena Youkhana’s current exhibition, curated by Puppies Puppies and running at New York’s Queer Thoughts from March 12 to April 9, consists of three videos taken from user upload websites. Two of them, ‘An apartment for sale next to Hotel Beirut and Hurrya Mall on Baghdad Street Cairo’ (2016) and ‘A house in Dora for Sale, Baghdad’ (2016) appear to be made on cell phones by estate agents to sell homes. The third video, displayed in a separate room behind the main space, is infrared night vision footage of an Iraqi man raping a donkey. Because of the grainy quality of the green and black film it is only possible to decipher what is happening in the video via the racist and abusive narration of the cameraman, who the viewer presumes must be an American service man. What view of the ‘Middle East’ does America have, what can we see from here?

Lena Youkhana, A house in Dora for Sale, Baghdad (2016). Installation view. Courtesy the artist, Puppies Puppies + Queer Thoughts, New York.

In an email from the Iraqi-born, Chicago-based artist, Youkhana says she finds “sincerity and specificity to be intrinsic characteristics of a lot of found-videos.”  Media archaeology is the theoretical term that describes a depth-model of analysis of new and digital media; it is a materialist theoretical framework that finds clues to meaning in the historic relationships of different technologies. It is hard to know where the access point to sincerity and specificity would be in the exhibition. This is not to say that Youkhana’s work is insincere, or lacks commitment to the unique contexts she borrows footage from, but that the meaning of the show runs on a chain of deferrals that produces a sense of estrangement. As Youkhana described in her email, “For me, it is about how you navigate through the space/collection of medias given.”

Puppies Puppies’ involvement in the exhibition is clearly billed in the press release and in the title of the exhibition, so the show is read under the banner of the better-known artist. Youkhana confirmed that he selected the three videos and the framing of the show was largely up to him. In this guise, Puppies Puppies appears as an interventionist curator; while simultaneously, across town, he is participating in the Whitney Biennale as an outsider provocateur, where he is conducting a daily performance dressed as the Statue of Liberty. The Chicago-based artists’ curatorial strategy doubles the appropriative approach of Youkhana multiplying authorship and diversifying potentials for meaning in an associative constellation. In these curatorial and artistic practices, the displacement and re-insertion of signs and objects create critical disturbances in meaning.  

Lena Youkhana. Installation view. Courtesy the artist, Puppies Puppies + Queer Thoughts, New York.

So far, so post-modern, but it would be doing the show a disservice to leave its interpretation at that. The stakes of the matter and meaning of documentary material are currently high in the United States of America. Youkhana and Puppies Puppies’ show is not an exhibition about the Trump administration, or about the warmongering of Obama and Bush that preceded him, but it does bring forward the issues of access and visibility to a region that has been the fulcrum of US foreign policy for over two decades. In the video of the donkey ‘ass, an ass, and the ass’ (2014) the chain of abuse, that passes from the soldier-narrator, to the bestiality of the rapist, to the animal, is deeply uncomfortable and painfully familiar, recalling the Western media’s incessant reproduction of images of suffering and humiliation from the Iraq conflict. The epizeuxis — close repetition of words — in the title of the work is a hint at a reckoning with these linear chains of subjugation.

However, there is no clear political ‘correction’ in the show. Both the videos and the curation circumnavigates didacticism, beginning and ending with the oblique videos of real estate. Furnished but unpopulated, the properties are homes not just houses. Youkhana has mentioned that in Arabic the plural of the word ‘home’ means to go round and circles, stating, “That’s perhaps what led to look at and collect these house tour videos in the first place.” We need technology to see from a distance, but proximity does not necessarily clarify vision. In Youkhana’s work, sight and the act of looking are a form of intervention in meaning-making, separating the question from what we see from the question of what we know.**

Lena Youkhana’s solo exhibition, curated by Puppies Puppies, is on at New York’s Queer Thoughts, running March 12 to April 9, 2017.

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Small Pillow @ Arcadia Missa, Apr 9 – 15

8 April 2015

Contemporary art gallery Queer Thoughts brings a new group exhibition titled Small Pillow to London’s Arcadia Missa, where it will run from April 9 to 15.

The gallery, directed by Luis Miguel Bendaña and Sam Lipp (both of whom will also participate in the group show), features nine other artists, including Mindy Rose SchwartzLucie StahlPuppies Puppies, and K.r.m. Mooney.

The press release comes in the form of a story by artist Maliea Croy that tells of a woman that “was a child in that way—guilty for things she didn’t cause”, a woman who would “grab at things and unintentionally crush them”.

See the exhibition page for details. **

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Under a Thawing Lake @ darkarts.international, Feb 4 – 8

3 February 2015

Mexico City’s darkarts.international is bringing a group show to its space this weekend, titled Under a Thawing Lake and running from February 4 to 8.

The show runs simultaneously with Mexico City’s Material Art Fair 2015, celebrating its second season, and, not surprisingly, there’s quite a bit of overlap in the list of participating artists between the two shows. Dora Budor is included in the list, alongside Nico Colón with whom she is exhibiting at the fair with Paris’s New Galerie.

Also on the list is Renaud Jerez, coming off his group show for Lodos at the fair, as well as Puppies Puppies, who is performing as part of Queer Thoughts alongside David Rappeneau a and his solo show. Other participating artists include Candice JacobsHannah Perry, and Yves Scherer, among eight or so others.

See the darkarts.international website for details. **

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Material Art Fair 2015, Feb 5 – 8

3 February 2015

Mexico City’s first (and only) contemporary art fair, Material Art Fair, is coming back for its second edition this weekend, running at Auditorio Blackberry from February 5 to 8.

The fair is bringing 40 different international exhibitors exploring emerging arts, as well as a public programme of conferences organized by the New York magazine and non-profit organization Triple Canopy and a video series programmed by South London Gallery Associate Curator Anna Gritz.

The list of participants includes galleries and projects from all over, including: Mexico’s own Parallel Oaxaca (with Last Night) and Lodos gallery (with a Emanuele Marcuccio, Renaud Jerez, Edward Marshall Shenk and Victor Vaughn group show); LA’s Smart Objects and François Ghebaly Gallery; Brooklyn’s American Medium (with an Ann Hirsch, Brenna Murphy, Brian Kokoska, Kareem Lotfy, Morgan Ritter, and Zachary Davis group show) as well as 321 Gallery (with Jake Borndal, Erika Hickle, and Paul Kopkau); Queer Thoughts‘ solo show with David Rappeneau followed by a Puppies Puppies performance; and Paris’s New Galerie group show (with Dora Budor, Nico Colon, and Sean Raspet.

See the Material Art Fair website for details. **


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Events + exhibitions, Feb 2 – 8

2 February 2015

With Material Art Fair 2015 set to start in Mexico City this week, galleries and events of interest are bound to be centred around the Mexican capital. They include booths from Parallel Oaxaca, Queer Thoughts and New Galerie, as well as the Under a Thawing Lake exhibition presented by Dark Arts International, and an opening at Lodos Gallery.

In London, Space is showing work from three artist-run spaces including Piper Keys, The Duck and that of Caspar Heinemann, Morag Keil and Kimmo Modig from Life, while Viktor Timofeev is closing his Proxyah exhibition at Jupiter Woods and Dora Budor is appearing for an artist lecture at tank.tv.

Tabor Robak is one of the artists in a group show curated by Samuel Leuenberger called Constructed Culture sounds like Conculture in Dublin, Harm van den Dorpel has another solo show in Berlin, Caroline Ongaro is curating  Exquisite Collapse and Finnish performance group Vibes is presenting a site-specific installation at Helsinki’s SIC.

There’s more so see below:


Dora Budor @ tank.tv, Feb 2

NEWGenNow: Binary Static @ The White Building, Feb 3

The Violet Crab @ DRAF, Feb 5 – May 2

Visionhale @ Chisenhale Gallery, Feb 5 – 6

Material Art Fair 2015, Feb 5 – 8

Activating the Archive opening @ Banner Repeater, Feb 5

Primitive London 4th B-Day @ Tipsy, Feb 6

Micachu, Tirzah &c @ LOCAL, Feb 6

Opening party @ LEISURE, Feb 6

Gender Troublers: FEMEA @ UdK, Feb 6

Proxyah (version 2) closing event @ Jupiter Woods, Feb 7

Spirit Level finissage @ ANDOR, Feb 7


Exquisite Collapse @ Blip blip blip, Feb 3 – 25

Under a Thawing Lake @ Justo Sierra 71 (Estudio 71), Feb 4 – 8

Ry David Bradley @ Tristian Koenig, Feb 4

Sol Calero @ 63rd – 77th STEPS, Feb 4 – 25


Menna Cominetti @ Lima Zulu, Feb 6

Emily Jones @ V4ULT, Feb 6

Constructed Culture sounds like Conculture @ Ellis King, Feb 6 – Mar 14

Kevin Gallagher @ Lodos Gallery, Feb 6 – Mar 21

Vibes @ SIC, Feb 6 – 22

Harm van den Dorpel @ Neumeister Bar-Am, Feb 7 – Apr 11

Piper Keys, Life Gallery + The Duck @ Space gallery, Feb 8 – 22**

See here for exhibitions opening last week.

Header image: Parallel Oaxaca @ Material Art Fair 2015.

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