Sole Echange - Francis Palazzolo

Curated by Francis Palazzolo

Open Source Gallery

306 17th St Brooklyn NY 11215

2-29 April 2016

2pm to 6pm Thurs-Sat

opening 2 April 6-8pm

The Open Source Gallery and the Healing Arts Initiative (HAI) present Sole Exchange, a participatory art installation curated by Francis Palazzolo.

From an art historical perspective, pedestals have served a variety of purposes, from removing art from the viewer’s space to signifying importance to simply designating what is considered art. In Sole Exchange, pedestals will be toppled and refashioned into seating, transforming an exclusive barrier into a utilitarian object that can be shared by all. Upon these pedestals, visitors to the gallery will be invited to exchange their footwear and converse with friends and strangers. Through the use of these pedestals turned social sculptures, visitors and participating artists will share the opportunity for exchange on an inclusive platform–and will feel what it’s like to be in another’s shoes.

Sole Exchange explores the intersection between live performance and pictorial form, utilizing practices that enhance intersubjectivity. In contrast to dialogue-based public art, the show includes representational art hung upon the walls. While representations cut across the grain, they help to negotiate unspoken or unrealized spaces between people. The curator selected pieces from the HAI Art Studio where members suspended disbelief and rendered themselves in the role of someone they would like to be and/or understand better.

Join the curator Francis Palazzolo, artists Ray Lopez and Laura Anne Walker on 21 April 7-9pm. They will discuss their intersubjective lens on art: How visualizing otherness and expanding the definition of kinship mends alienation and supports diversity. In 2014 Palazzolo initiated a conversation with Lopez; remarking that for some of his peers to put themselves in another’s shoes is art (Walker being a major proponent). Palazzolo recognized that for these artists the practice was a source of strength and wellness. He encouraged Lopez to join in. The Sole Exchange exhibit is the result of this process.

Sole Exchange offers a pedagogical approach too: On 7 April a poetry workshop explores the subject of being someone you are not. Participants learn a language-based approach for sharing in another’s existence. A collaborative drawing workshop, the "drawing exchange" takes place on 14 April. Participants learn from each other through the process of organizing art. Participants share each other's ideas on the picture plane to gain mutual trust for connecting perspectives and methods. Both workshops are 1-5 pm, taught by curator, open to public, and supplies are free.

In 1994, Palazzolo co-founded the Art Studio & Gallery at HAI which is part of the Healing Arts Initiative. This Long Island City based non-for-profit organization makes the arts accessible to all New Yorkers, especially individuals who are isolated and marginalized due to institutionalization, hospitalization, disability, illness, and at-risk in low-income neighborhoods. HAI exists to remove barriers to art and culture. Thirteen of these self -taught artists participated in the show: Laura Anne Walker, Derrick Brown, Ray Lopez, Jorge Hernandez, Derrick Coard, Cynthia Timms, Angela Roger, Alyson Vega, Phillip Clark, Lukau Lukelo, Anthony Perez, Cynthia Timms. Christopher Baptiste.

Community Forms Through Accessible Art

Curated by Francis Palazzolo, “Sole Exchange explores the intersection between live performance and representational form, utilizing social practices that enhance intersubjectivity." Palazzolo said the project “was all about putting yourself into someone else’s shoes, going just beyond the normal exchange, getting outside your comfort zone, engaging the public as art, and through art.” The curator continues to say "the idea for the show is the connection, the relationship between social engagement and visualizing yourself as someone else. Artist's arrived as pictured in their pieces upon the walls which facilitated more interaction and the exchange of shoes with each other.”

By Gabriela Barkho / Brooklyn Magazine 18 April 2016 / Excerpt: Review of Show

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