CAROLYN AGIS, MOLLY SPITTA and SYLKE SPITTA
July 18 - August 22, 2014
UP&OUT is a whimsical and imaginative collaborative exhibition integrating a range of artwork mediums - video, installation, collage, drawing and text - by CAROLYN AGIS, MOLLY SPITTA, and SYLKE SPITTA. This exhibit will run from July 18 - August 22, 2014, with an opening reception on Friday July 18th from 6-8:00 p.m.
UP&OUT’s core purpose is to inspire curiosity and stimulate conversations, one question at a time. The exhibition’s title is a reference to the movie Willy Wonka (1971) starring Gene Wilder. At the film’s end, Wonka, the young Charlie, and his Grandpa Joe enter into the Great Glass Elevator. Charlie looks to the glass ceiling and asks bewildered, “you mean we’re going…”. Wonka answers affirmatively with a nod, “up and out!” UP&out is thus a proposal to look around, over, outside, and through some "thing" in order to break through our own glass ceilings and ultimately move towards the cohesive union of mind (knowledge), spirit (heart) and body (will).
This exhibition opens with a video presentation of Agis’ Dreams and Page of Pentacles, two short films highlighting the back-and-forth, up-and-down tension between fear and fearlessness perpetuated by our individualized interpretation of experience. Dreams presents a woman reacting anxiously to an unrecognizable face that looms into focus as suddenly as it recedes into the background, alluding to the paradoxical nature of our perceived notions. The Page of Pentacles further emphasizes this inner dichotomy in the boy’s play with the yoyo.
To resolve this tension between, the three artists developed a series of questions paired with images that playfully provoke viewers/readers to reexamine their habitual perception of reality and ultimately climb “up and out” into a new and expanded viewpoint. In this project, success lies in knowing that the answers you seek are found in the questions you ask. Furthermore, by accessing the emotions to process the answers and applying will to make the necessary changes, harmonious conditions are available to us at anytime, anywhere. The images and text are produced on paper and wheat pasted on board, a methodology utilized in street art. Through this technique, the suggestion is made that UP&out was developed to break down the barriers between the viewer and the observed work of art. This artwork is created for the people, by the people.
Rounding off this exhibition, Agis isolates excerpts from Søren Kierkegaard’s philosophical work, Fear and Trembling. The selected texts, referencing faith, hope and belief, are printed onto index cards and archived in a traditional card catalog. This interactive installation entitled, Kierkegaard’s Card Catalog, allows the viewer to thumb through the poetic and emotive language that characterizes the philosopher’s work. As Kierkegaard states, "it does not depend merely upon what one sees but depends upon on how one sees; all observation is not just a receiving but also a bringing forth.”
Carolyn Agis has exhibited her work internationally at the Visual Arts Galerie and ANIFEST International Animation Festival in Czech Republic, the Bread Factory Theater in Bonn, Germany and the Streaming Festival in The Hague, Netherlands, to name a few. She has a B.F.A. from School of Visual Arts in NYC and a M.A. from Visual Arts Academy in Prague, Czech Republic. Agis is currently working on a video series investigating source of inspiration and the concept of vision. Additionally, she runs her own creative consultancy firm, Forward Fokus.
Sisters-in-law, Molly Spitta and Sylke Spitta, collaborate regularly on life coaching and burn-out prevention through mind-body therapies. This involves creating small group workshops that allow participants to engage with each other in playful investigation: asking questions and finding answers in search of self-actualization. Sylke’s knowledge of sports medicine therapy and Molly’s background in theater and voice, has allowed them to co-create a lively curriculum that is being distributed and taught throughout North Rhein Westphalia, Germany.
Printing by Billi Kid
Presented at New York Open Center | 22 East 30th St. NY, NY 10016