April 9, 2011- May 15, 2011.
Opening reception: April 9, 2011, 5pm.
Artist talk: April 23, 2011, 3pm.
CB1 Gallery hosts an opening reception for Susan Sila's most recent work. In the East gallery Silas will present selected works from eyes wide shut, 2010, a portfolio of 24 images from her series found birds, 2000 - the present; as well as embrace, a stop-action HD-video animation. Silas will also premiere her 2010 video performance, A child of sixties television singing songs that got stuck in her head, in our West gallery. This exhibition is accompanied by a 64 page soft-bound monograph, EYES WIDE SHUT, which features Silas’ 24 image portfolio as well as two short written works by the artist.
The series found birds, 2000 - the present is a collection of portfolios developed by Silas during the past decade. The series began serendipitously, when a small sparrow fell dead on the sidewalk at the artist’s feet. Silas documents with patient and focused resolve the irreversible transition from being to matter. Revealing aspects of decay and transformation, death and renewal, Silas simultaneously examines the continuum and resilience of life, self-consciously enlisting her photographs to do what photography does best — mining the medium’s ability to expose exactly what existed in front of the lens — conveying the unique fragility of sentient beings and their inevitable loss.
Her video performance, A child of sixties television singing songs that got stuck in her head, depicts Silas singing popular opening theme songs from late 50s and 60s television shows. Her isolated serenade is captured as she sings to her reflection in a large mirror. In Silas’ renditions of Bat Masterson, Rawhide, Yogi Bear, The Mickey Mouse Club, and other once
popular melodies, she enacts rituals of self-intimacy and creates a commentary on aging, memory and the inevitable advancement of time, while reminding us of the peculiar cultural productions that hold us together generationally and mark the movement from one
generation to the next. Accompanying this video are suites of self-portraits in which her two selves inhabit the same frame. Each image juxtaposes a stark self-portrait in the foreground against a softeridealized portrait reflected in the mirror; a literal reminder of the divide between one’s self and one’s self-perception.
Ms. Silas, who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, received her Master in Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. She has been widely exhibited in the United States and in Europe. Her work on the Holocaust in Europe during the Second World War, Helmbrechts walk,1998-2003, has been exhibited at Hebrew Union College Museum, New York City, 2009-2010; Kunstverien Grafschaft Bentheim in Neuenhaus, Germany, 2010; and Kunsthalle Exnergasse_WUK in Vienna, 2010. Helmbrechts walk, 1998- 2003 will be exhibited in 2011 at the Hungarian Jewish Museum in Budapest and is described at length in the recently published Landscapes of Holocaust Postmemory by Holocaust scholar Brett Ashley Kaplan. Her recent essay, Sex on the Run? No, We Parked, was published in the Modern Love column in The New York Times in October, 2010.