Dimensions Variable (DV) presents a group exhibition titled Subduction Zones, curated by artist Carrie Sieh and featuring the work of Hannah Chalew, Alisa Gots, Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, Onajide Shabaka, Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin, Em Watson. The exhibition opens on February 25, 2023, 6—9pm in the Solomon Gallery and runs through May 25, 2023.
Utilizing geology as a conceptual framework, Subduction Zones considers the multifaceted and interconnected origins of individual, collective, and historical traumas from analytic, proactive perspectives, while rejecting sensationalism, voyerism, and passive spectatorship. The works chosen for this exhibition invite conversations about resistance and resilience; imagine impactful interventions; and encourage transformative action.
Hannah Chalew is an artist, educator and environmental activist raised and currently working in New Orleans. She received her BA from Brandeis University in 2009 and my MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2016. She has exhibited widely around New Orleans and has shown around the country at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY; Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO; Dieu Donné, New York, NY; Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville, NC; Minnesota Center for the Book Arts, Minneapolis, MN, and other venues. Chalew’s work is held in the collections of the City of New Orleans and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Her work is included in two creative atlases by writer and activist Rebecca Solnit, Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, co-authored with Rebecca Snedeker and Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, co-authored with Joshua Jelly-Schapiro. In 2021, Chalew received the Monroe Fellowship Research Grant to create ink from fossil fuel pollution in collaboration with fence-line communities in Southern Louisiana. In 2022, she also received a Platforms Fund grant and a Puffin Foundation grant to support the fossil fuel pollution ink project. Chalew is the 2022 South Arts Southern Prize winner as well as the South Arts Louisiana State Fellow.
Alisa Gots is a graphic artist, born in 1988, works in Kyiv, Ukraine. In 2012, she completed her master’s degree at the Institute of Printing of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, majoring in graphic art. She began her practice in the workshop of Volodymyr Ivanov-Akhmetov. In 2013, together with Nina Savenko and Taras Kabluk, she founded the independent lithography workshop Lithography30, where all three work mainly in the technique of lithography on stone. Today, it is the only independent lithographic workshop in Ukraine, which acts as an artist association and as an open educational platform where people can learn this technique. The projects and series of works that Alisa Gots works on are mainly related to personal experiences created on the basis of certain psychological states and emotional periods. Many of the artist’s works are a way to remember personal experiences and unravel their essence.
Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova (b. 1973 Havana, Cuba) is an Artist, Curator, Co-founder and Co-director of Dimensions Variable (DV) and Fulano Inc. His work has been exhibited widely at Sculpture Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, Abrons Arts Center and White Box in New York; Museo de Bellas Artes and Factoria Habana in Havana, Cuba; ZONA MACO Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City, Mexico; Capri Palace and Villa Lena in Italy; Prosjektrom Normanns in Stavanger, Norway; PAMM, Frost Museum, The Bass, MOCA, DV and Locust Projects in Miami. His work is in many public and private collections around the world and institutions like PAMM, Frost Museum, Cintas Foundation, and The Bass. He has been written about in the New York Times, The Miami Herald, Art Nexus, Arte al Dia, Artforum, Artsy, Sculpture Magazine, Hyperallergic, The Miami Rail, and Miami Magazine. Since founding DV in 2009, he has organized and curated many projects by local and international emerging artists.
Onajide Shabaka (Born Cincinnati, OH 1948. Live and works Miami, FL) studied at California College of the Arts and Art Center College of Design and earned his MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Shabaka has participated in numerous international art residencies, some established and others self-made. A selection includes Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (the artist was the first and only resident at the time); Oolite Arts’ Home and Away program with Anderson Ranch in Aspen, CO; Project Row Houses in Houston, TX and Artist in Residence in the Everglades (AIRIE). These residencies, including the self-made ones, often coincide with an intentional walk, a meditative part of Shabaka’s practice that he frames as performance. Some of these include walks in the Gullah Geechee Cultural Corridor along the coast between Georgia South Carolina, and Florida; Mangrove Walk in Greynolds Park, North Miami Beach, FL; the BWCA, Superior National Forest, Minnesota; and African Rice & Maroon Subsistence Farming Residency, Paramaribo, Suriname.
Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin
Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin are Houston-based interdisciplinary artists. Their life’s work, an ongoing series of 50 interdisciplinary installations inspired by little-known LGBTQI2 histories from each state, involves extensive original archival research and deep collaborations with local LGBTQI2 communities. They have completed six installations in this 50 States Project (Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Arkansas, and Louisiana) and have had solo exhibitions at The Blaffer Art Museum (Houston), DiverseWorks (Houston), the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art, the Invisible Dog Art Center (NYC), Art League Houston, Aurora Picture Show (Houston), Devin Borden Gallery (Houston) and non-traditional community-facing venues including Pride Festivals in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and Houston, Houston Community College Campuses, Houston Public Library, University of Houston MD Anderson Library, and numerous queer bars.
Their work has been included in many group shows including the Contemporary Art Museum Houston’s “Stonewall 50”, and the Blaffer Art Museum’s “Carriers”. Their work is included in public and private permanent collections including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Getty Research Institute, the City of Houston Public Art Collection, The Brooklyn Historical Society, The University of Houston MD Anderson Library Special Collections, The Texas A&M Cushing Library Special Collections, and BlackRock International. Coverage of their work includes a “critic’s pick” review in Artforum (April 2020 for “50 States Louisiana”).
Margolin and Vaughan are recipients of a NYFA Fellowship, a Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and grants from the IdeaFund, MAPFund, the Houston Arts Alliance, and Mid America Arts Alliance.
Additionally, both artists are members of the theater company The TEAM, and frequently collaborate as visual designers with choreographers Faye Driscoll and Yoshiko Chuma.
Em Watson is a visual storyteller working in video, photography, and performance. Her photography work has been featured in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, Dance Magazine, American Theater Magazine, and the cover of the Ballet Review, among others. Her freelance clients have included: The Guggenheim Museum (Works & Process), New York University, The UN: Harmony With Nature Initiative, YoungArts Foundation, and many performing arts companies in NYC.
Em is a graduate of NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Her post-graduate study has included “Storytelling Beyond Words” with the International School of Storytelling (Forest Row, England), and the Anthroposophy Studies program at the Goetheanum (Doranch, Switzerland.)