State of the City: Whose Space? Our Space!

August 3 - September 23, 2012
Opening Reception:
August 3, 6-10pm
     Performances by Heather Roffe & K. Reagan @ 7:30 & 8:30
Artists' Talk:
August 5 @ 1pm
Performing Public Space with Rochester Contemporary
      Dance Collective:
Sept. 22, 3pm - 6pm Free!


Rochester Contemporary Art Center and The Memorial Art Gallery present: State of the City 2012: Whose Space? Our Space! This current and challenging exhibition asks: How are artists and activists redefining public space today?. The makers, dancers, collectives and groups featured in the exhibition address specific concepts and conventions of public space in relation to Surveillance, Protest and Humor/Absurdity. The exhibition takes its title from the popular protest chant: "Whose Streets? Our Streets!".

The Bloody Noes (Rochester, NY)
Teaming up since 2008, The Bloody Noes (DJ Cardboard and MC Drywall) bring myriad forms of entertainment to Rochester and beyond. They have produced noise music duets, theatrical plays (Santanalia, Apocalypse, Frankenstein), infectious pop music, allegorical pantomimes, Dude Symposium, and mysterious devices of curious purpose. For their current meditation on Public Space, The Bloody Noes will push some sanctification on to the street of Rochester. With the help of their trusty cart, the Mobile Sanctification Unit, or MbSnUt, they promise to end distraction. The Bloody Noes will activate their sculpture with a public performance September 21 at 6pm at RoCo.
The Bloody Noes  
Jim Day (Rochester, NY)
Photographer Jim Day is fascinated with the complex architecture of cities. For this exhibition, Day has used the 3D photographic process to document the depth and unique character of some of Rochester's iconic, historic and confused public spaces. Some of these locations such as Washinton Sq. Park have complex histories and have been the sites of debates surrounding public space. All photographed at night and usually devoid of people, the intended, actual and accepted use of these locations are called into question.
Jim Day  
inFluxdance (Salt Lake City, UT)
Originally founded in 2004, inFlux dance is a contemporary dance theatre group that creates accessible works without boundaries. inFluxdance uses five main principles in their work: Interdisciplinary Vision, Collaboration, Accessibility, Communication and Outreach. Combining these elements, InFlux aims to inspire social change through both the more traditional audience found at live performances and the community audience found at other outreach programs. inFluxdance's installation for Whose Space? Our Space! will build upon a previous performance work from 2010 entitled Justice For Some which documents and explores the history of protest and social movements.
Influx Dance  
Matthew Keeney (Syracuse, NY)
Keeney's Found Space project lighheartedly explores the often forgotten slices of the urban environment. While visiting the different boroughs of New York City, Keeney placed himself in odd and unusual spaces that he "found" in parks, streets, sidewalks, subway stations, etc. The resulting documentation photographs humorously record a human body rigidly inhabiting the "unused" spaces that caught Keeney's attention. The simplicity fo this gesture allows us to envision ourselves in Found Spaces of our own.
Matthew Keeney  

James Paulsen (Albany, NY)
In 2008, the city of Buffalo, NY installed 56 wireless surveillance cameras (Avrio Rapid Deployment Surveillance Solution PoleCams) on strategic street corners, in order to monitor the public. Paulsen's series of oil paintings Transformation of the Public Sphere document this occurrence. The viewer follows the three viewpoints of the cameras:  a straight on view of the camera in the public space, a view of the camera body with a distorted reflection of the street/intersection on the surface of the glass sphere, and finally, just the distorted reflection of the public sphere itself. Paulsen sees the camera globes as resembling a giant eye with dilated pupil. The transformation of public space is demonstrated as the public space is inverted, captured, and distorted by the camera.

James Paulsen  
Occupy Rochester
Perhaps no other movement in recent history has transformed the public's involvement in and awareness of public space more than Occupy Wall Street and related Occupy protests. Will we ever view a tent in the city the same way? Occupy Wall Street defines itself as a "leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions." Originating on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District the Occupy protests spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. Whose Space? Our Space! presents documents, video, photographs and objects exploring how Occupy Rochester transformed Washington Square Park and heightened the region's awareness of this global movement.
Occupy Rochester in Washinton Sq. Park  
Performing Public Space with Rochester Contemporary Dance Collective: September 22, 3-6pm
Schedule TBA Free!

State of the City Exhibitions

Launched in 2008, RoCo's State of the City exhibitions bring together artists from various backgrounds and
disciplines who document and explore Upstate NY cities. This series of exhibitions features local, emerging,
established and international artists. State of the City exhibitions engage the public and creative professionals in considering and envisioning the history and future of upstate cities. This vital series of exhibitions will continue to generate important discussions across the art community and foster productive collaborations between artists, cultural institutions, urban planning/architecture professionals and the general public in Upstate/Western NY.

Presented in partnership with:

Exhibitions at RoCo are funded in part by:
The New York State Coucil on the Arts
The Rochester Area Community Foundation
The Gouvernet Arts Fund
The Ames-Amzalak Memorial Trust
The Mary S. Muilligan Charitable Trust
The Foster Charitable Trust
The John & Barbara Lovenheim Charitable Trust
The Samloff Family Fund