ILANA BESSLER

CREATIVE ASYLUM

Asylum NYC opened on Monday. From that day through the end of the week, the ten selected artists were kept in detention at White Box, where they were required to create work. The artists were not allowed to to bring any tools or materials with them into the gallery, nor were they permitted to leave; they were, moreover, subject to a set of strict rules regarding their behavior. For creating their work, each artist had to rely entirely on the goodwill of gallery visitors and the arrangements s/he could make with them.
Ilana created a conceptual work with a photographic reasoning. Interacting with the public, she produced 200 pictures without using the camera, only pen and paper. With cards that she made and issued to visitors and by asking them to mark the phenotypic characteristics they found that best correspond to the image they had of themselves. By observing each one, we mentally visualize the pictures. The work made use of the procedures adopted in demographic surveys or in migration procedures, converting the classificatory logic in artistic poetics. Generating a collaborative performance, she attempted to trigger on the audience a reflection on the process of building an identity and self-image, about prejudice and respect for differences.

White Box Gallery, NY
Curated by Juan Puntes
Wooloo.org - 2006