Dead Horse Bay: The Glass Graveyard of Brooklyn

“The Beach That Speaks” An Excerpt from Brian Thill’s Waste; Animated by Nicole Antebi

Stills

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Produced for “Dead Horse Bay: The Glass Graveyard of Brooklyn” curated by Allison C. Meier

February 1st – April 1st, 2017

Curated by Allison C. Meier

Opening reception: Wednesday, February 1st from 6-9pm.

On view: February 1- April 1, 2017

Exhbiting artists include: Nicole Antebi, Gerard Barbot, Alex Branch, Yael Eban, David Horvitz, Nathan Kensinger, Jackie Mock, Rose Nestler, Rachel Owens, Amanda Patenaude, Anna Riley, Mark Splatter, and Brett Swenson

It is easy to forget Dead Horse Bay exists. Cradled by a slender curve of shore on the southern edge of Brooklyn, between Marine Park and Jamaica Bay, it feels sequestered from the rest of New York City. Except every aspect of Dead Horse Bay is embedded with the city’s history, from its topography shaped by Robert Moses, to its name referencing the horse rendering plants that were among many unsavory businesses that disrupted its ecology in the 19th century. And then there’s the trash strewn on its beach, where everything not decomposed since the landfill beneath was closed in the 1930s is slowly revealed by the waves.

When walking along the shore of Dead Horse Bay, you soon hear the clinking sound of glass bottles as the Atlantic Ocean laps against the sand. On the beach, there is glass of every variety, from amber bleach jugs to delicate and clear perfume bottles, to green soda bottles, and blue medical bottles. Nowhere else in the city, perhaps, is the connection of glass to our daily lives so evident, as in this detritus of lives lived decades ago.

Dead Horse Bay is essential to explore now, as it is a site of disparate tensions. There are the plants and animals attempting to live alongside the visible pollution, and the consideration of greater planetary concerns with climate change threatening rising currents, which could submerge this strange place. And there’s the conflict between artists who use this as a resource and site of inspiration, and those who see it as protected as any federally-controlled park, even if it’s toxic litter. Finally, it’s the idea that in a city so dense, so developed, that there are these overlooked locations that remain, that are unpleasant and ignored, yet can tell us so much about our history and our individual impact on the world. Now our trash is mostly whisked away from the city, seemingly vanishing; here is evidence that it does not go away.

As an exhibition theme, Dead Horse Bay offers a chance to examine reuse of glass, the history of glassware in consumer goods, and how the sonic and tactile experience with glass at the place, in all its luminous colors, can be an unexpected muse.

About the curator: Allison C. Meier is a Brooklyn-based writer focusing on the arts and overlooked history. Currently, she is staff writer at Hyperallergic, and moonlights as a cemetery tour guide at New York burial grounds. She’s also worked as the senior editor at Atlas Obscura and has published stories for the New York Times, Art DeskARTNewsNarrative.lyBrooklyn Based, the Oklahoma Gazette, Oklahoma Today MagazineBust, and others.

Image credit: Triple Canopy and Phoebe d’Heurle

Waste by Brian Thill 2015 Bloomsbury Object Lessons 

The Shack screening at the 94th meeting of the New York Comic and Picture Story Symposium (2014)

Orion Martin at The Rumpus wrote a nice little summary of my talk with graphic novelist, Miki Golod at Columbia University’s Butler Library:

THE NEW YORK COMICS AND PICTURE-STORY SYMPOSIUM: NICOLE ANTEBI AND MIKI GOLOD

BY 

August 19th, 2014

The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work. Open to the public, it meets Monday nights 7-9 p.m. EST in New York City. Presentations vary weekly and include everything from historical topics and technical demonstrations to creators presenting their work. Check out upcoming meetings here.

On August 11th, the ninety-fourth meeting of the Comics and Picture Story Symposium was held at Columbia University’s Butler Library. Nicole Antebi and Miki Golod presented about their recent work.

Nicole Antebi: Why Animation?

Antebi has worked with animation on a number of projects that combine historical description and fantasy to address contemporary issues. She began her talk by describing her introduction into the world of animation. Growing up, she was discouraged from watching Disney films. As a result, she had little exposure to animation until later in life and came to see the possibilities in the medium from a different angle.

In 2009, Antebi made the short animated film, Uisce Beatha. The film begins with the story of William Mulholland, the man who oversaw the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, but expands into an exploration of the relationships between whiskey, water, and Uisce, the fantastical trickster of Irish mythology who is constantly seeking water.

Antebi spoke about the possibility for magical thinking to highlight new connections and meanings in historical research, saying, “I settled on the idea that all representation is largely a form of fiction or at the very least, mediated by fiction.” She argued that animation has a unique relationship to representation because the hand of the creator has been visible from the beginning of Cinema. In classes she’s taught on animation, she would ask her students, “Why animation?” For her, the answer is in its unique ability to represent the intangible.

In a recent work, The Shack, Antebi used The Winter Shack, a collaboration with artist Alex Branch, as a launching point for a discussion of improvised housing in New York. The film weaves together hand-drawn animation, photography, and digital animation.

Antebi’s work can be found online at www.nicoleantebi.com

*

Miki Golod: Full Body Scan

Miki Golod is an Israeli cartoonist who has lived in Brooklyn for the past several years. He presented about his work in Israel and about Full Body Scan, his final project at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

Golod said he was hoping to focus on three issues with Full Body Scan: his move to Brooklyn, his sexuality, and his memories from the years he spent in the Israeli army as a field medic. Although he had completed autobiographical works before, these were issues that he had been avoiding.

Full Body Scan begins on a snowy night in Brooklyn, as Golod’s date begins to ask him questions about his time in the military. Using the conversation to give context to his memories, Golod addresses some of the questions he is asked most often about his service. Ranging from mundane to terrifying, his stories depict the reality of military life.

When he began the work, Golod wanted to make a comic that avoided the stereotypes he had seen in LGBT comics (namely, the focus on sex) and in Israeli war stories (the troubled soldier, trying to remember what happened). The comic also addresses some of the culture shock he felt when encountering American ideas of war in films such as Act of Valor.

When asked about which parts of the comic are drawn from memory and which are fictional, Golod said that the date which provides the frame for the story is fictitious, even though it is drawn from many true stories. As for the war stories, Golod said, “I drew it the way I remember it, but I can’t be 100% sure.”

You can find Miki Golod’s work at golod.prosite.com

***

About the author: Orion Martin is a comics writer and critic whose work focuses on the intersection between science fiction and social commentary. You can find his work atorionnotes.com/art or r-o-martin.tumblr.com.


The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work. Open to the public, it meets Tuesday nights 7-9pm EST in New York City. Presentations vary weekly and include everything from historical topics and technical demonstrations to creators presenting their work. Check out upcoming meetings here. More from this author →

High Desert Test Sites and Monte Vista Projects Present: Spectacular Subdivision (2014)

The Shack screened at Spectacular Subdivision presented by High Desert Test Sites and Monte Vista Projects 

Curator: Jay Lizo

For Spectacular Subdivision (see more info below) I screened a single channel non-fiction animated short title The Shack about the history of shacks, shantytowns and housing settlements built throughout New York during historic periods of severe income inequality not unlike our current moment. The animation frames this history by way of The Winter Shack, a temporary exhibition/performance space built from the cast-off remains of found wooden pallets in a backyard in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. Encouraged by the architecture of The Winter Shack and an exceptionally brutal winter, The Winter Shack brought artists and writers together for performative readings, installations, and happenings during the first three months of 2014. The improvised architecture and adaptive reuse of The Shack stands as a optimistic reminder of the possibilities of making something out of nothing.

Stills from The Shack:

The Shack 1

The Shack 4

Shack 2

KCET Artsbound review by Kim Stringfellow:

http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/san-bernardino/spectacular-subdivision-high-desert-test-sites.html

High Desert Test Sites and Monte Vista Projects present Spectacular Subdivision, a group project curated by Jay Lizo. This three-day exhibition invites artists to reflect on questions of housing and real estate in the aftermath of the 2008 housing market crisis. What does housing mean to artists in relation to their practice? How has the mortgage meltdown affected artists? How have forms of domesticity and shelter shaped artists’ practices?

Spectacular Subdivision stems from the many conversations Jay had with other artists about purchasing a home. These conversations, ranging from the various types of paints used for interiors, to how to expand a house to incorporate a studio, and how to find balance between a living and working space, were simultaneously banal and fantastical. The project both engages and mimics the logic of real estate development as it has played out in the years since settlement began on the edges of habitable space across the Californian desert, e.g. California City in Kern County and Salton City, the failed resort adjacent to the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley. The call invites participating artists to explore their personal fantasies in tandem with that (il)logic.

The project takes place over one weekend at two sites in Wonder Valley, California, on the fringes of the high desert. Large-scale sculptures are installed in a cul-de-sac formation at the remote, undeveloped Iron Age Road parcel. Additional works are on view at El Paseo Ranch, a rental cabin owned by the Sibley Family.

Participating artists include: Matt Allison, Katie Allison, Yuki Ando, Nicole Antebi, Annette Barz, Lara Bank, Allison Danielle Behrstock, James Cathey, Frank Chang, Chelsea Dean, Michael Dodge, Rebecca Bennett Duke, Ken Ehrlich, Patrick Gilbert, Joe Goode, Jenalee Harmon, Anastasia Hill, Dick Hebdige, Oliver Hess, Oree Holban, Olga Koumoundouros, Norm Laich, Jay Lizo, Candice Lin, Clare Little, Justin Lowman, Ben Lord, Nuttaphol Ma, Patrick Melroy, Anna Mayer, Megan Mueller, Ruchama Noorda, Noah Peffer, Nikki Pressley, Ben Pruskin, Nate Page, Carl Pomposelli, Colin Roberts, Marco Rios, Sam Scharf, Ryan Taber, Emily Thomas, Matthew Usinowicz, Jesse Wilson, and Kim Yasuda.

About Monte Vista Projects:
Monte Vista Projects is an artist-run space in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles. Since July 2007, Monte Vista Projects has hosted exhibitions, lectures, events, and performances. The space is self-determining—there is no “manifesto”—but the general aim is to provide a platform for art and conversation in Los Angeles, emphasizing experimentation and artworks that contribute to non-traditional dialogues.