Light Work’s Urban Video Project is pleased to present URBAN RENEWAL, a two-person exhibition featuring multidisciplinary artists Emanuel Almborg and Crystal Z Campbell. Both artists have a research-based practice, using a blend of archival and original material in surreal, unexpected ways. The works on view in this show explore the complex histories of urban planning and displacement, cycles of urban decay and gentrification. From the utopian ambitions of the urban renewal programs of the 60’s and 70’s to pro-development and privatization policies spun as “revitalization” from the 80s to today, the question remains: urban renewal by whom and for whom?
The exhibition will take place at Light Work UVP’s architectural projection site on the facade of the Everson Museum of Art in downtown Syracuse, New York from November 8 – December 22, 2018.
In conjunction with the exhibition, an indoor screening + Q&A with Campbell and Almborg featuring additional works will take place at Light Work’s Watson Theater on Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6:30-8:30pm. A reception will follow. This event is FREE & OPEN to the public.
About the Work
Every Crack Is a Symbol (Charlotte Street Project)
dir. Emanuel Almborg
2015 | 30 min | HD Video
Every Crack is a Symbol (Charlotte Street Project) is a short film that takes as its starting point two events and two kinds of representation of a South Bronx neighborhood in 1980. The horror film Wolfen about killer wolves living in the ruins of the South Bronx and a videotaped protest camp and People’s Convention that attempted to bring together a large coalition of different left social movements and community activists. The horror film was shot in the exact location where 6 months later the protest camp commenced. Both use the urban decay of post-crisis south Bronx as backdrop and symbol in order to generate images, one of demands and radical politics, the other of killer ghost wolves in the ruins of the urban crisis. The horror story of wolves is brought in to relation with urban struggles around and against real estate, finance and neo-liberal policies in the early 1980s.
On the Way to the Moon, We Discovered the Earth
dir. Crystal Z Campbell
2012 | 9 min. 49 sec. loop | digital video + stereo sound
On the Way to the Moon, We Discovered the Earth is a historical remix of the New York Times newspaper printed during the New York City Blackout in 1977. The 1977 Blackout is unofficially credited with the formal birth of hip-hop, a movement that was already well underway but advanced with equipment looted during the riots.
Futures for Failures
dir. Crystal Z Campbell
2011 | 1 min. | found footage + original stereo sound
Futures for Failures is double narrative of failure: architectural and social. Archival footage from a demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe building in St. Louis becomes the materialization of failure. Meanwhile, a voice-over recounts a moment of contagious laughter erupting during a stranger’s funeral. The film is an anachronous conversation between the disappeared and the disappearing.
About the Artists
Emanuel Almborg is Swedish artist living and working in Stockholm. His research-based work explores themes of collective action, political economy, and radical pedagogy and manifests in a range of practices and media, from moving image and installation based work to publications to participatory programs. He received his MFA from Goldsmiths College in London and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program. He has exhibited internationally, including shows at Whitechapel Gallery and Gasworks in London, UK; Konsthall C in Stockholm, Sweden; Gallery 400 in Chicago, Illinois; and Participant Inc. in New York City.
Crystal Z Campbell is a multidisciplinary artist and writer of African-American, Filipino & Chinese descents. A former social worker, Campbell’s practice incorporates archival material and historical traces to question the politics of the witness. Recent works include investigations of Henrietta Lacks’ immortal cell line, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and gentrification via a 35mm film relic salvaged from a now demolished black Civil Rights theater in Brooklyn. Campbell exhibits internationally, including past exhibitions at Studio Museum of Harlem and SculptureCenter in New York City; Project Row Houses in Houston, TX, de Appel Arts Centre in Amsterdam, NL, amongst others. Selected honors, fellowships, and residencies include the MacDowell Colony, Skowhegan, Rijksakademie, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, Smithsonian, Flaherty Film Seminar, M-AAA Innovations Grant, Sommerakademie Paul Klee, and Yaddo. Campbell is a third-year Tulsa Artist Fellow, current Drawing Center Open Sessions Fellow, and recipient of the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Award.
This exhibition was supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.