Freya Powell
The Silence of the Unsaid



Feb 23–Mar 15
Freya Powell: The Silence of the Unsaid
New Commissions

Freya Powell
The Silence of the Unsaid

Freya Powell, An Art in General New Commission

Opening Reception:
Thursday 23 February, 6–8pm

February 24 – March 15, 2017

Art in General
Ground Floor Gallery
145 Plymouth Street (Map)
Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Hours: Tue-Sat 12-6pm

Art in General is pleased to announce an exhibition with Freya Powell as part of its New Commissions Program. The collective works on view engage issues around distance, separation, and empathy in relationship to various landscapes. The show will feature Powell’s new video, The Silence of the Unsaid. This project traces the history of an Athena missile that was launched by the U.S. military in July of 1970 from a base in Green River, Utah to test re-entry speeds and impact. The missile lost control, went about 400 miles off course, and crashed in a Mexican desert known locally as the “Zone of Silence.” It was carrying two containers of Cobalt-57, a radioactive element. Powell traveled to this desert with questions about the silence surrounding the clean up of the crashed missile, as well as the myth that has since built on this history.

Related works presented in the exhibition include the three-channel video Our Disappearance is Already There (2015). This silent piece shows the physical distance between New York City’s public and potter’s field, located on Hart Island in the Bronx. The seemingly abandoned island that holds over a million deceased is seen from two vantage points, as it is circumnavigated by the camera. In contemplating the separation currently enforced by the Department of Corrections around the public space of the cemetery, the project calls into question the value of life, and how lives are allowed to be grievable or not through frames of reference such as shared experience, nationality, or humanness. Shown concurrently is a text-based artwork—evocative of epitaphs, Powell’s word lists play with repetition of language to trigger sentiments that echo the separation that is unequivocally felt. The artist states “it is through the incorporation of forced distancing that disassociation is evoked, and one’s ability to empathize is often diminished.”

Freya Powell received an MFA from Hunter College, New York, NY (2012) and a BA from Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY (2006). Her work has been exhibited in solo shows at Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona, Spain (2014) and Emerson Dorsch, Miami, FL (2013). She has participated in group shows at institutions including EFA Project Space, New York, NY (2016), Queens Museum, Corona, NY (2016), Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY (2015), the International Center of Photography Library, New York, NY (2014), #1 Cartagena: the First International Biennale of Art, Cartagena de India, Colombia (2014), and the Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY (2013). Her work is in the collections of the New York Public Library; Bard College; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Hunter College.

Press Contacts:
PAVE Communications & Consulting
Sascha Freudenheim and Alina Sumajin

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Art in General was founded in 1981 and supports the production of new work by local and international artists primarily through its New Commissions Program and its International Collaborations program. Art in General also produces an annual symposium What Now? on critical and timely issues in artistic and curatorial practice.

General Support of Art in General is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The New Commissions Program is made possible by the Trust for Mutual Understanding; National Endowment for the Arts; Jerome Foundation; Ruth Ivor Foundation; and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation. Support has also been provided by: Commissioners’ Circle leaders Elaine Goldman, Richard Massey, Jeffery Larsen and Joseph Bolduc; Commissioners’ Circle supporters David Solo, John and Andrea Nylund; and Commissioners’ Circle members Nader Ansary, Rob Colangelo, Don Erenberg, Taymour Grahne, Roya Khadjavi-Heidari, Mary Lapides, Eric Nylund, Leslie Ruff, Steve Shane, and Diana Wege.

The New Commissions program provides in-depth support for eight to ten artists each year, for the creation of major new works, including the financial, logistical, promotional, and presentation assistance necessary to bring these works to new audiences world-wide.

The What Now? Symposium, and accompanying book series from 2015-2017, is generously supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MA-10-14-0304-14).