Opening Reception: Friday, February 22, 6–9pm
Exhibition: February 23–April 4, 2019
Location & Hours
Art in General
145 Plymouth Street (Map)
Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Art in General is pleased to present Scores for a Black Hole, a New Commission and the first major solo exhibition by New York-based artist Ander Mikalson on view from February 23–April 4, 2019. Across her work, the artist uses performance and collaboration to make space for embodied and participatory forms of knowledge.
With Scores for a Black Hole, events both quotidian and profound unfold daily around a seven-foot hole filled with black ink. Big enough to fall into, this void serves as a site for collective action and shared experience, exerting a powerful gravitational field. Numerous collaborators invited by Mikalson—from artists to actors to novelists to children to yogis and more—enact a scripted yet unrehearsed response of their own to the black hole, allowing for the spontaneous, unforeseen and unrepeatable to take shape.
A poet tells every joke she knows to the black hole; mothers nurse their babies around it; an astronomer delivers a lecture to it; a murky creature casts pennies into it; a graduate seminar devises an allegory for it; a crowd toasts champagne over it; a play is staged beside it; a brother and sister lock eyes across it; dreams are whispered to it; a metronome keeps time next to it; an artist vows not to struggle anymore and does her taxes at the edge of it; an opera singer serenades it, and much more.
Forty-three hand-made, black-and-white ink drawings also line the walls, functioning at once as instruction, archive and poem. These text- and image-based scores serve to describe what has happened and what will come over the course of the exhibition. Through their aesthetic restraint and precision of language, they create a tension with the ongoing performative actions across the room. With their arrangement on the wall, the drawings dually act as calendar, calling our attention to the exhibition’s unfolding nature and emphasizing a rhythm of daily life.
Day-by-day as each score is performed by Mikalson and others, the meaning, nature and function of the exhibition itself shifts dramatically and unpredictably, with no two visits yielding the same experience. This open-ended and collaborative way of working serves to question what the role of an artist might be, resisting models of genius or brand and insisting on collective experience. Over the course of six weeks, the artist and her host of collaborators perform actions that ask us to contemplate the role of the human inside our current political, economic and social order which seems to disavow it at every turn. Together we face a reflective void and in it encounter the immediacy of our own experience, be it thrilling, ordinary, or something as yet unknown.
Friday, February 22
ON THE FIRST DAY WE ALL SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BLACK HOLE / CAKE IS SERVED
MEANWHILE THE TRASH ON THE STREET OUTSIDE IS ARRANGED IN A CIRCLE
Saturday, February 23
TWO MUSICIANS PLAY WORDLESS MUSIC TO A DARK SPOT Adam Henry & Ryan Mrozowski
Hourly from 12–6pm:
SALT IS SPRINKLED INTO THE WOUND EVERY HOUR LIKE CLOCKWORK
Sunday, February 24
12pm, 2pm, 4pm:
AN UMBRELLA IS HELD OVER THE OCEAN
1pm, 3pm, 5pm:
A YOGI TEACHES PRANAYAMA BESIDE A REFLECTING POOL Samara Speller
Wednesday, February 27
A TIRELESS WIND BLOWS ACROSS THE WATER
A BOY AND HIS MOTHER BRAVE MATH HOMEWORK AT THE EDGE OF THE VOID Alina Tenser & Nikolai Smith
Thursday, February 28
A GRADUATE SEMINAR IN SCULPTURE AND RELATED MEDIA DEVISES AN ALLEGORY FOR A POTHOLE Gabo Camnitzer
PIZZAS ARE DELIVERED AND CONSUMED AROUND A BLACK FIRE
Friday, March 1
A KALIMBA ECHOES THE RIPPLES OF A POND Kent Ishimoto
DREAMS ARE WHISPERED TO THE DEPTHS
Saturday, March 2
A WOMAN SLEEPS BESIDE STILL WATERS
A MURKY CREATURE CASTS PENNIES INTO THE QUAGMIRE Karen Azoulay
Sunday, March 3
A NAKED WOMAN LEARNS TO KNIT Becky Sellinger
Wednesday, March 6
AN INTERN READS THE DAY’S EMAILS TO THE NIGHT
AN ABUNDANCE OF APPLES ARE LEFT IN OFFERING TO AN OPEN MOUTH
Thursday, March 7
A MAN STANDS WITH HIS BACK TO THE BLACK THING Kyle Toby
EVERYBODY COMES TO A SAD POOL PARTY Jesus Benavente
Friday, March 8
A BLACK LAKE DREAMS OF A BIG WHITE CLOUD
AN ARTIST VOWS NOT TO STRUGGLE ANYMORE AND DOES HER TAXES AT THE EDGE OF THE ABYSS Baseera Khan
Saturday, March 9
VIBRATIONS SOUND THROUGH A DARK SEA Taylor Baldwin
A RECEPTIONIST EATS OREOS AT HER DESK
Sunday, March 10
A BUSINESSMAN READS THE NEW YORK POST TO HIS SHADOW Roderick O’Toole
HUMAN MOVEMENTS ARE OBSERVED WITHIN DAY TO DAY LIFE, AND IN RELATIONSHIP TO SOCIETAL STRUCTURES Gloria Maximo
Wednesday, March 13
AN ASTRONOMER GIVES A LECTURE ON COLLAPSED STARS TO A BLACK HOLE
AT THE MOUTH OF THE ABYSS A METRONOME KEEPS TIME
Thursday, March 14
A PERMANENTLY CLOSED WINDOW IS OPENED John Dombroski
THE DARKNESS IS ENCIRCLED WITH KNIVES
Friday, March 15
A POET TELLS EVERY JOKE SHE KNOWS TO THE NOTHING
SEVEN STUDENTS CAST THE RULES OF CRITICAL DISCOURSE ON AESTHETICS INTO OBLIVION Iris Cushing
Saturday, March 16
A CHOREOGRAPHER SCORES AN ACTION FOR A SINKHOLE Katie Gaydos & Madeline Hollander
AN OPERA SINGER SERENADES A PUDDLE Ariadne Greif
Sunday, March 17
A GAME OF DUCK DUCK GOOSE IS PLAYED AROUND A CRATER
A GIRL FISHES FOR TROUT
“A POETICS OF NOTHING” IS READ NEXT TO NOTHING Ariel Yelen
A NOVELIST SEARCHES FOR POWER IN THE VOID Molly Prentiss
Wednesday, March 20
SHEERLY TOUCH-YA IS RENEWED IN BLACK WATERS Serena Chang
Thursday, March 21
A TELEPHONE PLEADS TO BE REUNITED WITH ITS HOME Aric Grauke
Friday, March 22
DRIFTING FACES ARE CARESSED AS THEY GAZE INTO THE UNKNOWN Irina Arnaut
AN EXPERIENCE OF EGO-DEATH IS RECOUNTED OVER THE VOID Chris Wiley
THE FLOOR IS SWEPT Tom Simon
Saturday, March 23
A GAME OF CAPOEIRA IS PLAYED AROUND A SECRET PIT Kent Ishimoto
A HARPIST PLAYS DEATHBED SONGS TO AN EMPTY PLACE Sarah Loveland Gill
Sunday, March 24
FLOWERS ARE DELIVERED / VISITORS ARE INVITED TO DROP PETALS INTO A DARK SEA
A WOMAN IS VIRTUALLY ENDANGERED BY A BLACKNESS SHE CANNOT SEE Marisa Williamson
Wednesday, March 27
SHE STRIKES WITH AN X / SHE STRIKES WITH AN X / SHE STRIKES WITH AN X / FOUND IMAGES CROSS THE EVENT HORIZON Sondra Meszaros
A RUBBER DUCK CROSSES A BATHTUB
Thursday, March 28
ACCOUNTS ARE RECONCILED AT THE EDGE OF A BLACK HOLE Carey Denniston
FISH SWIM BEYOND CLOUDED WATERS
Friday, March 29
A PLAY IS STAGED AT THE MOUTH OF A TUNNEL / THE ONLY WORD IN THE PLAY IS “YES” Charlotte Calvert & Leah Herder-Kuehn
SHE PAINTS THE BLACK SEA Ilse Murdock
Saturday, March 30
SHE PLACES ISLANDS IN A DIM OCEAN / SHE ALTERS THE STORY / SHE WATCHES WORDS ABSORB THE NIGHT Barb Smith
Sunday, March 31
MOTHERS NURSE THEIR CHILDREN AT THE RIM OF A DARK WELL / LIGHT REFRESHMENTS ARE SERVED Irina Arnaut, Loie Hollowell, Amy Lincoln, Molly Prentiss & Lumin Wakoa
A BROTHER AND SISTER LOCK EYES ACROSS THE PIT / A YOUNG MAN SPITS INTO THE ABYSS Skyler Mikalson
Wednesday, April 3
AN ARTIST WASHES HER HANDS IN AN INKWELL / BOXES ARE OPENED BESIDE THE UNCONSCIOUS
Thursday, April 4
Ongoing 12-8pm with a performative moment at sunset:
AN ACTIVE FLUID BODY RIPPLES WITH UNHEARD RHYTHMS / WE INHABIT THE PLACE OF UNKNOWING Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste
Closing Reception, 6–8pm:
A CROWD TOASTS CHAMPAGNE OVER A HOLE IN THE GROUND
Friday, February 22 – Thursday, April 4
A PHOTOGRAPHER OBSERVES A DARK MIRROR Jean-Jacques du Plessis
PERFORMA MAGAZINE. “Performa Reports: Ander Mikalson" (March 2019). Read Online
Ander Mikalson received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, a BA from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her performances have been shown at The Kitchen (New York, NY), The High Line (New York, NY), Storm King Art Center (New Windsor, NY), The Art, Design & Architecture Museum (Santa Barbara, CA), Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY), Queens Museum (Queens, NY), Temple Contemporary (Philadelphia, PA), Institute of Contemporary Art (Portland, ME), and Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm, Sweden). Her projects have been supported by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant (2016), the Art Matters Foundation Grant (2013), College Art Association Professional-Development Fellowship in the Visual Arts (2012), and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Fellowship (2011). She has been an artist-in-residence at the Queens Museum (2015-18), Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (2017), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2016), and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (2018). In 2019 she will be a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow in Washington, DC.
Scores for a Black Hole is created and performed in collaboration with:
Irina Arnaut is a video artist based in New York City.
Karen Azoulay is a Canadian artist based in Brooklyn whose interdisciplinary work blurs the line between sculpture and photography.
Taylor Baldwin (b. Tucson, AZ 1983) is an artist working primarily in sculpture, video, and installation.
Jesus Benavente is an amazing and attractive visual artist from Texas, based in New York, who has exhibited at numerous venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Queens Museum, and Ltd Los Angeles.
Charlotte Calvert is a Brooklyn based actor/comedian/break dancer.
Gabo Camnitzer is an artist and educator based in Queens, NY.
Serena Chang is a multidisciplinary artist who works in-between photography and sculpture.
Iris Cushing is a poet, editor, educator, and scholar of leftist mysticism, based in the Western Catskills of New York State.
Carey Denniston is an artist based in New York, working in sculpture, photography, film and performance.
John Dombroski is an artist who works with sound, light, and sculptural intervention for site-specific performance and installation.
Katie Gaydos is a Brooklyn based dance artist and social worker.
Aric Grauke is an artist working quietly in the spaces between and behind sculpture, science and technology.
Ariadne Greif is an opera singer and recitalist, and is also active in the baroque and contemporary music scenes, in recent collaboration with William Kentridge, Gabriel Kahane, The Orlando Philharmonic, The Knights, Resonant Bodies Australia, with concerts and performances ranging from operas in the standard canon to performance art.
Adam Henry is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY whose artwork spans a diverse range of media, including painting and sound.
Leah Herder-Kuehn is a Hudson Valley based actor, comedian, and audio engineer.
Madeline Hollander (b. 1986) is a New York-based artist whose work explores the evolution of corporeal vocabularies and the intersection between choreography and visual art.
Loie Hollowell is an NYC based artist whose paintings originate in autobiography and explore themes of sexuality, often through abstractions of the human body and an emphasis on female forms.
Kent Ishimoto is a yogi, musician, video artist and Caporista based in Brooklyn, NY.
Baseera Khan is a New York based artist using a variety of mediums in her practice to visualize patterns and repetitions of exile and kinship shaped by economic, social, and political changes in local and global environments, with special interests in decolonization processes.
Amy Lincoln is a New York-based artist who makes carefully observed and imaginatively colored paintings of plants and the natural world.
Sarah Loveland Gill is a multi-instrumentalist and singer who performs a variety of musical genres and can be found on Facebook @LovelandMusicandYoga.
Gloria Maximo is a painter living and working in Jamaica, Queens whose work observes human movement within day to day life, and in relationship with societal structures.
Sondra Meszaros’ work is concerned with representations of gender and female sexuality in relation to nature and fetishism; she has exhibited work at Corkin Gallery, Toronto; Fortnight Institute, New York; and Jarvis Hall Gallery, Calgary, among others.
Skyler Mikalson is an NYC-based artist who uses painting, photography and graphic design to confront and subvert norms of gender and sexuality.
Ryan Mrozowski is a Brooklyn based painter interested in perceptual games and depictive processes; recent solo exhibitions include Simon Lee Gallery, London; Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin; and Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles.
Ilse Murdock is an outdoor painter who uses the site of painting to explore human relationships to nature.
Roderick O’Toole is a Brooklyn based actor, comedian, and podcast host.
Jean-Jacques du Plessis is an artist living and working in Queens, NY.
Molly Prentiss is a novelist who lives, writes and walks around in Brooklyn, New York.
Becky Sellinger is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist whose work is often humorous, using her physical body as a site to engage a dialog around social conditioning and the construct of femininity.
Tom Simon is an artist producing sculpture and decorative objects in New York; he is also the director of the gallery Coustof Waxman.
Barb Smith (b. 1979) is a Ridgewood, Queens based artist whose work encompasses a wide range of media and invites reflection on one’s relationship to the material world by mining the tension between seeing, touching, and recalling.
Nikolai Smith is nine years old and is an expert in curiosity and velocity.
Samara Speller is a Yoga Instructor who leads asana, pranayama, and meditation classes throughout New York City.
Alina Tenser is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Queens.
Kyle Toby is a writer and improviser living in New York City.
Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste is a New York-Based artist, composer, and performer considering notions of errant relations which thrive across subjectivities.
Lumin Wakoa is an NYC based artist who paints past experience from memory, often revising each work several times until it feels both familiar and foreign.
Chris Wiley is a writer and artist who has written for numerous catalogs, and regularly contributes to the NewYorker.com and Frieze Magazine, where he is also a contributing editor; he is represented by Nicelle Beauchene Gallery.
Marisa Williamson is a New Jersey-based American artist who works in video and performance around themes of history, race, feminism, and technology.
Ariel Yelen’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Conjunctions, BOAAT, Big Lucks, The Felt and elsewhere – she has an MFA from Rutgers University-Newark and is the Associate Editor at Futurepoem.
General Support of Art in General is provided by 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, The Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; 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 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Trust for Mutual Understanding; National Endowment for the Arts; Jerome Foundation; Greenwich Collection, Ltd.; Cowles Charitable Trust; and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation. Support has also been provided by individuals and Art in General’s Commissioners’ Circle.