Perpetual Motion: Recent Work by Terry Boddie and (the Mexican Artist) Diego Medina. Manhattan, New York City.

Perpetual Motion: Recent Work by Terry Boddie and  ( the Mexican Artist ) Diego Medina
Curated by Roberto Visani, Associate Professor, Department of Art

Medina - Boddie  exhibition

Medina - Boddie exhibition

John Jay College Gallery
Department of Art and Music
3rd floor gallery
899 10th ave
New York, NY 10019

Ve un video – Watch a video here: http://www.mexicanosunidos.org/arte.html

January 26th 2009 – Febuary 25th 2009.
There will be an opening reception for the artists on Tuesday Febuary 3rd from 6-8 pm.

John Jay College Gallery is proud to present the exhibition Perpetual Motion : Recent Work by Terry Boddie and Diego Medina.  Through distinct approaches to media and process, Medina and Boddie focus on complex and contradictory implications of transformation, recent as well as historical, and share common concerns about migration.  Migration can refer to many things, cyclical movement of animals based on seasonal changes, the movement of ions, molecules, atoms and cells in the sciences, and of course the migration of people from one region to another.  All of these movements constitute a ‘given’, that are part of what define the agents.  Boddie and Medina use migration as a rubric to examine the human condition through the lens of change such as; adaptive strategies, the role of history, redefinition of personal and public, and larger questions of morality and existence.

Terry Boddie addresses these issues through photography, drawing, collage and installations.  His work references the history of migration from Africa to the Americas and also from his experience immigrating to the United States from Nevis in the Caribbean.   Boddie juxtaposes and reinterprets cultural forms both familiar and historical.  The resultant works force us to examine a broader context that charts the experience of both change and continuity with our past.  For the exhibition Boddie presents a series of kite installation.  He became familiar with kites as a boy in Nevis.  The symbol not only makes reference to a childhood toy but takes on a spiritual meaning.  The artist states, “In the Caribbean kites are usually made and flown during Easter. Therefore, for me kites and kite flying always represented death and resurrection as well as transcendence and transformation.”  While Boddie’s abstracted geometry define the basic shape of a kite, they can also be interpreted as a flock of birds, sperm surrounding an egg, or the floating leaves of a tree, reconstituted by the changing forces around them.

Diego Medina’s drawings, sculptures, installation and performance works are often based on materials and circumstances at hand.  His artwork explores the “construction of cultures through migration” (Medina) by reordering common objects, images, and social detritus.  While his practice relates to such contemporary art movements as Fluxus and Arte Povera, it also reflects the artist’s cultural roots in Mexico and migration to New York.  He states, “My actions of transforming ordinary objects in a new, loaded form could be seen as an autobiographical statement…”.  Medina’s dialogue with his surroundings combined with his personal history form a continuation from past to present tense in his works.  His slave sculptures included in the exhibition reflect this. The elegantly crafted, laboring figures are constructed from old furniture parts.  The natural scars and patina of their past lives takes on new meaning when seen as part of a human figure.  And while the forms seem skeletal and precarious, they make reference to the dehumanizing conditions of forced labor and class as it continues today.

Both artists have extensive exhibition and professional records.  Terry Boddie has exhibited his work at such venues as the Brooklyn Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Jersey City Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution.  He is the recipient of a New York Foundation Fellowship and been granted residencies at the Bronx Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, and Aljira Center for Contemporary Art among others.  He received B.F.A. from the New York University and a M.F.A. from Hunter College, CUNY.   Boddie was born in Nevis and currently lives and works in West Orange, NJ.

Diego Medina has exhibited at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Queens Museum, Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, Mexico, and Exteresa Arte Contemporáneo, México City among others.  He has been an artist in residence at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Queens Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.  He is the recipient of grants from MEX-US Foundation for Culture, and Rockefeller Foundation.  He has a degree in architecture from Instituo Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO), Guadalajara, Mexico.

Perpetual Motion, Recent Work by Terry Boddie and Diego Medina will be on view from January 26th 2009 – Febuary 25th 2009.  There will be an opening reception for the artists on Tuesday Febuary 3rd from 6-8 pm.  For further information contact, Roberto Visani, Associate Professor, at 212-237-8348 or rvisani@jjay.cuny.edu.

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