Time Equities Inc. Art-in-Buildings is pleased to announce the next exhibition in the lobby of 55 5th Avenue, a collaboration between Yashua Klos & Kambui Olujimi: Off-Axis. Klos and Olujimi's collaboration underscores the intersections and diversions of their independent, multi-disciplinary practices. A guiding principle of both artists' work is the deconstruction of normalized structures of control to expose the power dynamics at play against black bodies.
Klos' practice encompasses collage, printmaking, and sculpture, which he uses to explore shifting perspectives on bodies and the relationship between those bodies and their environments. The new works on view with Art-in-Buildings represent a breakthrough moment for Klos, incorporating materials such as foam, plaster, concrete, and brass for the first time. Furthering the experimental nature of this new body of work, Klos incorporated text banners that relate the creative process to acts of survivalism. The texts are self-reflective affirmations that Klos developed in response to the pressures of working against unjust systems. The largest work, hung over the door, reads "your building has always been your place of worship." This is a winking reference that Time Equities Inc. is a real estate developer, but, more poetically, it's an acknowledgement of the physical spaces we choose to spend our time in and the act of building as a generative practice in the face of injustice.
Olujimi's recent body of work, Zulu Time, scrutinizes the Euro-centric standardization of time as a colonizing force. The works on view with Art-in-Buildings include selections from the series Killing Time, which incorporates a variety of handcuffs strung with garlands of costume jewelry. The slick, mass-produced chains and handcuffs contrast starkly with the handmade glass handcuffs based on archaic designs. The works allude to both the power of restraint and the restriction of movement. Some of the handcuffs function as map points and the elegant swoops of the jewelry strands echo migration patterns drawn against the curved wall of the exhibition space, while others recall the subjects of migration and behave like figure groups. Killing Time serves a Trojan Horse function: Olujimi's golden garlands are visually alluring and seductive, but they slowly reveal themselves intersecting with the ideas of mass incarceration, fetish, cartography, and spatial dislocation. Olujimi's installation, like Klos' affirmations, serve as a potent reminder of the everyday invisible labor and the mediated movements of bodies of color.
Yashua Klos received his BFA from Northern Illinois University. In 2005 Klos was awarded a residency at The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and in 2009 received his MFA from Hunter College in New York. He has been awarded fellowships for residencies at Skowhegan, The Vermont Studio Center, and Bemis. Klos is the recipient of a 2015 NYFA Grant and a 2014 Joan Mitchell Award. His works have been reviewed in The New York Observer, Modern Painters magazine, and the New York Times. Klos is represented by Tilton Gallery in New York and Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Klos now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Kambui Olujimi was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn and received his MFA from Columbia University in New York City. Olujimi's work challenges established modes of thinking that commonly function as "inevitabilities." This pursuit takes shape through interdisciplinary bodies of work spanning sculpture, installation, photography, writing, video, and performance. His solo exhibitions include: A Life in Pictures at MIT List Visual Arts Center; Solastalgia at Cue Arts Foundation; and Wayward North at Art in General. His works have premiered nationally at The Sundance Film Festival, Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, Studio Museum in Harlem, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Mass MoCA. Internationally his work has been featured at The Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok; Museo Nacional Reina Sofia in Madrid; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Finland and Para Site in Hong Kong among others. Olujimi has been awarded residencies from Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and Civitella Ranieri. He has received grants and commissions from numerous institutions including A Blade of Grass, The Jerome Foundation, and MTA Arts & Design for the City of New York.
For press inquiries contact: Monique Peterson, QUINN |[email protected] | 212.868.1900 x264.
OFF-AXIS is curated by Jennie Lamensdorf and sponsored by the Time Equities Inc. (TEI) Art-in-Buildings. TEI is committed to enriching the experience of our properties through the Art-in-Buildings Program, an innovative approach that brings contemporary art by emerging and mid-career artists to non-traditional exhibition spaces in the interest of promoting artists, expanding the audience for art, and creating a more interesting environment for our building occupants, residents, and their guests.
Photos by Sol Hashemi.Download Press Release