Americana

Hillerbrand + Magsamen, Priscilla Dobler

January 24th, 2019 - June 30th, 2019
125 Maiden Lane - New York, New York

Art-in-Buildings is pleased to announce the newest exhibition in the atrium and lobby of 125 Maiden Lane: Americana. Please join us for our opening celebration on January 24th, 6:00-8:00pm. 

RSVP on Facebook!

Americana, featuring work by Priscilla Dobler and Hillerbrand+Magsamen, explores the domestic manifestation of American identity and family. The exhibition title, which references the collective sense of American culture and history, also serves as the Spanish word for an American woman. Examining the personal and social, the work on view constructs means of and mechanisms for creating connections. Employing sculpture, photography, and video, Dobler and Hillerbrand+Magsamen present painstakingly hand crafted objects considering domestic spaces and ruminating on the concept of the American home.

Priscilla Dobler's work investigates how a globalized society constructs an individual's sense of identity, and how architectural spaces represent gender roles and cultural structures. Her practice strips down and reconstructs objects in an exploration of the artist's familial history and ancestry. In the atrium of 125 Maiden Lane, Dobler's installation La Sala recreates her mother's living room out of woven furniture objects. Dobler incorporates the strong structure and craftsmanship of traditional Mayan hammocks into the materials and colors of her woven structures, drawing inspiration from her mother's lineage of hammock weavers. Projected video of interviews conducted in individuals' living rooms in Tacoma, WA center on the political and social structures of identity. Representative of working middle class America and American identity, Dobler's interviews examine the fragile distinctions between sense of self and sense of national identity. For the opening celebration, Dobler will present her Storytelling participatory performance, during which she invites visitors to relief print into masa (corn flour) while Dobler cooks tortillas. Throughout the process, Dobler engages her audience in storytelling, sharing her family history and learning about the cultural backgrounds of participants while cooking together. The finished products will be served with guacamole and salsa.

Hillerbrand+Magsamen's site-specific installation Devices for Extra Ordinary utilizes sculpture, video and photo to present invented objects that comment on their family structure and the modes of communication between the artists and their two children. H+M's practice employs Fluxus ideas to incorporate humor, performance, and everyday objects in order to have a conversation about family dynamics, suburban life, and American consumer excess. Drawing on the literary concept of Homo Faber – that human beings are able to control their fate and environment through tools – H+M's invented objects animate banal items in an attempt to survive and cope in a world of personal and political turmoil. In the lobby of 125 Maiden Lane, H+M's Devices for Extra Ordinary presents several of these constructed devices as objects to interact with, displayed on modified 'workbenches' as tools for use. The accompanying photography and video displays act as incomplete user manuals, instructing the viewer on how to deploy these objects as a means towards communication, connection and transformation.

Priscilla Dobler is an interdisciplinary artist, born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico and raised in the Pacific Northwest. By focusing on history, the critique of identity and the structures of power in domestic interiors her aim is to highlight and develop dialogues that address these issues while exploring the functional and conceptual relationship of craft and fine art traditions. She is interested in developing her own unique artistic interpretation of her cultural identity through weaving, woodworking, audio, video and performances. Her work has been exhibited at the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA; Decentered Gallery, Puebla, Mexico; Method Gallery, Seattle, WA; TAG Gallery, Los Angeles, LA; Feast Art Gallery, Tacoma, WA: Alma Mater, Tacoma, WA: ArtXchange Gallery, Seattle, WA; DAC Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Williamsburg Art and Historical Society, Brooklyn, NY; Columbia City Gallery, Seattle, WA; Marfa Contemporary Gallery, Marfa, TX; Currents New Media, Santa Fe, NM; Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA; Form & Concept, Santa Fe, NM; Gallery 110, Seattle, WA; Soil Gallery, Seattle, WA; Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, NY, Ann Street Gallery, Newburgh, NY, Catalyst Gallery, Beacon, NY, Cumulus Nimbus Collective at Chashama Gallery, New York, NY; Issues Project Room, Brooklyn, NY and Collaborative Concepts, Saunders Farm, Garrison, NY.

Hillerbrand+Magsamen's practice prioritizes and utilizes collaboration, process and media experimentation through videos, photography, installations and interdisciplinary performances. They explore their relationships to each other and society with an uncanny sensibility that merges the real and unreal, blurring boundaries between life and art and often includes their two children, Maddie and Emmett. Hillerbrand+Magsamen's work has been presented at festivals including the London SciFi Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Fusebox Festival (Austin, TX) and Diffusion Photography Festival (Wales, UK). Exhibitions include the Grand Rapids Art Museum (Grand Rapids, MI), Everson Museum (Syracuse, NY), and Center for Photography Woodstock (Woodstock, NY). They have received grants from Sustainable Arts Foundation, Austin Film Society, and Experimental Television Center and participated in residency programs: Wassaic Projects (Wassaic, NY), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), I-Park (East Haddam, CT), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York, NY), Experimental Television Center (Owego, NY), Elsewhere (Greensboro, NC), and Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM). They were awarded a residency at the Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva for 2020.

For press inquiries contact: Mary Kate Mulhauser, QUINN | [email protected] | 212.868.1900 x616.

Image on the left: 147 Devices, 2018, ©Hillerbrand+Magsamen
Image on the right: Priscilla Dobler, La Sala, 2018, courtesy the artist

Americana is curated by Eliana Blechman 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.

Download Press Release
Share