press release

(Long Island City, NY, September 10, 2000). -- From September 17 through November 2000, P.S.1 will present Special Projects by Haluk Akakçe, Elisabetta Benassi, Slater Bradley, Thierry Fontaine, and Marc Lester Yu. The P.S.1 Special Projects Program showcases the work of artists distinguished by the site-specific, process-oriented or audience-interactive nature of their work. Each year, 12 artists have the opportunity to develop and present a newly created project. Throughout the program period, artists work with their studio doors open to the public, allowing for an opportunity of exchange between artist and audience. As a new aspect of the Special Projects Program, writers are welcomed to contribute their responses to the work. Selected submissions are published on P.S.1’s website ( and are made available to visitors on site.

Special Projects Artists: September – February 2000

Haluk Akakçe (b. 1970, Ankara, Turkey) Artist Haluk Akakçe outlines the dramas of human interaction in both his video installation, "Measure of All Things," (2000) and a wall drawing trilogy. The video is a cycle of scenes that describe the basic human desire for ultimate freedom and the (perverse) solution generated with the birth of information technology. It contrasts our current idea of paradise - a technological simulation, with the historical analogy of paradise - mythical or religious.

Similarly, Akakçe’s wall drawing presents the viewer with the staging of a room transformed by a dialogue between two images. A man and a woman mirror each other in a conversation that is also the title of the work: "You think you mean all things to me, and you own me, maybe so; but remember I did not ask for this to happen and I will do my best not to let you in the space between my ears." As the dialogue evolves in the form of a trilogy, so the room itself will be shaped by the conversation. The second episode will be installed on October 15, and the final episode will appear November 19th.

Elisabetta Benassi (b. 1966, Rome, Italy) Italian artist, Benassi presents "You’ll Never Walk Alone," a video informed by movie director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s ideas about the disorientation suffered by individuals in an age of unclear ideological discourse. In this filmic and fictional video, she plays soccer with Pasolini. Through the action of the game, their identities meet, overlap, split and are exchanged. The video unfolds the realm of memory, dreams, and intimacy as a result of Benassi’s oneiric images and the shifting sound of the crowds and Pasolini’s soundtrack from his film "Uccellacci e Uccelini" (1966).

Slater Bradley (b. 1975, San Francisco, CA) In his video, "Inside a Times Square Burger King Where the Soundtrack is Being Played Backward" (2000), Slater Bradley happens upon a subtle and presumably accidental moment when the piped-in music at Burger King is playing in reverse. Bradley uses this discovery to further indicate the absurdity of daily life.

The works of Slater Bradley are awkward and decidedly amateur in appearance. They seem to document chance occurrence, melding fact with invented fictional scenarios, to produce a mock cinema verité.

Thierry Fontaine (b. 1969, Saint-Pierre, La Réunion) Thierry Fontaine lives and works in the French island of La Réunion off the eastern coast of Africa. His photographs document actions that explore the isolation and estrangement he experiences in nature and in the world. His work is a continuous research in portraiture and self-portraiture. He never completely reveals his face and body, instead he covers them with clay and other materials. The duality of his work emerges from the ambivalence between exhibitionism and concealment of identity. The photographs document the artist as a living sculpture and reverse the exoticist paradigm of portrayal of "otherness."

Marc Lester Yu (b. 1979, Manila, The Philippines) Marc Lester Yu creates performance-based installations in which he manifests personal memory through materiality, using vinyl as a suggestion of anonymous skin. Yu believes that when people engage and interact physically in his work a metaphorical shift occurs, allowing for political, social, and mental change. For P.S.1, Yu coaches the audience in a hybrid game of dodge-ball. In one room, the artist and the audience wear special constrictive clothing making it difficult to avoid the ball; in the other room, visitors cheer and jeer as if in a stadium setting. Due to the nature of the clothing the players’ movement is restricted and brining to light the contradictions of childhood games and their resulting psychic and emotional states.


Special Projects Program, Fall 2000

mit Haluk Akakce, Elisabetta Benassi, Slater Bradley, Thierry Fontaine, Marc Lester Yu