Dense Lightness is Forde’s first solo exhibition, bringing together multimedia works from the artist’s interdisciplinary experimentations with cyanotype. Drawn from Forde’s long-term work and research around the ancient Mesopotamian epic poem Gilgamesh/He Who Saw The Deep, this installation invites visitors to experience the artist’s studio practice.
Forde inserts his own image into photographs and prints in order to embody fragments and motifs addressed in the Gilgamesh narrative from varying perspectives, assembling the imagery to create a poetic mirror of the artist as both subject and viewer. Rather than re-tell, represent, or illustrate the epic, Forde shifts our perspective toward Enkidu, Gilgamesh’s double, and considers the story as a point of departure for an exploration into the struggle between opposing spaces: public vs. private, destruction vs. creation, the self vs. the collective, abstraction vs. representation. His deliberate use of cyanotype becomes a constant thread through a multitude of experimentations with medium and style; the artist creates fabrics, sound collages, sculpture, writing and prints from photographic performances. Throughout the narrative, polarities of personalities, environments, and power are constantly matched against each other. Forde’s work explores the nuances that lie in between such oppositions, mining the complex nature of harmony in the face of conflict, and how these divergent subtleties are reflected in contemporary discussions on marginalized identities, environmental issues, and systems of power. As part of the exhibition, Forde will stage a sound performance within the installation on November 29th, reading text from his research that also riffs off of selected verses from the Gilgamesh epic.
Ivan Forde (b. 1990) works across printmaking, digital animation, sound performance, and installation. Residencies and fellowships include the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, ACRE Projects, Vermont Studio Center, Pioneer Works, the Lower East Side Printshop, and Sharp Snug Harbor. Group exhibitions and performances include Studio Museum Harlem Postcards, Mana Contemporary, The Jewish Museum, The Whitney Museum, The DC Arts Center, Lower East Side Printshop, Denny Gallery, Steven Kasher Gallery, the International Print Center, and Lagos Photo Festival 17. Ivan graduated from SUNY Purchase College with a B.A. in Literature and Columbia University with an MFA in printmaking.
Anna Harsanyi is a curator, educator, and arts manager. Her participatory projects and exhibitions have taken place within public and alternative spaces, exploring themes of memory, cultural identity, and collective experience. She recently completed a project presenting artist engagements with the historic Essex Street Market in New York's Lower East Side. She co-curated Hot & Cold: Revolution in the Present Tense, a public art project in Timișoara and Cluj, Romania which presented three artist projects about the 25th anniversary of the Revolution that ended Communism. Most recently, Anna worked as the Project Manager for the Guggenheim Social Practice initiative at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.