Transitions/ we are all immigrants

Project :ARTspace 99 Madison Avenue

New York , NY 10016        April 5 - May 4 2018

Expositions

    This exhibition features works by 8 artists working in the South of France and 8 artists working in New York City.

       Artists SOUtH OF FrANCE: Nathalie Albaladejo, Olivier Camen, Claudie Dadu, Jean-Louis Gourreau, Joachim Griess,                           Lionel Laussedat, Doris Schläpfer, Venice Spescha.

               Artists NEW YORK: Hedwig Brouckaert Theresa Ellerbrock, Joan Grubin, Marietta Hoferer, Michael Kukla, Jaanika Peerna,                                         Susan Schwalb, Ilene Sunshine.

I came to the United States from Czechoslovakia in 1971 and became a naturalized US citizen. The Czech communist government at the time revoked my citizenship. For many years, I had little connection to my birth country. I felt I was an Ameri- can. Only after the velvet revolution in 1989 that brought democracy to the country, was I able to visit Czechoslovakia and reconnect to the roots that were cut. A few years ago I got my Czech citizenship again and now hold an EU passport. Recently I bought a house in the South of France and became an immigrant all over again. It’s a very rewarding challenge. Why not the Czech Republic?         Perhaps I want to explore something I don’t know and understand so well. But don’t get me wrong, I am in a privileged place. I am not fleeing war, starvation or the intellectual persecution that my family fled.

The Languedoc region of France is rich in history and culture and has an appeal to many artists. In 2013, I was invited as an artist in residence at Château Vargoz in Sérignan, France. There I met and became friends with several French artists, some of whom are in this exhibition. After the residency ended, I began to think that some share similar sensibilities and concerns with my artist friends in New York. And what better way to introduce them to each other than putting together a show of their work? In this exhibition we come together to forge bridges of understanding. We try to communicate through our work even though we sometimes don’t speak the same language. Transitions seeks to bring artists together from different back- grounds to share ideas and start a dialogue.

— Michael Kukla, artist and curator of ‘Transitions’