Upcoming Exhibition

Incongruent Linenage

Curated by Xavier Robles

Artists: Natalie Falero and Arash Fayez 

August 11 – September 1, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, August 11, 2017, 6 – 9pm

Pro Arts is proud to present Incongruent Lineage, a 2 x 2 exhibition curated by Xavier Robles, featuring new and recent work by Natalie Falero and Arash Fayez.

Falero and Fayez both utilize photography, video and performance to address how personal identity is shaped through the experience of navigating across countries, bodies of water, borders, landscapes and continents. As immigrants to the United States, Falero and Fayez decide on a daily basis which rituals, memories, languages and gestures to hold on to and which to leave behind. Incongruent Lineage aims to emphasize this ongoing tension between the simultaneous desire to belong and remain foreign.

For Incongruent Lineage, Fayez will present the foundation of the inner psyche as it operated in a bicameral way. His videos allude to the existence of multiple layers of being within the mind, depicting disjointed memories and fractured, multilingual phrases. In relationship to Fayez’s video pieces, Falero uses her body a a vehicle for action to assert her individual freedom separate from national statehood. Falero’s performance reclaims her body’s sense of place amidst the current political turmoil in Puerto Rico. Ultimately, Falero aims to create a new, shared space to liberate herself from the post-colonial development of the United States.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

ARASH FAYEZ 

Arash Fayez, sometimes Faeiz, is an artist, curator and educator based between San Francisco, Tehran and other locations. Spanning video, performance, live situations and photography, his practice intertwines to create para-fictional and multi-layered projects informed by notions of displacement, distraction, and bicamerality. Through storytelling based on partial memories and notions of interstitial space, his works confront sociopolitical issues, while engaging the role of found footage and archival materials in constructing these narratives.

Fayez has exhibited and performed internationally at venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée du quai Branly, Paris; the British Museum, London; the Queens Museum, New York; and the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco.

NATALIE FALERO

Born in San Juan Puerto Rico, Natalie Falero is an interdisciplinary artist working in a range of mediums including performance, installation, video and photography. Falero received a BA in Journalism at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón and MFA in Studio Art from the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). While at SFAI, Falero was awarded the Anne Bremer Prize Award for Best MFA Exhibition 2017 at The Mint, San Francisco, CA.

Highly invested in understanding the body as a communication tool to interact with cultural and social constructs, Falero examines the body as site of activism and reinvention among acculturation and social-political conditions. Falero’s work explores social injustices related to discrimination of race, gender and colonialism. Through ritualistic acts, she dismantles traces of identity by marking territory with her own body.

ABOUT THE CURATOR:

XAVIER ROBLES

Xavier Robles is a Mexican born curator, visual artist, and educator, who grew up in Santa Ana, California. Robles previously worked as the Coordinator of Public Programs at the Grand Central Art Center, where he created programming and developed youth curriculum addressing contemporary art forms by artists of color.

Currently, Robles is the Curatorial Intern at Southern Exposure, where he works closely with the Curatorial Committee and Exhibitions and Projects Program Director. He is also an Artist-in-Education at Southern Exposure. This role, he works one-on-one with youth to expand their craft. He is the founder of Paleta Zine, an ongoing self -published curatorial zine that creates a space of expression and documentation for queer bois of color.

Robles’ practice as a curator seeks to challenge and address the concept of “invasion” through a range of art forms that subvert in order to embrace the term as way to take space. Robles holds a B.A in Architectural Studies from Hampshire College and currently resides in Oakland, California.

RELATED PUBLIC PROGRAM:

Opening Reception: Friday, August 11, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

ABOUT 2 x 2:

2 x 2 is a series of two-person exhibitions featuring recent work from outstanding emerging artists based in the Bay Area. The program specifically supports the freedom to create challenging and non-commercial work.

2 x 2 is made possible, in part, through the support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and funded in part by generous grants from the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the Fleishhacker Foundation.


Past Presence

Curated by Ariana Faye Allensworth

Artists: Indira Allegra and Christopher R. Martin

September 8 – September 29, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, September 8, 2017, 6 – 9pm

Pro Arts is proud to present Past Presence, a 2 x 2 exhibition curated by Ariana Faye Allensworth, featuring new and recent work by Indira Allegra and Christopher R. Martin. Past Presence responds to politicized trauma in Black contemporary life through the medium of weaving.

For Past Presence, Allegra presents an iteration of Open Casket – an ongoing, immersive digital weaving installation that combines abstract compositions with cacophonous audio recordings of grief-stricken families who have lost loved ones to police violence. Within Open Casket, Allegra explores the structure of crepe, a textile historically associated with mourning and commonly used to line the interior of caskets. Both visceral and mournful, Open Casket is a reflection on digital mourning, the potential of digital mourning cloths and the materiality of Black sadness and Black life.

Martin will present a series of large scale tapestries that depict objects and symbols of state violence, slave labor, and resistance stitched into cotton-based textiles. Aesthetically, Martin’s tapestries contain bold colors and graphics, similar to activist banners. Born and raised in the South, Martin draws inspiration from the legacy of cotton in his ancestral home and the fiber-working techniques that he learned from his mother, a seamstress.

Past Presence explores the capacity of fiber and weaving to stand-in for the body when reflecting on trauma and racial oppression. By using overt visual tools, Allegra and Martin create a dual-narrative that interrogates the legacy of racism and traumatic violence in Black communities.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

INDIRA ALLEGRA

Indira Allegra is a recipient of the Oakland Individual Artist (2015) and Queer Cultural Center grants (2014). Allegra has been honored with the Jackson Literary Award (2014), Lambda Literary Fellowship (2012) and Windgate Craft Fellowship (2015). Her commissions include works for the SFMOMA, de Young Museum, The Wattis Institute, SFJAZZ Poetry Festival, the City of Oakland and the National Queer Arts Festival. Her time-based works have been screened at festivals such as MIX NYC (2013), Perlen Hannover LGBT Festival (2010), Bologna Lesbian Film Festival (2010) and Outfest Fusion (2009). Currently, Allegra is a 2017 Artist in Residence at Djerassi Residence Arts Program and the Headlands Center for the Arts.

CHRISTOPHER R. MARTIN

Raised in the South, Christopher Martin graduated from North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, a historically black university in 2014. Martin is currently based in San Francisco where he showcases his work in various galleries throughout the Bay Area. Martin predominately work with fiber materials, in addition to graphic design, photography and videography. His imagery speaks to the African Diaspora and the initial reason for black communities existence in America – to cultivate the growth of cotton. Martin  hand cuts and sews tapestry banners using cotton materials to acknowledge this history and to tell surreal stories of religion, slavery and freedom.

ABOUT THE CURATOR:

ARIANA FAYE ALLENSWORTH

Ariana Faye Allensworth is a San Francisco-raised social worker, curator, and arts administrator. She is passionate about creating platforms for artists and communities most affected by injustice or who have historically been excluded from arts institutions as viewers and exhibitors. Her activism explores issues related to spatial and racial justice and the healing power of art making. Allensworth holds a master’s in Social Work from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s in Urban Studies and African & African-American Studies from Fordham University. She lives and organizes in Brooklyn and manages youth programs at the International Center of Photography.

RELATED PUBLIC PROGRAM:

Opening Reception: Friday, September 8, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

ABOUT 2 x 2:

2 x 2 is a series of two-person exhibitions featuring recent work from outstanding emerging artists based in the Bay Area. The program specifically supports the freedom to create challenging and non-commercial work.

2 x 2 is made possible, in part, through the support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and funded in part by generous grants from the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the Fleishhacker Foundation.