Archimedes’ Bathtub

New York Foundation for the Arts -Immigrant Artists Program 

In 2015 I was invited by organizers Sophia Chizuco and Liene Bosquê to curate an exhibition for NYFA’s Immigrant Artist Program at Lorimoto Gallery. Below is the my text for the show followed by a few images: 

Archimedes’ Bathtub takes its name from the over 2000 year old tale in which the storied Greek scientist discovered the answer to a question regarding the purity of a King’s crown by observing the rising of water as he settled into his bathtub; realizing that the phenomenon of aquatic displacement was a metric for determining the volume, then density, and subsequent purity of the State’s embodiment, Archimedes ran naked and jubilant through the streets shouting“Eureka!” This is often presented as a narrative of singular genius in service to mathematics (or a sovereign), however, it can also be seen as a metaphysical parable in which an individual can better observe the volume of their being in the displacement of that which surrounds them.
By using the more novel assessment of volumetric displacement as a metaphorical guidepost, this expansive exhibition brings together the work of 22 foreign born artists, all participants in the NYFA’s 2014 Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program. Ranging in mediums, the politics of space and body eke themselves through sculpture and drawing, through videos, installations, photographs, paintings, and performances. These varied works vividly assert themselves as comments on the textured shape and fragility inherent to societal notions of reality, while simultaneously reflecting the idiosyncrasies of the commenter’s own filtered view as strangers in a strange land. Indeed, the artworks then, are the observed effect of our own displacement wading through the muddy waters of culture.