This is exactly what happened as the heavy heat made its way into the late afternoon on Thursday, July 22, and M55 gallery opened its doors to showcase “In the place we live.”
Curated by Carolina Penafiel and Assa Bigger, the group exhibit featured Long Island City artists exploring the idea of a community.
“We’re showing LIC artists of different range, medium and concepts,” Bigger said.
The exhibition featured artists such as Annalisa Iadicicco, an Italian artist, who, focusing on her art for five years now, presented some of her photography and Ottowatch, a photo storybook, created with the help of Journalist Natasha Lardera.
Ottowatch is about a rat terrier that helps keep the LIC community crime-free. Otto is not your typical watchdog, as he goes about capturing foes in LIC by communicating with other dog friends, residents, and the police.
Otto is intelligent, witty and confident of his crime-fighting skills. Not to mention, he is partly based on Iadicicco’s rat terrier, who she has raised for eight years.
“I want to see their [dog’s] point of view,“ said Iadicicco. “All they are missing are words.”
Ottowatch is “a work in progress.” Iadicicco plans to add more issues and incorporate different New York neighborhoods.
Iadiccio worked in movie and television production previously, but wants to concentrate heavily on her art.
She creates mixed art pieces with discarded metal frames. “Tea in Marrakesh” is a photograph of a Moroccan man eating over a table, but only his hands and lower body can be seen.
The photograph is covered with plexiglass placed on top of a cor-ten metal Iadicicco found in a construction site, which she now uses as a frame.
Other artists included, Jesse Winter, who filmed “Accidental Intentions,” a time-lapse, stop motion experimental video demonstrating an ongoing journey in fragmentations throughout different areas of LIC.
Still objects mixed with changing backgrounds appear on screen like a “visceral meditation.”
“[It’s about] playing with the video, community, time and place,” said Winter.
Winter, also a photographer and owner of Ten10 Studios, wants to incorporate video into his work. “It’s moving through space, different than a still photo,” he said.
Eliot Lable, a welder for 10 years tells a story of excessive violence through molded figures, painted and welded pieces. There is a “political and religious aspect” to his work.
Lable calls one “My prayers have been answered,” in which two bloody hands hold a rosary in prayer, perched on a black frame. This explores the idea of how religions have a way of exonerating individuals of their sins, in what Lable considers “loopholes.”
The curators made the decision not to eliminate any of the artists.
“Everyone that applied deserved to be in the exhibit,” Bigger said. “People don’t always have a chance and we might be eliminating the best artists.”
"In the Place e live" runs until August 28.
For more information, check out M55art.org.