THE INTERNATIONAL ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM
New Works: 97.3
Alex Bag, NEW YORK, NY
Cesar Martinez, SAN ANTONIO, TX
Jaan Toomik, TALLINN, ESTONIA
The International Artist-in-Residence Program, sponsored by ArtPace, A Foundation
for Contemporary Art | San Antonio presents New Works: 97.3, a series of
installations by artists living and working at ArtPace. Alex Bag and Jaan Toomik were
selected by the March 1996 IAIR Program Panel consisting of Elizabeth Armstrong,
David Avalos, Dana Friis-Hansen, Thelma Golden and Maaretta Jaukkuri. Cesar
Martinez was selected by guest curator Susanne Ghez. Work produced by the artists
during their six-week residency will open to the public on Thursday, September 11, 1997.
Born in 1969 in New York, NY, Alex Bag lives and works in New York. Bag holds a
BFA from Cooper Union in New York. She has had solo exhibitions at the Andy Warhol
Museum, Pittsburgh; the Marta Cervera Gallery, Madrid; and 303 Gallery, New York,
where she is represented. Bag has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of
Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Renaissance Society,
Chicago; Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle; Kunsthalle Nuremberg, Germany; Athens
Fine Art School, Greece; and Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland.
Bag's video works capture the chameleon-like character of television and pop culture
icons. Bag, who grew up with a barrage of media images from MTV, magazines and
television, processes these images and references through solo performance, documented
in a low-tech America's Funniest Home Videos format. The videos are humorous and
dark, referencing suburban adolescent experiences, fantasies, and representations.
For her installation at ArtPace, Bag has created a "mobile video viewing unit."
Parked in the middle of the gallery, viewers enter a customized van, complete with a tear-
shaped window, padded black vinyl walls and shag carpeting. Departing from the cold,
uncomfortable way in which video art is traditionally presented in art spaces, Bag's
concerns with the viewers physical environment is manifested in a womb-like
"conversation-pit"-style interior space. Styled to emulate heavy-metal subcultures of the
early 1980s, Bag's van, with its masculine, "Motor-Head" look, contrasts with the female
narrative and content of her video works. A survey of Bag's video work is projected on a
pull-down screen in the rear of the van and plays in a one-hour loop.
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© 1997 Artpace San Antonio