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Art: Photo

Written By Kathryn Myers

Photos contributed by Kathryn Myers, Jayanthi Moorthy, Yvette Drury Dubinsky

A.I.R. Gallery, currently Located in Brooklyn, New York, is the pioneering women’s cooperative gallery in the United States. A.I.R. stands for “Artists In Residence” and was founded in 1972 in the then gritty loft district of SoHo, in Manhattan. The gallery fulfilled a much-needed professional exhibition platform as well as mentorship and networking opportunities for women artists.

Published: 10th January 2017

A.I.R. Gallery Brooklyn

Considered progressive—even radical and subversive—from the outset, A.I.R. has reshaped the entire artistic landscape by working towards the greater visibility and inclusion of women artists.

A.I.R. Cooperative Consciousness Postcard

Current A.I.R. artist member Jayanthi Moorthy who has lived in New York for the past decade but is originally from Kochi in Kerala, initiated the idea of an A.I.R. exhibition for the Kochi Biennale.

buiding featuring Cooperative Consciousness A.I.R. Gallery Kochi

She worked to secure a space at the OED Gallery compound which had been a storage space for the main OED Gallery. After walls were built inside to hang work and lighting installed, the space was beautiful, inside and out.

Jayanthi Moorthy and Kathryn Myers

Jayanthi invited Kathryn Myers, a professor of art at the University of Connecticut to curate the exhibition titled “Cooperative Consciousness.” Sixteen members contributed work.

Cooperative Consciousness A.I.R. Gallery Shot

The exhibition was organized along three major themes in response to Biennale curator Sudarshan Shetty’s curatorial statement – “varied and fluid approaches to knowledge through making, performance, imagination, multiplicity, and tradition.”
(Pictured: Joan Snitzer, Daria Dorosh, Alisa Henriquez, Jody Joldersma, Nancy Morrow, Maxine Henryson)

Cooperative Consciousness A.I.R. Gallery Kochi Shot featuring Julia Kim Smith, Jody Joldersma

These themes of shifting senses of identity, uncanny and innovative use of materials, and permeable boundaries between abstraction and representation created connecting currents among the diverse works of art.
(Pictured: Julia Kim Smith, Jody Joldersma)

Cooperative Consciousness A.I.R. Gallery Kochi Shot featuring work by Jane Swavely, Melissa Furness,Jane Gilmor

Shetty’s premise that the gap between “the real and the mythic, the seen and unseen, the hidden and the experienced” is illusory, opened up the possibility of multiple responses and pathways for encountering the multi-media and multi-dimensional works of this multi-generational group of women artists.
(Pictured: Jane Swavely, Melissa Furness, Jane Gilmor)

Cooperative Consciousness A.I.R. Gallery Kochi Shot featuring Jayanthi Moorthy, Daria Dorosh and Mimi Oritsky

One predominant theme was the use of reclaimed, recycled and recombined materials and images which served as catalysts for investigations of collective history, travel and culture as well as feminine and gender identity.
(Pictured: Jayanthi Moorthy, Daria Dorosh, Mimi Oritsky)

Cooperative Consciousness A.I.R. Gallery Kochi Shot featuring Shannon Forester, Yvette Drury Dubinsky and D'Anne de Simone

The artists attempt to visualize often suggestive but imperceptible forms, feelings and forces through both the tactile presence of materials and elusive subtlety of metaphor.
(Pictured: Shannon Forester, Yvette Drury Dubinsky, d’Ann De Simone)

Cooperative Consciousness A.I.R. Gallery Kochi Shot featuring featuring Louise McCagg and Jody Jolersam

As feminist practice and theory have evolved, A.I.R. has reflected and reacted to changing times, needs, and the perspectives of multiple generations of artist members. The artists in Cooperative Consciousness, through their diverse creative practices, insights and life experiences, demonstrate the continued value of community and fellowship in an increasingly market-driven art scene that often fosters and encourages competitiveness and isolation.
(Pictured: Louise McCagg, Jody Joldersma)

Entrance to exhibition Jayanthi Moorthi, Kathryn Myers, Yvette Dubinsky, Nancy Morrow

Along with to Jay Moorthi and Kathryn Myers, two of the exhibiting artists, Nancy Morrow and Yvette Drury Dubinsky came to Kochi.
Pictured: Jayanthi Mooorthy, Kathryn Myers, Yvette Dubinsky, Nancy Morrow)

Yvette Drury Dubinky talking at Cooperative Consciousness Exhibition Kochi 2017

Jayanthi, Nancy and Yvette gave gallery talks about their work.
(Pictured: Yvette Drury Dubinkshy giving a talk)

Panel Discussion essential or essentialized at Cooperative Consciousness Exhibition Kochi 2017

A panel discussion titled “Essential or Essentialized” was moderated by Kathryn and included Jay, Yvette and Nancy along with New York artist Margaret Lanzetta, Banaras Hindu University Professor, Pradosh Mishra and writer and curator Sharmila Sagara from Ahmedabad. Many of Pradosh’s students attended. (Pictured: panel)

Tunty Chauhan of Threshold and Jayanthi Moorthy

As the exhibition progressed, it was gratifying to have so many artists, gallery directors, and art appreciators stop by and engage in conversation about the works.
(Pictured: Tunty Chauhan, director of Threshold Gallery with Jayanthi Moorthy)

Teen Workshop at Cooperative Consciousness Exhibition Kochi 2017

During the course of the exhibition, Jayanthi Moorthy has organized a series of workshops and artist dialogues engaging the Kochi community with the exhibition. This has been a fruitful way for her to connect with her local community even in New York where she is an artist and an art educator.

Find out more on the A.I.R. Gallery Website





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