Peggy Ahwesh
Kissing Point
November 22, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Opening Reception Saturday November 22, 6-9pm

Peggy Ahwesh
Still from Peggy Ahwesh, “Lessons of War”, 2014, 5-channel video installation, 5 stacked monitors, 6 minutes loop

Microscope is very pleased to present Kissing Point the second solo exhibition by Peggy Ahwesh at the gallery. With new multiple screen video installations – one featuring footage from the West Bank, Palestinian Territories, another using appropriated news reports – along with a series of unique objects in the form of mailed postal packages, Ahwesh offers a personal perspective on the geopolitical landscape of the area where the artist has spent time since the 1980’s, most recently teaching at the Al Quds-Bard Honors College.

Ahwesh’s point of departure is a little known military/urban planning concept “kissing point”, used to articulate geographic junctures where the two territories of Israel and Palestine must make contact or overlap as the land is compromised by the politics of ownership and control.

Erotic undertones flavor the meaning of the term [kissing point], offering the potential of interaction and a flirtation with ‘the other,’ giving these junctures a psychological dynamic and more than a bit of ironic interplay. – PA

The exhibition’s title piece is a 15-minute double-projection video portrait of place and time, shot in collaboration with artist and cinematographer Nida Sinnokrot, that glides, in stops and starts, across mostly nighttime images and sounds of a shopping center, construction site, living room and disco as well as the network of bypass road and underway, road block and dead end forming separate geographies on the same landscape.

The nighttime skies and landscapes on the physical and political edges of the territory are empty, haunted, and surreal…one’s expansive sense of wanderlust is controlled by the limitations of division… – PA

A second installation, “Lessons of War”, consists of five stacked monitors playing short videos in which Ahwesh has repurposed a Youtube news agency’s animations of current events into a series of episodes about the most recent war with Gaza. The reediting of graphic animation footage parallels Ahwesh’s 2001 video “She Puppet”, in this case used to critique the qualities of a virtual narrative of antiseptic and distant violence.

Additionally, a set of three unique objects “Souvenirs”, packages shipped from Ramallah to Ahwesh’s home in Catskill, containing rocks, newspapers, and detritus that arrived at their destination as a physical embodiment of “the fragility of sovereignty and the affinities of time and space”. Several other such works disappeared in transit.

PEGGY AHWESH is a media artist who got her start in the 1970’s with feminism, punk and amateur Super 8 filmmaking. Her work has exhibited worldwide including at the New Museum, New York, NY; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; The Tate Modern, London, UK; Guggenheim Museum, Bilboa, Spain and her films featured at the Whitney Biennial, NY (5 editions); “The American Century”, Whitney Museum, NY; and at “WACK!  Art and the Feminist Revolution” 2008, P.S.1, Queens, NY. Her works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress, among others. She has received grants and awards including from the Jerome Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, NYSC and the Alpert Award in the Arts. Peggy Ahwesh is Professor of Film & Electronic Arts at Bard College where she has taught for many years. She was born in Pittsburgh, PA and currently lives and works between Brooklyn, NY and the Catskills.

Peggy Ahwesh: Kissing Point opens Saturday November 22, 6-9pm and runs through Sunday January 4, 2015.

Kissing Point Double Projection

Peggy Ahwesh, “Kissing Point”, 2014, two-channel HD video, 15 minutes, dimensions variable


Peggy Ahwesh, “Lessons of War”, 2014, 5-channel video installation, 5 stacked monitors, 6 minutes loop

Smart Phone

Peggy Ahwesh, “Smart Phone”, 2014, single-channel video for iPhone, 1 minute

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