WHAT TORNADO
ARTISTS’ BIOS

Peggy Ahwesh
Aptly described as a media bricoleur, Ahwesh’s work combines a variety of experimental narrative and documentary genres, often with improvisational performance. Utilizing found footage, noise, the arcane and a variety of obsolete, low end technologies Ahwesh’s work is primarily an investigation of cultural identity and the role of the female subject.  Ahwesh’s practice insists on political and social topicality, handled with theoretical rigor, while at the same time using humor and the absurd in an open embrace of the inexplicable.  Subjective experiences of the individual, the mundane and discourses of non-closure are subjects of her work. Feminist theory and film theory are applied to traditionally female-gendered themes-home movies, family drama, relationships and confessions-while turning the conventions of realism on end.

Peggy Ahwesh came of age in the 1970’s with Super 8mm amateur filmmaking, feminism and the punk underground in Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of Antioch College.  Currently, Ahwesh is Chair of the Film & Electronic Arts Program at Bard College. Her film and video work is distributed by EAI, New York and Lightcone, Paris.  Ahwesh’s films Martina’s Playhouse (1989), The Deadman (made with Keith Sanborn, 1989), Strange Weather (1993) and Nocturne (1998) are in the permanent collection of the MOMA. Ahwesh has received grants from the Jerome, Creative Capital and Guggenheim Foundations and NYSCA.  In 2000 she received the Alpert Award for film/video.

David Baker
David Baker is a painter and filmmaker.  He divides his time between New York City and a 148 year old brick school house located one hundred miles north of the city on the Hudson River.

Baker has exhibited his paintings at the Tony Shafrazi, Annina Nosei, Tibor de Nagy, John Good and Postmasters galleries in NYC as well as in Tampa, FL and at the S.L. Simpson Gallery in Toronto.  A catalog of a show entitled “Avatars of the Tortoise” was published by the University of South Florida with an essay by Jerry Saltz.  Baker’s paintings have been written about in Artforum, Arts Magazine and the New York Times.  His work can be found in the collections of Michael Ovitz, Lucas Janklow, Marc Glimcher and the Chase Manhattan Bank.  Baker has written articles about Jack Smith and Willem De Kooning’s late paintings for Detour magazine.

His films and videos have been shown in two “Personal Cinema” programs at the Millennium Film Workshop in New York City (2008, 2010). He has shown his work numerous times at the Maysles Institute, and at Anthology Film Archives, in NYC.  Baker showed “Ten Tha” in the 2009 Migrating Forms Film Festival as part of Bradley Eros’s “Void For Film”, a seven hour screening of imageless cinema. Baker also participated in the EPIC (Extreme Private Intimate Cinema) program during the 2010 Migrating Forms Festival.

Three of his digital films were shown at the 2010 Milwaukee Underground Film Festival:“The Subterraneans”, “Ab Ovo”, and “Sotto Voce”.  In November of 2010 he was part of a program called “New Forms In Moving Picture Art” at Microscope Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn NY along with Ken Jacobs, Richard Garet, Nisi Jacobs and Michael Schumacher.  “For Flo” and “The Optic Melon” were viewed.

Catherine Cullen
“I work with multiple references including language, philosophy, and other works of art to question the stability of images and of knowledge. Like an opening in the firmament, Untitled, is a drawing of the profound calm and turbulent chaos that exists in each moment. It is said, too, that shamans move between realms through a hole in the sky.” –CC

Catherine Cullen was born in Minnesota and today she lives and works on Ward Hill, Staten Island. One of her works, Found Object (Sculpture Involuntaire), a digital image, was projected at the Frieze Art Fair in London as part of Open Call for Frieze Projects, 2009. Residencies and awards include MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a Pollock Krasner Grant.  Cullen apprenticed to potters in Mashiko, Japan, received a BFA from the University of Minnesota and an MA from the New School in film/video.

Tommy D “Naked Man”
Tommy D., a nudist and self-described performance artist, whose creative aesthetic is derived less from the product of his labors, but more from the fruit of his actual being. Relentless and determined in his efforts to infuse his radical ideals of nudity and art, he contantly searches for a viable canvas to display the “art” he has come to be both revered and reviled for.

Bradley Eros
An artist working in myriad media: experimental film & video, collage, photography, performance, sound, text, expanded cinema & installation. Also a maverick curator, designer, researcher & investigator. Concepts include: ephemeral cinema, mediamystics, subterranean science, erotic psyche, cinema povera, poetic accidents and musique plastique.

Eros has exhibited and performed at 2004 Whitney Biennial & The American Century, MoMA, PS1, The New York Film Festival, London Film Festival, Performa09, Exit Art, The Kitchen, Millennium, Ocularis, Light Industry, Issue Project Room, Microscope Gallery, Participant Inc, Cabinet, ABC No Rio, White Box, The New York Underground Film Festival, Migrating Forms, Warhol Museum, Pacific Film Archives, SF Cinematheque, No.w.here in London, Lightcone in Paris, Arsenal in Berlin, Image Forum in Tokyo;  Also works with the New York Filmmakers’ Cooperative, Anthology Film Archives, Optipus (film group) & co-directed the Roberta Beck Mercurial Cinema.

Katarina Hybenova
Katarina Hybenova is a freelance writer and a photographer based in Bushwick. She was born in a small mountain town in Slovakia, has lived in Prague, Czech Republic and Leuven, Belgium. She has spent a lot of time traveling the world only to eventually find her Bushwick hideaway. She runs a blog about Bushwick art and people who create it www.BushwickDaily.com.

Yasue Maetake
Yasue Maetake works in a variety of media including sculpture, video and other 2-dimensional works. She seamlessly employs materials often from the natural world and synthetics in bizarre form sculpture. In her video, quasi-narratives style is built on a few simply shot passages of subtly inexplicable activity.

Maetake received an MFA from Columbia University in 2006.

Prior to that she attended the Prague Academy of Applied Arts to study Glass in Architecture before moving to New York. Her recent exhibits in galleries and public institutions include solo shows at Fons Welter, Amsterdam, Harris Lieberman, New York and Fredric Snizter Gallery, Miami as well as at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Arnhem in the Netherlands. Her work has been included in the Queens Museum Biennial, New York as well as Sonsbeek 2008, Arnhem in the Netherlands. Her work has been often in experimental curatorial projects, including White Box in New York, Project Birch Forest – Part 2, in collaboration with LUX London and Lucca Film Festival 2010 in Italy. She lives and works in Ridgewood, Queens.

Jonas Mekas
Jonas Mekas was born in 1922 in the farming village of Semeniškiai, Lithuania. He currently lives and works in New York City. In 1944, he and his brother Adolfas were taken by the Nazis to a forced labor camp in Elmshorn, Germany. After the War he studied philosophy at the University of Mainz. At the end of 1949 the UN Refugee Organization brought both brothers to New York City, where they settled down in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Two weeks after his arrival in New York he borrowed money to buy his first Bolex camera and began to record brief moments of his life. He soon got deeply involved in the American Avant-Garde film movement. In 1954, together with his brother, he started Film Culture magazine, which soon became the most important film publication in the US. In 1958 he began his legendary Movie Journal column in the Village Voice. In 1962 he founded the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, and in 1964 the Film-Makers’ Cinematheque, which eventually grew into Anthology Film Archives, one of the world’s largest and most important repositories of avante-garde cinema, and a screening venue.

During all this time he continued writing poetry and making films. To this date he has published more than 20 books of prose and poetry, which have been translated into over 12 languages. His Lithuanian poetry is now part of Lithuanian classic literature and his films can be found in leading museums around the world. He is largely credited for developing the diaristic forms of cinema. Mekas has also been active as an academic, teaching at the New School for Social Research, the International Center for Photography, Cooper Union, New York University, and MIT.

Mekas’ film The Brig was awarded the Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1963. Other films include Walden (1969), Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1972), Lost Lost Lost (1975), Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol (1990), Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas (1992), and As I was Moving Ahead I saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000). More recently, in 2007, he completed a series of 365 short films released on the internet, one film every day.

Since 2000, Mekas has expanded his work into the area of film installations, exhibiting at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Moderna Museet (Stockholm), PS1 Contemporary Art Center MoMA, Documenta of Kassel, the Museum Ludwig in Coulogne, and the Venice Biennale. In 2007, the Jonas Mekas Center for the Visual Arts opened in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Sebastian Mekas
Sebastian Mekas is a New York City-born writer, translator, and photographer. Since completing his studies in mathematics and oriental linguistics, he has lived in France, Italy, and China, working as an editor and translator for various art institutions.

Nathlie Provosty
Nathlie Provosty (b. 1981, Cincinnati, OH) is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY, working primarily in painting and drawing. She received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004. Awards include a Fulbright Fellowship to India (2004-5) and a Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program studio residency (2009-10). Her work has been included in numerous group shows throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, including a forthcoming exhibition at Exit Art opening February 25. Also forthcoming is her first one-person show at Gallery Diet in Miami, Florida this April.

Bill Roman
“Like most of the photos and videos I take, my video of the storm approaching and engulfing the elevated Flushing Avenue train station is accidental timing. I work in a hospital and when I leave is largely dictated by the patients on the unit I manage. In some ways I regret retreating and not holding my position against the storm, but I also like seeing the oncoming train charging into the station, and the reactions of the people on the platform, who despite the violent atmosphere, seemed to be enjoying themselves.” –BR

Allison Somers
Allison Somers, born 1981, Los Angeles, California.  She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Moira Tierney
Moira Tierney graduated with an honours BA from University College Dublin and went on to study fine art at l’Ecole Nationale d’Arts de Cergy-Paris, graduating in 1997 with an honours Diplome Nationale Superieure d’Expression Plastique. She was granted an Arts Council film award and a Fulbright Scholarship (to Anthology Film Archives in New York) in 1998 as well as a grant from the Taoiseach’s Department for her film project Matilda Tone. Since moving to New York Moira has completed 20 short films as well as the half-hour documentary Matilda Tone; her films have screened internationally at venues such as the Fondation Cartier in Paris, the Rio Film Festival, the London and Edinburgh Film Festivals, the Rotterdam Film Festival and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, as well as participating in numerous touring programmes and gallery shows. Anthology Film Archives in New York, Tekfestival in Rome, the Festival des Cinemas Differents in Paris and L’Alternativa Film Festival in Barcelona have screened retrospective programmes of her work. She received a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council for her film Portrait of a Pan Yard as well as residencies at the Yaddo colony at Saratoga Springs, New York and at the Rotunda Gallery/Brooklyn Community Television in New York City. Her films are distributed by Third World Newsreel and the Film-Makers Co-operative in New York and the Collectif Jeune Cinema in Paris. She is also co-founder of the Irish film collective SOLUS. For further information see www.moiratierney.net and www.soluscollective.org


  • MICROSCOPE
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