February 13-27, 2011
Opening Sunday February 13, 6-9pm
Featuring: Peggy Ahwesh, David Baker, Catherine Cullen, Tommy D, Bradley Eros, Katarina Hybenova, Yasue Maetake, Jonas Mekas, Sebastian Mekas, Nathlie Provosty, Bill Roman, Allison Somers, and Moira Tierney. A selection of footage of the storm, posted by area residents on YouTube is also on display.
With almost daily forecasts of ice and snow as a backdrop, our group exhibition What Tornado turns to the weather for inspiration. On September 16th of last year, 2 days before our inaugural opening, a storm plowed through Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens, also striking our neighborhood of Bushwick – including the building next door. The sky turned green and then an impenetrable white as winds uprooted trees, blew out windows, sheared off roofs, and the rain flooded streets, all in about 20 minutes. When we mentioned this to some of the artists and visitors at the opening the common reactions were: “What tornado?” or “I thought that was a rumor.”
It took days for the weather bureau and news reports to confirm that the storm was in fact a tornado – 2 tornados and a macroburst. At the time, many people, including those who lived in the affected areas did not realize this. The area has now been declared a Federal disaster site, with estimated damages of over $27 millon.
In an open call last autumn, we asked for works documenting, inspired by or relating the tornadoes. The video, photo, painting, sound installation, sculpture, cartoon, performance and other works by NYC – mostly Brooklyn – artists in What Tornado attest to the unpredictability of Nature & Nature’s power as artist Muse.