Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Each One, Every One, Equal All

We, Deborah and Glenn (DOEprojekts Art Collaborative), were delighted to have the opportunity to meet artist and SAIC educator Nick Cave in December 2022. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) hosted a holiday party for SAIC alumni at Bacall's Restaurant in Manhattan, and afterward, we were invited to hear Nick Cave speak about his newest installation connecting two of Manhattan's Subway Portals (Times Square 42nd Street and Bryant Park). Cave's mosaic and video installation is titled "Each One, Every One, Equal All." [(Above L to R): Artists Julia Schmidt Healy, Glenn N. Doering, Nick Cave, Deborah Adams Doering.]

Nick Cave (b. 1959) has had a long and distinguished art career. He spoke to SAIC alums about his "sound suits," which combine dance and sculpture, and how these works became the basis for his mosaic and video installation in the subway tunnel. He described some of the challenges of working with Mayer of Munich, the atelier that produced the mosaics. His collaborative process and attention to detail inspired us.

We were also inspired by the recent Broadway play "The Collaboration." This theater production imagined the dialog between Andy Warhol (performed by Paul Bettany) and Jean-Michel Basquiat (Jeremy Pope). In the play, the two artists are introduced by art dealer and collector Bruno Bischofberger (Erik Jensen) during a tumultuous time in the New York art world -- the 1980s. At that time, Warhol was losing some of his world-wide popularity and Basquiat's fame was rising. Bischofberger encouraged Warhol to collaborate with the younger artist for a number of reasons, one of them being that Basquiat's drug use was becoming an impediment (some might say otherwise) to his artistic output.

The play highlights the tensions between two artists who ostensibly have very different viewpoints on the role of visual art. Through playwright Anthony McCarton's script, Warhol and Basquiat debate "big life questions" such as identity, commerce, culture, faith, and death. The play is both entertaining and thought-provoking, and prompted dialog and reflection by our DOEprojekts Art Collaborative.

On a somewhat less "public" scale than subway installations or Broadway plays, our DOEprojekts collaboration drew and cut a pair of Yupo stencils in February. These stencil works continue our investigation of circular shapes using our "Coreforms."

We decided to use primary colors Yellow and Blue (the colors of the Ukrainian flag) and the primary color Red (associated with bloodshed and war) as a base for our stencil prints. Our hearts ache for the people of the Ukraine as they enter the second year of war with Russian leader Putin. Several of our prints on these primary colors included gold. Gold has many associations, including victory and compassion. 

As we continue our visual explorations, we contemplate the title "Each One, Every One, Equal All" (from Cave's installation). We interpret that title to mean that each contribution to creativity, made by everyone, equals opportunity for growth in thoughts, feelings, actions.

We wish our blog readers creative months ahead!

Deborah and Glenn

DOEprojekts.org, DOEprojekts.com (and Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

Sunday, November 27, 2022

"Art Meets Art" at Documenta Fifteen

DOEprojekts Art Collaborative (Deborah Adams Doering and Glenn N. Doering) are pleased and privileged to have participated in Documenta 15 "Art Meets Art" events in Kassel, Germany, during Summer 2022.

Every five years, the German city of Kassel is host to a "Documenta" international art exhibition. The exhibition was initiated by artist, educator, and curator, Arnold Bode, in 1955; Bode wanted to showcase art works which had been labeled "Entartete Kunst" (Degenerate Art) by the Nazis. Bode reportedly titled the exhibition "documenta" because docere is Latin for 'teach' and mens is Latin for 'intellect.' The exhibition focuses on "learning through art" rather than the commerce of art.

The works for each Documenta exhibition are usually selected by an individual curator. But Documenta 15 was the first to be led by an artist collaborative. "Ruangrupa" is based in Jakarta, Indonesia. More about this art group, and how they came to their theme of "lumbung" (the sharing of rice in a communal location) can be found at https://ruangrupa.id/en/.

Ten years ago, our art collaborative, DOEprojekts, and the Keiskamma Art Project, South Africa, were part of a "satellite project" during Documenta 13. We spent 100 days working together in Kassel's Amtsgericht (Offices of Justice). Our project is thoroughly documented in the 2012 entries in this blog. Above is one photo from 2012 that shows Deborah Adams Doering, Glenn N. Doering, Veronica Betani, and Cebo Mvubu all speaking with Lori Waxman, art critic, looking at our work. Below are two photos that show the embroidery and stencils that were products of our collaboration.

It was a delight, once again, to meet with people in Kassel who supported our collaborative art action "Just Us at Work." 

Our friend Silke Emde met us in the Welcome Area at the RuruHaus; we spent the day together viewing many of the installations throughout the city.

Friends Axel Goeppert and Luba Streck joined us at the "Poem of Pearls" by the artist Birthe Blauth in the Elisabethkirche (Elisabeth Church). At the entrance of the installation, visitors walked a labyrinth. In the interior of the installation, all participants were invited to take a genuine pearl from a central bowl located in the middle of the sanctuary, that was carpeted in grass.

DOEprojekts participated beyond the "Art Meets Art" events at Documenta 15. We used our "Hybr Squares" (3-D) as an intervention on the Kassel Hauptbahnhof, where several other artists had created temporary works. Above: "Hybr Squares Standing," our sculpture in "Horizontal Newspaper," documenta fifteen Edition (Kassel), 2022, designed and initiated by Dan Perjovschi.

Above: "Hybr Squares Horizontal," temporary sculpture in "Horizontal Newspaper," documenta fifteen Edition (Kassel), 2022.

Above: "Here There," temporary sculpture in "Horizontal Newspaper," documenta fifteen Edition (Kassel), 2022. Public Space Drawing.

DOEprojekts participated in the Kassel East Urban Parcours, walking the 5-km route which featured many local businesses in Kassel (and also the Joseph Beuys Oak Trees, a social sculpture from Documenta 7 in 1982.)

Above: Kassel East Urban Parcours display at RuruHaus, with DOEprojekts' Hybr Square.

In the Documenta Halle, we participated in "Lumbung of Publishers," an area where art collaboratives could publish their Lumbung stories.

We also experimented with "Nang Yai" (story stencils) which traditionally depict gods and characters from the Ramayana epics -- and in Kassel, stories by the Brothers Grimm. The stencils on display were created by the Baan Noorg Collaborative from Thailand. Stencils and storytelling were featured in many parts of the Documenta Fifteen exhibition, including the following display in Kassel's Fridericianum:

Above: Handcut stencils from the Asia Art Archive, by Nilima Sheikh in collaboration with Sanjay Soni and the family of Vishnu Prasad Jadia from Mathura, 2000-2020.

We feel an aesthetic kinship with the stencilling cutting artists of Documenta Fifteen, and also with Ruangrupa's emphasis on art collaboration. Above: DOEprojekts' stencils.

We experienced so many wonderful events over the course of the week we spent at Documenta Fifteen -- we only wish we had had more time to experience even more! We were invited by one of the art collaborative members to join them in harvesting produce from their large garden, and then prepare a meal and eat it with them, but unfortunately we were leaving the next day for our Bauhaus residency. We look forward to attending Documenta Sixteen in 2027 when we hope to be invited to participate again.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

BAUHAUS Residency • DOEprojekts in Dessau, Germany

DOEprojekts Art Collaborative, co-directed by Deborah Adams Doering and Glenn N. Doering, received a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) for the 2019-2020 funding cycle, providing support for the Doerings to teach "Bauhaus and Beyond" at the Lenox Hill Community Center in Manhattan, NY. 

Our class highlighted many of the contemporary and international influences and achievements of the innovative art-design school that was founded in Weimar, Germany, in 1919. The school was closed by the Nazis in 1933. But the main Bauhaus campus still exists in Dessau, Germany.  

We had planned to do an artist residency at the Bauhaus-Dessau in the summer of 2020, as experiential and supplemental research for future classes. But then came the COVID pandemic. Our plans were put on hold.

Finally, happily, in Summer 2022, our plan to spend time researching and creating art at Bauhaus-Dessau became a reality! We are delighted to share some of our photos from our residency with our blog readers.

During the first part of our residency, we spent time in various rooms of the Bauhaus main building, designed by architect Walter Gropius, founder and first director of Bauhaus. 

On the left, Glenn is watching a presentation on how the students -- the "Bauhäuslers" -- contributed to the philosophy of the school with its integration of form and function of objects and images. These art-design works were created using new technologies of that time. On the right, Deborah is viewing "wearable art" (aka costumes) designed by Oskar Schlemmer, one of the "master teachers" at Bauhaus. The wearable art works were created using new technical tools and then worn in avant garde performances by both faculty and students. The Bauhaus was a fun place to live, study and experiment!

Not far from the school are the Meisterhäuser, the "Master Teacher Houses." We spent an afternoon touring two of the four houses open to visitors. During the time of the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius lived and worked in the house nearest the school. Unfortunately, his house was totally destroyed in WW2. But it is now being rebuilt, and will become an adjunct Bauhaus museum and study center.

The other houses were shared by "Master Teachers" such as Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. It was inspirational to view the inside of these creative spaces and learn how Bauhaus teachers inspired and collaborated with each other.

We were especially inspired by both the "modern forms" and the "performative" aspects of many of the Bauhaus works that we saw. In response, we decided to create a series of Bauhaus masks that would reflect our surroundings and integrate our DOEprojekts' Coreforms. 

We worked and stayed overnight in the dormitories of the Bauhaus, the original rooms designed by Gropius and some of his followers. Being in the actual environment formerly lived in by the Bauhäuslers ignited our imaginations!

After several days of dedicated work, we finished our series of Coreform-Bauhaus Masks. We printed one of our masks on several T-shirts. Below (left), we pose on our Bauhaus dormitory balcony wearing our T-shirts. On the right, Glenn waves from our Bauhaus balcony.

Someday, we hope to return to the Bauhaus for a longer artist residency. Until then, great memories of the time we were able to "study, work and play" in Summer 2022 will have to suffice!

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Sunday, June 19, 2022

DOEprojekts Publishes Unique Limited Edition Books Featuring 10 years of Our Blog Entries (2021-2012)

Over the past 10 years, 
Deborah Adams Doering and Glenn N. Doering, DOEprojekts Art Collaborative, has published over 170 Blogger entries at this URL (web address); DOEprojekts.com.

We are delighted to publish all of our work (since 2012) in two hard-bound volumes: DOEprojekts Vol I (2013-2012) and DOEprojekts Vol II (2021-2013). In each volume, the blog entries are published in reverse chronological order, just as they are published on the web.

We are pleased to work with the BlookUp publishing company, which specializes in publishing various types of online journalism, in creating these high-quality books that document our collaborative projects from the past 10 years. "BlookUp" is located in Bordeaux, France (a region that is also known for its fine wine). 

Along with each set of limited edition "blooks," we are creating an "appendix-in-a-box." The appendix will feature limited edition prints that are shown in the books. In the photo above, our first appendix-in-a-box will feature 5 prints. In the upper left is our "Relationship with Coreforms" print and then clockwise from left: "Coreforms" print, "Tracks and Traces" print, "Code for the Grand River" earthwork print, and "Backbone" print. 

DOEprojekts continues our tradition of making prints in response to social and community engagement in 2022. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have saved paraphernalia related to COVID protocols. We recently created a series of photogram (light sensitive) prints using masks, mask fasteners, nasal swabs, extraction vials, test result cassettes, and other components of various kits. Above is one example from our COVID-19 photogram series. 

We also designed two new T-shirt "prints" that anticipate our upcoming Summer 2022 travels and art adventures.

We will be visiting the Documenta 15 exhibition in Kassel, Germany in early July. Our regular blog readers will remember that DOEprojekts partnered with the Keiskamma Art Project, from South Africa, in 2012 when we performed a 100-day "art action" at the Amtsgericht (offices of justice) in Kassel. 

We look forward to visiting the site of our former art action, as well as viewing the current projects that will be featured in Documenta 15. The Jakarta-based collaborative "ruangrupa" is the main curatorial force behind the quinquennial exhibition. In turn, they have selected several other collaboratives to participate in the creation of the 2022 edition of Documenta.

After visiting Documenta 15, we will be traveling to Bauhaus Dessau in the northeast of Germany. Glenn and Deborah have taught classes on the Bauhaus art school (1919-1933) and we had plans to visit the main site of the school in 2020. These plans had to be postponed because of the pandemic. We are now able to move forward with a "residency" at the Bauhaus, staying in the student dormitory. We look forward to sharing our experiences with our blog readers -- stay tuned!

When we return from our travels, we will surely re-visit the "Magical Thinking: Superstitions and Other Persistent Notions" exhibition at the Dr. Bernard Heller Museum in lower Manhattan. We thank curators Phyllis Freedman and Laura Kruger for including our work "Wishing (You) Well" pictured above.

As always, we appreciate your support of DOEprojekts – keep in touch!

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Sunday, May 29, 2022

"Only One Earth" Flag Project 2022 selects DOEprojekts' "Clear Sky" Flag for Rockefeller Center Showcase

The call for entries for the third Rockefeller Flag Project Competition was held in February 2022. DOEprojekts (Deborah and Glenn Doering, lead artists) entered two designs based on the competition's theme "Just One Earth."  From a contestant field of several hundred entries, their "Clear Sky" flag was chosen to be displayed among 80 other flags from around the world.

When we submitted the "Clear Sky" image, we wrote: "This photo was taken on our first flight after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. It was heart-warming to see the white clouds against the blue sky again! But we were reminded that air travel (and tourism in general) can be hard on our planet. We want to support travel methods that are sustainable."

The second design we submitted (but was not selected) featured our Coreforms in the wings of a graphic "Bee."

For this submission we wrote: "We support the Hell's Kitchen Farm Project (HKFP), an urban rooftop farm in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, NYC. By adding bees to community farms and gardens, food harvested can potentially increate up to 70%. These super pollinators allow urban farms to increase their impact on food insecurity.  Our 2022 Flag Project submission honors the bees of NYC and around the world."

We thank the directors of the Climate Museum and the United Nations Environment Programme, for including our work in this public art installation. We invite our DOEprojekt's blog readers, family and friends, to go see "The Flag Project 2022." 

Whether you are able to see the exhibition or not, please go to our Instagram and see more photos (and maybe some short videos) of all the flags.

As always, we appreciate your support of DOEprojekts – keep in touch!

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Sunday, December 19, 2021

Seeds in the City, NYC Artist Corps Grant

Immediately after returning to New York City from our teaching workshops in Washington State (see previous blog post), DOEprojekts -- Deborah Adams Doering and Glenn N. Doering -- began work on our "Seeds in the City" exhibition and installation, funded in part by the New York City Artist Corps/NYC Cultural Affairs grant.

The Metro Baptist Church Community's "art space" in Midtown Manhattan hosted the installation. DOEprojekts created a site-specific "Seed Mantel" after considering the special architectural features of the space. The suspended Seed Mantel spanned an 18-foot gap between two major pillars. The mantel (cloak) consisted of 360 individually hand-cut "Hybrs" (DOEprojekts' abstract seed forms) arranged in continuous color fields. 

The Hybr-seed is a form created from the integration of several DOEprojekts' "Coreforms" -- circle, horizontal and vertical lines, swashes, and points. These forms symbolize growth, community, collaboration, and creativity. The semi-circular mantel suggests other social keywords as well.

Drawing, cutting, and installing the Seed Mantel took 50-hours of painstaking work. We were fortunate to have the help of Joe Bergquist and Tiffany Triplett Henkel, members of the MBC community (and good friends as well).

Also site specific was a gold-brown temporary graphic work titled "Wick." In Yorkshire dialect of English, "wick" denotes "active, bustling, nimble, and quick." The semi-circular work, featuring hybr-seed forms was divided in quarter-circles. Each quarter circle was placed on either side of MBC's sculptural cross.

A third part of the installation was an arrangement of 20 "Seed Crop" oil on canvas paintings. This series of paintings were created as part of Deborah's Master of Fine Arts thesis project at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The paintings were displayed at the Cenacle Retreat Center in Chicago for many years. 

Sadly, the Cenacle closed this year (2021) because of the ongoing COVID pandemic. We made a special trip to Chicago in July to remove all the "Seed Crop" paintings and transport them to New York City where, happily, they were displayed as part of "Seeds in the City." 

Our installation's open-to-the-public hours were well-attended, both in person and via Zoom. The exhibition/installation was open to the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from Sept 18 to October 23, 2021. Deborah and Glenn spoke at the celebratory opening on Sunday, September 19. We also led art workshops for youth in the community. 

As we prepare to enter the New Year, we are thankful that the COVID vaccine (and booster) freed us from the highly restricted movements of 2020. Yet, even now, there is concern about new variants of the virus and how it will affect our communities in 2022. 

At the "heart" of DOEprojekts' Coreforms concept is Movement. Moving, changing perspectives, and creating community connections through art was our focus in 2021 and will continue to be our focus in 2022.

Happy Holidays to all our friends and supporters! We wish you a safe and healthy New Year!

Deborah and Glenn
New York City, USA