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DRY PLACE


The exhibition is open to public Friday and Saturday from 3 to 6 pm, or by appointment, from May 24 through July 6. 

About the Exhibition:

In his Poliorcetica, dating back to the 3rd Century BCE, the engineer Philo of Byzantium depicted Greek silos as subterranean, dry, and certainly dark spaces utilized for storing grains and seeds, serving as bastions of life and prospects for the future. Food, health, well-being. However, diverging from Philo's original conception, in today's world, silos predominantly serve as dry storage facilities for bombs and missiles. Dry Space a collective show that brings together Marina Azahua, Tanya Brodsky, Larí García, Saúl Hernández-Vargas, Yifan Jiang, and Umico Niwa—explores the silos of the city of Houston, slowing down, paying attention to the specters and, of course, the silence of local workers and the ghostly clattering of grains against metal structures permeating the atmosphere. Curated by Saúl Hernández-Vargas, this exhibition delves into the old silos as an empty and dry space, where the promise of the future has changed. 

About the Artists:

Marina Azahua (b. Mexico City, Mexico) is a writer, editor, translator and anthropologist. Her work centers on the study of archival gestures, the relationship between human action and representation, the effects of violence alongside its materializations and the forms of collective resistance that emerge in its wake. She studied history at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), holds a Masters in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing from the University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Austrlia), and a PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University (New York, NY). She is the author of the books Ausencia compartida (FOEM, 2013) and Retrato involuntario. El acto fotográfico como forma de violencia (Tusquets, 2014). Amongst the various books she has translated, she recently worked on the Mexican edition of Nimmi Gowrinathan’s Radicalizing Her. Why Women Choose Violence, published under the title De armas tomar. Por qué las mujeres eligen la violencia (Sexto Piso, 2023). Alongside Astrid López Méndez, César Tejeda, Isabel Zapata and Jazmina Barrera, she created the independent publishing house Ediciones Antílope in 2015. She is currently a member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores del Arte in Mexico.

Tanya Brodsky (b. Kyiv, Ukraine) is an artist and educator based in Los Angeles. Brodsky holdsan MFA from UC San Diego (2016) and a BFA from RISD (2005). She has participated in residencies including The Mountain School of Arts MSA^, SOMA Mexico City, Vermont Studio Center and The Lighthouse Works. Brodsky’s work has been reviewed in Artforum, Hyperallergic and Carla, and has been recently exhibited at Left Field Gallery, Tyler Park Presents, The Fulcrum Press, The Box, Ochi Projects, Materials & Applications, Visitor Welcome Center (Los Angeles), Test Site Projects (Las Vegas), The Magic Hour (Twentynine Palms), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Her public art installation, Yolki Palki, was recently on view in West Hollywood. Brodsky teaches sculpture and public art at California State University, Northridge, and at the University of Southern California.

Saúl Hernández-Vargas (b. Oaxaca, Mexico) is an artist whose work operates as an archive intervention in the Nation-State’s official narratives: it is a forensic poetry that invokes the specters haunting its  cracks and fissures. Hernández-Vargas has exhibited and performed recently in the Cooper Cole Gallery (Toronto, Canada) Houston Climate Justice Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston, and the Lawndale Art Center (Houston, Tx.). Among others, he has been an artist in residence at the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands (ASU) and the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston. His work has been discussed in The Tyranny of Common Sense by Irmgard Emmelhainz, published by Sunny Press in 2021. In 2021, he developed Afilada Radio and co-curated No hay lengua humana que—a series of radio pieces for independent radio projects in Mexico. His first book, Te preparé humo, was published in 2019 by UNAM (Mexico). He co-founded the publishing project Sur+ and Yagular magazine. He holds an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, and a PhD in Hispanic Studies and Studio Art from the University of Houston. 

Larí García is an artist who explores mutations in mediumship practices, necromancy, and geographic hauntology. garcía uses various spiritual value systems, offering a perspective on the void between life and death. Their research focuses on superstition, folklore, and ghost stories that are related to the decline or legacy of late-stage capitalism. They create sculptures that respond to the non-human made of found objects, plant, and animal matter to create a working system of magic. Often substituting “ingredients” in these “recipes” as these materials become endangered, illegal, or extinct. This circumstance leads to an evolution in how these systems of magical objects appear over time. García received a BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design and an MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University. They are currently a Core Artist in Residence at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

Yifan Jiang is a Chinese-Canadian artist working in painting, animation, and installation. Jiang received her MFA from Columbia University (New York, NY), and her BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver, Canada). Taking an irreverent approach to epistemology, she explores the grey intersection between the scientific, the psychological, and the magical. Recent exhibitions include To Your Eternity /Art and Tech Biennale at Today Art Museum (Beijing, China); A Bouquet of Senses at Meliksetian|Briggs (Dallas, Texas); Zero-sum Game at Christian Andersen Gallery (Copenhagen, Denmark). Her work has been featured by the Jewish Museum, New York Public Art Fund, Rotterdam International Film Festival, London International Animation Festival, and Animafest, Croatia, among others.

Umico Niwa received her MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond in 2020. Rejecting Western notions of personhood, Niwa considers alternative modes of existence unbridled by bodily restrictions or gender constructs. Her creations speak to a state of being defined by perpetual movement - a flower, wilting; a fruit ripening. A seed vault, a genetic sequence, a sensorium, a somatic memory bank. A valley full of weeds, bursting with life. The theme of “nurturer” is fundamental in Niwa’s practice, with artworks often functioning as children. Through this lens, Niwa offers Poesis as the primary “maternal wellspring” rather than biological reproduction. She has held solo exhibitions at XYZ Collective in Tokyo, Japan (2023); Someday Gallery in New York City, NY (2022); Tilings in Montreal, Canada (2022); and Holding Contemporary in Portland, OR (2020). Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at Simon Subal in New York City, NY (2022); Kristina Kite in Los Angeles, CA (2021); and Miriam in New York City, NY (2020). She was a resident at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (2022), NARS Foundation (2023) and is currently a resident at the CORE program at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

Image: Courtesy of Andrea Cuevas