Spring 2017 Talks : Commercial Break: Artist Panel

About the Talk

Public urban space is increasingly shaped by the display of visual information. Over the last decade alone, modes of advertising have developed alongside technological advances in display techniques, and in turn, contemporary artists have found inspiration and the opportunity to utilize new forms of media within this digitally saturated landscape. For this Public Art Fund Talk at The New School, artists Meriem Bennani, Mary Reid Kelley, Patrick Kelley, and Hannah Whitaker will be in a conversation moderated by Public Art Fund’s Associate Curators Emma Enderby and Daniel S. Palmer, focusing on the intersection between art and advertising.

This talk accompanies Public Art Fund’s citywide exhibition Commercial Break, which invites 20+ artists to create interventions on today’s most advanced advertising platforms, including new digital sites such as the Barclays Center oculus screen in downtown Brooklyn, a Times Square digital video billboard, more than a thousand LinkNYC kiosks across the city, 19 screens in the Westfield World Trade Center shopping mall, as well as embedded pop-up advertisements on

Emerging Moroccan-born artist Meriem Bennani’s new work for Barclays Center addresses issues surrounding the hijab’s cultural significance and re-evaluates stereotypical Western notions about Islamic attire. At Times Square, Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley have created a new work titled Crete Meat. This black and white video fuses classical antiquity with pop culture, combining wordplay-rich poetry, mythological characters, and contemporary environments. On LinkNYC kiosks citywide, Brooklyn-based photographer Hannah Whitaker will present new digital images that expand on her existing relationship with the language of advertising, with striking images of silhouetted figures that evoke street level activity.

Commercial Break will be on view February 5 – March 6, 2017 in various locations citywide, and features more than 20 artists.



The New School

The New School, 12th Street Auditorium

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Photo Gallery

About the Artists

Meriem Bennani (b. 1988, Rabat, Morocco) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her recent solo shows include: Green Sea Gardens, Art Dubai, Dubai (2017); FLY, MoMA PS1, New York (2016); Gradual Kingdom, Signal Gallery, Brooklyn (2015); and Fardaous Funjab, Stream Gallery, New York (2015). Her work has also been shown internationally in group exhibitions including Flying House, Shanghai Biennale (2016); Reality Bytes, Frank F. Yang Art & Education Foundation, Shenzhen (2016); We Dance, We Smoke, We Kiss, Flax Fahrenheit, LA (2016); Unorthodox, The Jewish Museum, New York (2016); ARA-B-LESS ?, Saatchi Gallery, London (2015); Surface Support, SIGNAL, Brooklyn (2015); NEWD Art Show, The 1896, New York (2015); Kick in the Door, MANA Contemporary, New Jersey (2015); UOVO x NEWD, Freehand, Miami (2014); Paste, Brooklyn (2014); and Humain trop humain, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014). Bennani earned a BFA from The Cooper Union in New York and a MFA from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Meriem Bennani is represented by Signal Gallery, Brooklyn.

Mary Reid Kelley (b. 1979, Greenville, South Carolina) lives and works in Olivebridge, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include A Marquee Piece of Sod. The WWI Films of Mary Reid Kelley, Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany (2016); Mary Reid Kelly, Museum Leuven, Belgium (2016); We’re Wallowing Here in Your Disco Tent, High Line, New York (2016); Hammer Projects: Mary Reid Kelley, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015); Mary Reid Kelley, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (2015); Mary Reid Kelley, Site Santa Fe (2015); Mary Reid Kelley, Neuer Kunstverein Wien, Vienna (2014); Mary Reid Kelley: Working Objects and Videos, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz; University Art Museum, New York (2014); Mary Reid Kelley, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2013); Sadie, The Saddest Sadist and Priapus Agonistes, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (2013); The Syphilis of Sisyphus: Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley, AMOA Arthouse, Austin (2013); and The Syphilis of Sisyphus, The Box at Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus (2012). Reid Kelley has been awarded the MacArthur Fellowship (2016); Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2014); Tiffany Foundation 2013 Biennial Grant (2014); The Shifting Foundation Grant (2012); Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome (2011); the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant (2009); and a CAA Visual Arts Fellowship (2008). Reid Kelly received a BFA from St. Olaf College, Minnesota, and a MFA in Painting from Yale University. Reid Kelly is represented by Fredericks & Freiser, New York and Pilar Corrias, London.

Mary Reid Kelley often works in collaboration with her partner, Patrick Kelley, who received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BA from St. Olaf College. Kelley’s works have been shown at the American Academy in Rome; Bibliothèque Publique d’Information-Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany; Minnesota Museum of American Art; Catherine Person Gallery, Seattle; The Minneapolis Foundation Offices; Katherine Nash Gallery, Minneapolis; Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis; Rochester Art Center, Rochester, Minnesota; College of Visual Arts Gallery, St. Paul, Minnesota; Minnesota Center for Book Arts; Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge; Pontiac Art Center, Pontiac, Michigan; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Steensland Art Museum, St. Olaf College. Kelley’s awards and honors include Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome (2011-12); Faculty Development Grants from Skidmore College and St. Mary’s College of Maryland (2007-09); Jerome Foundation Travel/Study Grant (2004); Finalist, Bush Foundation Artist Fellows Program (2004); Artist Residency, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Colorado (2003); McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship for Photographers (2001-02); and Jerome Foundation and Forecast Public Artworks commission, permanent installation in the Open Book building, Minneapolis (2000).

Hannah Whitaker (b. 1980, Washington, D.C.) lives and works in New York. Her solo shows include Verbs, Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris (2016); Cold Wave, M+B Gallery, Los Angeles (2014); The Fifth Hammer, Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris (2013); Limonene, Locust Projects, Miami (2013); The Use of Noise, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York (2012); and Victory Over the Sun!, Kumukumu Gallery, New York (2010). Her work has been part of various international group exhibitions including L’Autre visage: Portrait & expérimentations photographiques, Centre photographique – Pôle Image Haute-Normandie, Rouen, France (2016); Out of Obscurity, Flowers Gallery, London (2016); A Verdant Summer, Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York (2016); Art Bandini, Los Angeles (2016); Metamorphosis, Flowers Gallery, London (2015); Any Human Measure, M+B Gallery, Los Angeles (2015); Altarations: Built, Blended, Processed, University Galleries, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton (2015); Me and Benjamin, Galerie Xippas, Paris (2014); Foam Talent 2014, East Wing Gallery, Dubai (2014); Aggregate Exposure, George Lawson Gallery, San Francisco (2014); Foam Talent 2014, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam (2014); Foam Talent 2014, l’Atelier Néerlandais, Paris (2014); One Step Beyond, Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris (2014); Fixed Unknowns, Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York (2014); Soft Target, M+B Gallery, Los Angeles (2014); Big Pictures, Public-art exhibition organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum (2014); Surface(s)/Prise(s), Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris (2014). Whitaker received a BA in Photography from Yale University and a MFA from the International Center of Photography/Bard College. Whitaker is represented by M+B, Los Angeles and Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris.