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A new art space in CH is opening tomorrow night and we’d like to invite everyone. Lots of recent MFA grads are involved.

Thanks so much and looking forward to seeing some familiar faces soon!

Dear Friends,

We are thrilled to invite you to the opening reception of BASEMENT’s inaugural exhibition, Breathing Without A Body, on Sat. Nov. 16 from 6-9 PM.

BASEMENT is located at 605 Caswell Rd, Chapel Hill NC 27514

Please park on the street and do not block driveways or mailboxes in the neighborhood. Follow the illuminated walkway down on the left side of the house and you will find the door to BASEMENT.

If you plan on coming, please reply to this email. Please feel free to send this to friends, family and other community members who you think would be interested in our programming.

See below for more details about our inaugural show!
We look forward to seeing you!

Breathing Without A Body: 

Stephen Hayes, Saba Taj, and Max Symuleski & Sinan Goknur
November 16, 2019  – January 5, 2020

Opening Reception: Saturday, Nov 16, 6-9  pm

In the trash heap of history, how do we excavate what we need to survive? If we are to take the present as being devoured by advanced consumer capitalism – a condition that siphons off both the past and the future and forecloses access to the present – we must contend with the condition of incongruous temporalities and modernities. The artists in this exhibition ask us to grapple with these differently paced understandings and experiences of time and space.

BASEMENT’s inaugural exhibition features Durham-based artists Saba Taj, Stephen Hayes, and collaborative work by Max Symuleski and Sinan Goknur. Employing a variety of methods and media, including collage, drawing, sculpture, and video, the artists consider the past, present, and future through an exhumation of the body within distinct social and historical landscapes. Speculating on the contradictions and continued violence of racism and economic development in the name of capital, together these works assert a space of both resistance and resilience.

Stephen Hayes is a mixed media sculptor and creator whose work references socio-cultural race dynamics rooted in historical references. A Durham native, Hayes completed his BA at North Carolina Central University, and his MFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design. His work seeks to change societal perceptions of Black identity and otherness through the vulnerability of sharing experiences and the catharsis of collective realizations. Hayes was an Arts Lab fellow at Halcyon Arts Lab in 2017–2018. Hayes’ work has been exhibited throughout the south, including at the Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta, Ga., CAM Raleigh, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte, N.C. Hayes is currently the Brock Family Visiting Instructor in Studio Arts in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University.

Sinan Goknur is an artist and PhD Candidate in the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures Program at Duke. Sinan’s academic work investigates a new return to the social in the arts through queer and feminist aesthetics after the 1980 military coup in Turkey.  Prior to coming to Duke, Sinan was a member of the MAW, an artist collective in Minneapolis, MN seeking to activate public engagement with art and politics through impromptu outdoor performances and large-scale mixed media projections.

Max Symuleski is an artist, writer, and PhD Candidate in the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures Program at Duke. They are currently writing a critical-aesthetic investigation of the role of maintenance labor in life and art under the governance of neoliberal capital. Max has a background in visual arts, queer nightlife and performance, amateur tinkering, and professional academic administration. They hold an MA (’12) in Historical Studies from the New School for Social Research and a BA (’05) with a concentration in Art Theory and Visual Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. Max lives in Durham.

Saba Taj is an interdisciplinary artist based in Durham NC. Taj’s work ruminates on Muslims, monsters, and nazar (the evil eye), often in the wake of apocalypse, and speculates on the boundaries between life forms and our evolutionary/spiritual potential for porousness and hybridity. Saba is currently the post-MFA fellow with the Documentary Diversity Project at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She is the former Director of The Carrack Modern Art in Durham, featured speaker for TEDxDuke 2017, and a founding member of Durham Artists Movement. Taj received her BA in Art Education from North Carolina Central University, and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

BASEMENT is a provisional artist-run project space that supports experimental and critical art practices. We choose to strengthen and build connections between artists and communities.

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