Proteus Gowanus » battle An interdisciplinary gallery and reading room Sat, 19 Sep 2015 22:40:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dressed for Battle Wed, 01 May 2013 21:34:33 +0000 Friday, May 3rd, 7:30 pm,
$5 admission

Join us for a presentation by vintage fashion and fabric expert Janice Everett on battle wear of yore.

What has the charge of the light brigade got to do with cardigans? How did French soldiers’ underwear become a multi-billion dollar industry? Why did an article of World War I airmen’s military uniform end up on fashion runways? And what is the connection between Napoleon, rubber boots and Billy Connolly? Find out more about the relationship between battle and fashion at this fascinating presentation. 

Janice Everett has an MA in design from the Royal College of Art, London, and a BA from Hornsey College of Art, London. She is a designer of knitwear, accessories and printed textiles, a vintage fashion and fabric expert, and an adjunct professor at LIM College teaching the business of fashion.

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Battle Ground Opening Reception Tue, 09 Apr 2013 00:01:25 +0000 Saturday, April 13, 7:00 pm

Please join us for opening reception of Battle Ground, the third and last exhibit of our yearlong Battle theme. Battle Ground will explore the pathos of the Battle of Brooklyn, stimulating our collective memory, evoking parallels between past and present, while focusing on the complexity, moral ambiguity, and devastation of this important Revolutionary confrontation. Historical imagery, rendered meaningless by over-use and political manipulation, will be revived in new forms.

The word “revolution” circles around us, forming the early consciousness of our country. History, also cyclical, repeats itself, and when it is forgotten, it haunts us, lying dormant in our collective memories. In 1776 one such haunting unfolded across a wide swath of what is now Brooklyn. Perhaps the battle is often forgotten (relative to others) because it was, in the words of Walt Whitman, a “resolute defeat.”

The battle-haunting still rages around us at Proteus Gowanus. Its culminating events took place just feet from our gallery location, along what was then the Gowanus Creek. The fields and marshes of 1776 are now a post-industrial urban landscape, and the Gowanus Canal is a hotly contested Federal Superfund and development site.


Maryland Willow, Robert Gould

Battle Ground is curated by Sasha Chavchavadze with help from Robert Gould, Angela Kramer and Eva Melas.

Battle Ground participants include artists, educators, urban planners and writers:

Paul Benney, Peter Bonner, Sasha Chavchavadze, Eymund Diegel, Robert Gould, Katarina Jerinic, Andrew Keating, Christina Kelly, V. Komar & A. Melamid, Angela Kramer, Robyn Love, Eva Melas, Duke Riley, Robert Sullivan.


*Special thanks to the restaurant and bakery, Runner & Stone, which takes its name from tide mills that operated along the Gowanus Creek in the 18th century.

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Shipbuilding Workshop: a Battle Pass Project Thu, 28 Mar 2013 20:54:57 +0000 Saturday, April 6 from 1-4pm
Location: the Waterfront Museum, 290 Conover Street, Pier 44, Red Hook
Free and open to children ages five and up with their families

Led by artist Eva Melas, this workshop explores the important role ships played in the Battle of Brooklyn. In the summer of 1776, Red Hook residents could see the imposing fleet of more than 400 British ships bearing down on Brooklyn. Gen. George Washington later rounded up humble vessels to make his retreat to Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights.

Participants in this family workshop will  make their own improvised armada from objects found in Brooklyn today, such as coffee cups and cardboard packaging. Weather permitting, the toy boats will be test launched from the deck of the Waterfront Museum barge. 

This workshop is part the Battle Pass Project, a Proteus Gowanus initiative exploring ideas of conflict, history and memory by marking sites of the Battle of Brooklyn. This epic battle, sometimes forgotten in the very neighborhoods where it occurred, was the largest confrontation of the Revolutionary War. The Battle Pass Project presents a series of multimedia, interdisciplinary installations, performances and family workshops. All are free.

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Poems & Stories by Two Immigrants Mon, 25 Feb 2013 20:22:24 +0000 Anna Halberstadt and Mikhail Iossel:
A Reading of Poems and Stories
Saturday, March 2, 5pm

As part of our yearlong theme, Battle, Anna Halberstadt and Mikhail Iossel will read their poems and stories.

Halberstadt will read poems that touch on the legacy of second-generation Holocaust survivors from the former Soviet Union. Iossel will read stories that deal with the interconnected nature of memory and imagination, past and present.

Mikhail Iossel, a professor of English at Concordia University in Montreal, is the author of Every Hunter Wants to Know. He is the co-editor of the anthologies Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States and Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia. His stories have been published in literary magazines in the US and abroad, translated into several foreign languages, and anthologized in Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. He is the recipient of the Guggenheim Foundation and NEA fellowship, among other awards.

Anna Halberstadt is a clinician, teacher and administrator of mental health clinics specializing in the adaptation of immigrants, with a special interest in immigrants from the former Soviet Union and other Eastern Block countries. As well as many publications in her field, her poetry has been accepted by Cimarron Review, St. Petersburg Review and Tiferet, as well as translated for Lithuanian journals like Literatura ir Menas and Shiaures Athenai.

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Secret Wars: Opening Reception Sat, 29 Dec 2012 22:17:00 +0000 Saturday, January 12, 7pm

Predator 2 by Joy Garnett

Secret Wars, the second exhibition in Proteus Gowanus’ yearlong exploration of Battle, explores the cryptic ways of warfare waged behind the cloak of invisibility. From neurophysical conflict deep inside the human amygdala, to the broadcast signals used by spies and intelligence agencies, to the everyday observation of ordinary citizens by omniscient bureaucracies, Secret Wars reveals covert communications hiding in plain sight.

Curated by Proteus Gowanus co-creative director Tammy Pittman and anthropologist Thomas Ross Miller, the exhibition brings artists from New York, Amsterdam and Berlin to trace the gaps, silences, and blackouts that conceal vital and deadly knowledge.

Who controls secret information, and who has the power to understand it? How do we protect ourselves from unseen enemies? Who wins and who loses when the battle is unending and unknowable? Through art, artifacts, books, sound and surveillance, these installations render what is absent present and what is invisible visible. Inside a special room, mysterious and hypnotic short-wave radio messages in unbreakable codes are beamed to hidden spies. Lost treasures, occult symbols and predator drones appear and disappear, closely guarded enigmas shrouded in obscure and half-forgotten codes.

Artists and works include:

Front404 – PanoptICONS
Joy Garnett – Predator series
David Goren – “Atencion! Seis Siete Tres Siete Cero”: The Mystery of the Shortwave Numbers Stations
Nene Humphrey – Circling the Center
Anna Livia Löwendahl-Atomic – Did a Nose Launch a Thousand Ships? and Otophgraphs, fragments from The Mu{e}sum
Renée Ridgway – Revelation of the Concealed: Politics (in)form
Tony Stanzione – Safety First
Smudge Studio – TRANSCOM Room
Bryan M. Wilson – Canticle for Sebeok (Atomic Priesthood)
The Mildred Complex(ity) – Vestments for Ten Millennium (Atomic Priest Suit)

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War Games Room opening; Discussion of Game Theory and War Mon, 19 Nov 2012 14:29:52 +0000 Sunday, November 25, 12-6pm
Lecture: 3pm
$5 per player

As part of our yearlong theme, Battle, and in conjunction with our current exhibition, War of Words, we are pleased to launch the War Games Room, a space to play at war with your favorite friends and enemies. You can play on a handmade Risk game, designed by Ryan Jones with New York City boroughs, not nations, vying for the upper hand. Also featured will be a magnetized Diplomacy board assembled by Tom LaFarge, a beautiful hand-tooled game of Connect Four by Nick DeFriez and other games made available to us by our partners in gaming, the Brooklyn Strategist, a game room on Court Street where you can play year round and eat snacks too. The Proteus War Games Room opens at 12pm on Sunday and will be open every weekend from 12-6pm.

At 3pm, Jon Freeman, PhD, founder of the Brooklyn Strategist, will give a talk on game theory and the conduct of war:

Diplomacy and Risk: How to alienate friends and influence enemies.  

Decisions about the likely consequences of waging war (whether in actuality or in simulation) can be understood in the context of game theory. Freeman will employ game theory to compare and contrast the war games, Risk and Diplomacy. He will show how the games alter players’ attitudes toward conflict. By engaging in the “zero-sum” games described in game theory, players of Risk and Diplomacy enter a realm of bounded rationality and decision-making. How they  respond to moving reference points affects their attitudes towards rational choice or pseudorational certainty and these attitudes, in turn, affect their chance of success or failure.  In both games, players engage in direct conflict but the nature of the conflict differs markedly. And, of course, each player will approach conflict according to their own natures too (Are you a “carebear” or a “cutthroat”?).  Come meet Jon and learn more about how games and game theory help us to understand the varying nature of war and conflict in the world and within ourselves.

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A Taste of Class Warfare While Waiting for Election Results Fri, 26 Oct 2012 20:09:09 +0000 Saturday, December 8, 7pm – CANCELLED
Free wine for a $2 donation

Join us for the first in our  Battle film series, curated by Joseph Martin. The topic is relevant: class warfare using words for weapons. The Servant (1963), starring Dirk Bogarde, was written for the screen by Harold Pinter. It is the first of three films written by Pinter and directed by Joseph Losey and is arguably the jewel of the Losey/Pinter collaboration, a slow-burn of a movie about the complex — and eventually toxic — relationship between manservant Barrett (Dirk Bogarde) and his upper-class employer Tony (James Fox). At first, Barrett appears to be pragmatic and competent, but Tony’s girlfriend Susan (Wendy Craig) is suspicious of his intentions and determined to test his mettle. When Barrett introduces his sister Vera (Sarah Miles) into Tony’s life as another servant, the foursome begins their steady descent into an all-out battle of agendas both hidden and exposed, wherein the weapons used are social order, sex, and — most of all — words; weapons that cut as deeply as the sharpest of knives. Adapted by Pinter from a novelette by Robin Maugham.

Joseph Martin parlayed his lifetime love of film into the creation of the Reel Life video stores in both the Williamsburg and Park Slope neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Despite the closure of the last Reel Life outpost this past spring, he remains passionate about the cinema and committed to shedding light on deserving yet unrecognized films. Joseph has written about movies for numerous publications, most recently Filter Magazine. He is proud to be part of the Proteus family.
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War of Words Opening Reception Wed, 05 Sep 2012 19:14:06 +0000 Saturday, September 15, 7pm

This year, from September through July, we investigate the theme,  Battle, starting with the exhibition, War of Words.

Battle and war metaphors “infiltrate” our lingua franca. They are used to explain all sorts of things from existential dilemmas (“inner conflict”) to health issues (“cells attack”), sports moves (“launch a blitz”) and politics (“the war on women”) to name just a few.

Is it possible that conflict is at our very core? Do we fashion our language to reflect and represent this conflict at every turn?

War of Words grew out of these questions and presents art, artifacts and books that explore ideas of conflict of all sorts as filtered through the not-so-precise lens of language.

Artists in the exhibition are Rosaire Appel, Stephanie Brody Lederman, Carrie Cooperider, Paula Gaetano-Adi, Steve Clay of Granary Books (presenting the collaborative works of bpNichol and Barbara Caruso), Ligorano/Reese, Anli Liu, Angelo Pastormerlo, William Powhida, Lance Rutledge, Reed Seifer, and Cody Trepte.

Also included are a myriad of artists and writers who have participated in the hive-mind project entitled “Yes or No.”

And, finally, a collection of artifacts and books will be on display to explore the topic further.

War of Words was curated by Diane Bertolo in collaboration with Proteus Gowanus. Bertolo will be our guest blogger for the duration of the exhibition. Please visitProteoscope for words and images “triggered” by this exhibition.
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Play “Yes or No” With Us! Thu, 12 Jul 2012 11:06:01 +0000 Revised Deadline: September 10, 2012

Please join us in creating a collaborative artwork as part of the War of Words exhibition opening September 15.

The Premise:
We are constantly drawing lines in the sand to delineate “us from them.” Zero or One. Black or White. Yes or No.

Yes or No  explores this ubiquitous binary conflict by bringing together elements from a multitude of makers. While each piece is autonomous, the sum total reflects the hive mind at work.

How to Play

1) First make the big decision. Choose either “Yes” or “No.” Really, only one of these two words…think carefully!
2) Create a small work 5″ x 7″ using your chosen word. Please make it horizontal. No frames.

2a) Your word (and not the other one) should be visible.

3) This may be high art, low art or not art at all.

4) It must be black and white only. No color.

5) It must install easily. (no electronics or fancy stuff). We will install these in a large grid in the gallery.

Details: Mail in or drop off your piece (no jpegs please). Include your name and contact info on the back. And let us know if it’s ok to include this on a webpage with your name (we will have a webpage that contains all works in the grid).
Note: If we are overwhelmed with submissions, some works may appear on the web only. Also, work must be dropped off or delivered on specified dates and then picked up at the end of the show…sadly we will not be able to ship/mail works back. September 10 is the deadline. It may be easier to mail your submission. If you would like to hand-deliver, please contact us first since the gallery is closed for vacation.Work must be picked up January 6 or 7….details will follow.


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Battle Pass: Revolution I Fri, 09 Mar 2012 15:21:41 +0000 Reception/performance/workshop: Sunday, March 11, 5:30 pm

“Do you hear the clank of the muskets? …In the midst of you stands an encampment very old…”

—Walt Whitman, “The Centenarian’s Story”

Join us for the opening reception of Battle Pass, an interdisciplinary homage to the Revolutionary Battle of Brooklyn. Revolution I includes a collaborative installation (on view through March 31), and a reception workshop and performance. These events will take place at GRIDSPACE, a Crown Heights art space, located at 112 Rogers Avenue/corner of Sterling.

Battle Pass - Revolution I

Installation by Sasha Chavchavadze, Eva Melas, Robyn Love, and Angela Kramer Murphy

The reception will include:
A cockade-making workshop with Robyn Love
A Battle Pass performance by Paul Benney

Proteus Gowanus is pleased to announce this first in a series of public installations, workshops and performances paying homage to the Revolutionary Battle of Brooklyn at selected battle sites throughout Brooklyn. A collaborative group of artists, writers, historians and urban planners will draw parallels between past and present as they explore the complexity and devastation of war. The project marks an early start on our next theme year: BATTLE.

The first, biggest and arguably most important battle of the Revolutionary War is sometimes forgotten in the very neighborhoods where it occurred; the fields and marshes of 1776 are now a post-industrial urban landscape that includes a Federal Superfund site. Battle Pass: Revolution I at Gridspace is located several hundred feet from Bedford Pass, once a rocky outcropping that played a decisive role in the Battle of Brooklyn.

The installation can be seen 24 hours a day in the GRIDSPACE storefront window from March 2nd – March 31st

To reach GRIDSPACE take the 2, 3, 4 or 5 train to Franklin

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