Proteus Gowanus » sasha chavchavadze An interdisciplinary gallery and reading room Sat, 19 Sep 2015 22:40:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Next Proteus Gowanus Workshop at MoMA Thu, 06 Feb 2014 20:38:27 +0000 Sunday, March 1, 1:30 – 4:30pm

In this hands-on workshop, you will work with the Battle Pass Collective of artists, performers and educators as you explore the Revolutionary Battle of Brooklyn, which culminated on the Gowanus Creek in 1776. The workshop will connect past to present as we explore conflict, history and memory,  searching for new forms for imagery that has become cliche from overuse and manipulation.

Eva Melas, Porcelain Pistol

Eva Melas, Porcelain Pistol

The workshop will include: a cockade-making workshop with artist Robyn Love in which you will explore your inner rebel; boat-building using found materials with artist Eva Melas; a performance workshop with Paul Benney, culminating in a Battle Pass performance in the MoMA hallways; a presentation by educator Angela Kramer on historic tide mills that once existed along the Gowanus and throughout the New York area, after which you will experiment with your own mill wheels; an overview of the Battle Pass Project by PG founder and co-creative director Sasha Chavchavadze.

We look forward to seeing you at MoMA! Buy your tickets NOW

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PG Workshop at MoMA Sat, 18 Jan 2014 16:31:49 +0000 Wednesday, November 13, 6:30 – 9:30 pm

A Way of Thinking: A Workshop on the “Proteus Process”

Sign up now for this Proteus Gowanus workshop located in the MoMA Education Department. Participation is limited to 20. Proteus subscribers pay less! $50 for the three-hour workshop instead of $90. Just use the secret code “Proteus” in the “discount code” box.

In a romp through the Museum of Modern Art, Proteus Gowanus core collaborators Sasha Chavchavadze and Tammy Pittman have designed a game to demonstrate our Protean process so you too can experience the “way of thinking” that results in our interdisciplinary exhibitions.

The workshop demonstrates a knowledge-seeking process in which participants enter into selected topics via a thematically interconnected array of art, artifacts, and books. Gather and create (individually or as a group) a collection of objects that speaks to newways of seeing your subject. You will develop and expand on that theme as you explore MoMA exhibitions. This thematic, process-oriented workshop, developed especially for MoMA, includes working in exhibition galleries, with a focus on curating and creating.

We hope to see you there! Your participation supports our ongoing programs at Proteus Gowanus.


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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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Battle on Bergen: A Street Performance Sat, 11 Aug 2012 14:50:26 +0000 Monday, August 27 at 7pm
Location: corner of Smith and Bergen Streets

Conceived and directed by Paul Benney

Battle on Bergen is a site-specific performance incorporating elements of dance, street theater, puppetry, and live music to depict certain events from the Battle of Brooklyn, drawing parallels between the American Revolutionary War and political events today.

The performance is co-directed by Selene Colburn and features David Freeman, James Hannaham, Aaron Stanley, Willis Bigelow, Alan Balicki, Katie Merz, John Bauman, Tyler Sussman, and J.J. Hill-Wood.

A reading of Walt Whitman’s poem about the Battle of Brooklyn, The Centenarian’s Story, will follow, arranged by The Walt Whitman Project. 

Battle on Bergen will engage with the public as it explores the drama of the Battle of Brooklyn, which took place on August 27th, 1776 weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Sometimes forgotten in the very neighborhoods where it took place, it was the largest battle of the American Revolutionary War.

As part of the Battle Pass series of public art installations and performances marking sites of the Battle of Brooklyn, the performance will take place at the site of “Battle Pass – Revolution II,” an installation by Sasha Chavchavadze suggesting ship masts planted in the ground as a symbol of resistance by Revolutionaries before the Battle. A collaboration with the  NYC DOT Urban Art Program, the installation incorporates phrases from Whitman’s poem about the Battle, The Centenarian’s Story.

To learn more about the Battle of Brooklyn and upcoming commemorative events, visit the Old Stone House

Special thanks to Kim Maier and Maggie Weber at The Old Stone House; Greg Trupiano of the Walt Whitman Project; the NYC DOT Urban Art Program; The Boerum Hill Association; Angela Kramer Murphy; Bob Sullivan; Michael Swaine; Local 61.

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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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Opening Reception: The Berlin Tunnel Project Thu, 26 Jan 2012 20:42:03 +0000 Saturday, January 28th 7-9 p.m.

Proteus Gowanus and the Museum of Matches invite you to join us for the opening reception of The Berlin Tunnel Project, an installation inspired by a declassified CIA document describing 
a tunnel that was dug from West to East Berlin during the Cold War. The Museum of Matches, a one-room Cold War museum, occasionally invites visitors to respond to Cold War documents, photographs and memorabilia. The Berlin Tunnel Project is a collaborative installation by three artists whose countries of origin comprise the three countries involved in the Berlin Tunnel episode: Tatiana Istomina (Soviet Union), Barbara Westermann (Germany), Sasha Chavchavadze (United States).

The Berlin Tunnel installation will be on view at Proteus Gowanus from January 28th – February 25th.
 The Museum of Matches, a Proteus Project-in-Residence, will be open for viewing during the reception 
with a new “Matchwork” on display by Raymond E. Mingst.

The Berlin Tunnel

In 1954, the CIA began to dig a tunnel from West Berlin to East Berlin for the purposes of tapping into Soviet phone cables. The completed tunnel took a year to construct and was 1,476  feet long. 3,100 tons of soil was removed and the tunnel was lined with 125 tons of steel.  The KGB, however, had been informed of the project from the start by a Soviet mole in the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6) named George Blake. Most likely the KGB did not reveal that they knew about the tunnel to protect their mole. In April 1956 the KGB “discovered” the tunnel and released the information to the world press. American newspapers generally marveled that the CIA was capable of such a remarkable clandestine maneuver.

A declassified, redacted CIA document describing the tunnel can be found on the web. It describes in fascinating detail the history of the project from its inception to its completion, including intelligence derived from the project and articles in the American press after the tunnel was revealed to the public.

Cold War Cocktails will be served.

Museum of Matches is open to the public on Fridays, 3 – 6 p.m. or by appointment.

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Museum of Matches: Book Launch Tue, 21 Jun 2011 03:10:13 +0000 Saturday, June 25, 7:30-9pm

Proteotypes, the publishing division of Proteus Gowanus, is delighted to announce the publication of a long-awaited new book, Museum of Matches, by Sasha Chavchavadze.

Join us for a celebration at Proteus Gowanus.

In this non-linear memoir, Chavchavadze, an interdisciplinary artist and founder of Proteus Gowanus, creates a “pocket museum,” an archive of anecdote, artwork, artifacts, documents and photographs, opening windows into several historical moments as she searches for matches between past and present.

As the author points out, “Each of us inherits a museum of matches. Each of us is touched by war. My museum of matches contains a collection of images snapshots of reality, tossed on the floor like coins of the I-Ching. Out of the seeming chaos I watch for relationships and patterns to form.”

Enjoy wine and refreshments, and take a tour of the Museum of Matches, a one-room Cold War museum. Formerly an annex to the gallery, the Museum has now re-opened as a project-in-residence at Proteus Gowanus.

Visit the book on the Proteotypes website.

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