Proteus Gowanus » water works An interdisciplinary gallery and reading room Sat, 19 Sep 2015 22:40:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Whole Gritty City Wed, 02 Jul 2014 17:06:50 +0000 Thursday, July 10, 7pm

As the finale to our yearlong exploration of Water, Proteus Gowanus celebrates New Orleans, a water-challenged city with a spirit and culture built to survive. Join us Thursday evening for a final viewing of our exhibition, Water Works, featuring New Orleans artists, and for a screening of The Whole Gritty City, a 90-minute documentary that plunges viewers into the world of three New Orleans school marching bands. The film’s producer, director and editor, Richard Barber, will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions at the end.

The film follows kids growing up in America’s most musical city, and one of its most dangerous, as their band directors get them ready to perform in the Mardi Gras parades, and teach them to succeed and to survive.

Navigating the urban minefield through moments of setback, loss, discovery, and triumph, these children and their adult leaders reveal the power and resilience of a culture.


The film features three marching bands in the years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city: the O. Perry Walker and L.E. Rabouin high school bands., and The Roots of Music, a new band for middle school-age children. These young beginners in Roots are put through their paces by the program’s founder Derrick Tabb, drummer for the Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band.

]]> 0
Waterlines: a Performance on the Gowanus Sun, 08 Jun 2014 16:16:52 +0000 Saturday, June 28, 4:30pm
Location: Union Street Bridge, Gowanus Canal

Waterlines, by Daniel Rothbart, is a choreography for floating sculptures and two canoes in the Gowanus Canal between the Union and Carroll Street Bridges.  A floating constellation of sculptures in the water will be shifted and reoriented by Daniel Rothbart and Jessica Harris in dialogue with the currents and the ever-changing environmental situations of the historic waterway.

After the performance, you are cordially invited for a glass of wine and to view the final exhibition of the Water year at Proteus Gowanus, down the alley off Nevins Street. The exhibition, Water Works, features work by New Orleans artists.

Rothbart’s glass and aluminum sculptures are informed by growth forms in nature but realized in the vernacular of industry and modern architecture.  This tension emulates the complex relationship between Gowanus Creek and New York City that first resulted in a canal for commerce, later a dangerously polluted waterway and currently a Superfund cleanup site.


During the test float of a sculpture in the canal, a bird came to perch on the work as though it were a real tree.  Similar confusion has proved fatal to a whale and dolphins that have recently made their way from the East River into Gowanus Bay and the canal, succumbing to organic pollutants. Waterlines explores dichotomies of appearance and reality, nature and civilization, creation and destruction, contamination and rehabilitation.

Tableaux flottants viewed from the Union Street Bridge circumscribe the water’s surface but the sculptures were also conceived for perception below the waterline. The performance will be videotaped underwater, from the banks of the canal and the bridge.  A video work edited from this footage will be presented at Rothbart’s forthcoming solo exhibition at the Galerie Depardieu in October 2014 curated by Wolfgang Becker.

Daniel Rothbart is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn. His work explores the relationship between nature, urban postmodern identity and metaphysics. Rothbart holds a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design, an M.F.A. from Columbia University and was awarded a Fulbright grant to Italy. Daniel Rothbart represented the United States at OPEN10 with a floating sculptural installation in Venice. Projects include exhibitions at the Andrea Meislin Gallery, Exit Art and the LAB Gallery in New York and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill. European exhibitions include the Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna in Rome, the Galerie Depardieu in Nice, the Galleria Il Ponte in Florence and the Cultural Centre of Belgrade in Serbia. Rothbart has participated in numerous international artists’ residencies and was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts grant.

For more information, visit Daniel’s website at

Jessica Harris is a dancer, educator, choreographer and performance artist based in Brooklyn, New York.  As a dancer, she has worked with Shen Wei Dance Arts for more than ten years. Performances with the company include the Lincoln Center Festival, Kennedy Center, Sydney Opera House, Walt Disney Concert Hall, La Fenice in Venice, Het Musiztheater in Amsterdam, Hong Kong Grand Theater, Sadler’s Wells and more.  Ms. Harris joined Shen Wei in choreographing material for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and has taught company master classes throughout the US and Europe, including in Hungary, Spain, and Italy.  As an educator, Ms. Harris has taught numerous classes and workshops in technique, choreography, and somatics, and served a one-year teaching appointment in the Dance Department at Pomona College, where she introduced a course in Site Specific Performance.   In her choreographic work, Ms. Harris experiments with the use of physical limitations and specificity of task as a method for movement generation.  Her work includes concert dance, music videos and musicals.  As a performance artist, Ms. Harris is interested in how to use performance to communicate information.   She has created performances pieces for conferences, events, commercial spaces and for educating children.  Ms. Harris is pursuing a Master’s degree in performance and marketing at the Gallatin School of individualized Study at New York University.


]]> 0
Water Works Opening Reception Tue, 20 May 2014 19:17:00 +0000 Saturday, May 31, 6-8pm

Water Works image

Join us for wine and New Orleans music at the opening reception of Water Works, a group exhibition featuring the work of 16 visual artists from New Orleans along with music critic and occasional DJ John Swenson spinning the history of New Orleans music from Gottschalk to Galactic!

The title of this exhibition is derived from the board game, Monopoly. It invokes the infrastructures and agencies that deliver water to our sinks and tubs while also serving as a metaphor for tears. But Water Works is not another hard-luck Katrina show. We asked this group of New Orleans artists to  consider water in all its complexity and universality. Saucedo further refined the lens to the two topics suggested by the title of the show and the board game it references: namely, infrastructure and emotion.

Curator and Artist: Christopher Saucedo

Artists: Kevin Baer, Gina Phillips, GAS, Laura Gipson, Jessica Goldfinch, Cheryl Hayes, Rachel Jones Deris, Matthew Kirscht, Holger Lang*, Malcolm McClay, Anastasia Pelias, Christopher Saucedo, Dan Tague, Ashley Robbins – Tague, Michel Varisco, Monica Zeringue

*all artists included in this exhibition are working in New Orleans except Holger Lang, from Vienna, Austria.

The evening’s soundtrack will be curated by a special guest DJ, John Swenson, editor at New Orleans premier music magazine OffBeat and for The Rolling Stone Jazz and Blues Album Guide. Swenson’s latest book, New Atlantis, about New Orleans musicians restoring the city’s unique culture post-Katrina, will be on sale.



]]> 0