Bread and Roses 101

Bread and Roses 101 was a project performed on July 17,19, 20 & 23, 2009 at The University of Trash at the Sculpture Center in New York created by Michael Cataldi and Nils Norman. Elena Bajo and Jon Cuyson created and performed within The University of Trash a temporary and mobile site composed of one table and some found chairs. From 11 am to 6 pm of each of the four days of the Workshop, both artists talked, listened, imagined, negotiated and acted with the participants for one hour individually. Each one was asked to schedule ahead online and was asked to submit a description of what he or she wanted to do within the specific hour. Both artists assisted and participated in making the proposal of each participant/s a reality. All of the activities were documented and upon completion of the full hour, each of the participants received a limited edition silk printed Certificate of Completion created by the artists for the project.

Bread and Roses 101 was a series of one on one discussion that aimed to explore, imagine and implement new forms of protest by creating actions and strategies, while negotiating the production of space and consumption of time by incorporating leisure as a way of resistance. The project title was borrowed from a slogan that was used during a women’s textile workers strike that occurred in Massachusetts in 1912 “give us bread, but give us also roses”, and served as the starting point for this project. The following are the names of the participants and their self titled activities. 

 July 17   Mark Tribe - Conversation/ Derive   

July 19   Shinsuke Aso - Situationistic Chatting 

              Cathy Lebowitz - Derive on Propaganda                   

              Noam Londy - Did We Stop Time?                 

              Lisa Sigal - Delineation    

July 21   Gracie de Vito - Non-Productive Research    

              Quechua Couture - Being Present                   

              Murad Mumtaz - Getting Lost & Classical Guitar Playing  

July 23    Lindsay Benedict - Reorganizations of Questions

               Brainard Carey - Omniscient Observer  

               Jordi Sanjo - Floating Concrete Conversation   

               Liana Gimenez - Floating Concrete Conversation


Relief From Memory

“Relief from Memory” is a site specific installation at Exhibition and was developed from my interest in psycho geography in relation to the spectacle of the everyday. I used ordinary street salt as symbolic material reflective of our everyday struggle to control the changing season, as well as a manifestation of the exertion of that physical labor. Juxtaposed with this material is a text based on an anonymous graffiti (Beneath the pavement the beach) found in the streets of Paris during the May ’68 protests.




Are You Ready

Everybody Take Care

Lost In Your Eyes

“Lost In Your Eyes” is a collaborative exhibition that aims to comment on how authorship, mutability, subjectivity and fabrication destabilize simple representation, allowing fiction to take on the appearance of fact and vice versa. The exhibition title “Lost In Your Eyes” is the title of a famous 80’s pop song and also alludes to a state of being when one is open to the possibilities for the creation of alternative thinking and communication. Paul Pfeiffer, Manuel Ocampo and David Medalla were invited by Jon Cuyson and Dominic Mangila to participate in this three-part traveling exhibition wherein each artist were asked to send an image, idea or an actual object that would serve as the point of entry for the curatorial direction of the exhibition. The co-curators who are also artists in the exhibition then invited artists to respond to their developed ideas allowing the context of the presentations of their responses to become the explicit subject.

The accumulated works in the New York exhibition will travel to London and then Manila to interact with another group of artists who were invited to make works in response to the concepts sent by the three main artists whilst considering the works presented in New York and so forth. The resulting works from this process of regeneration and repetition will be compiled and documented which will then be presented as an artist’s book. The participating artists that exhibited in the New York exhibition on November 23,2008 were:

Mayen Alcantara, Brandon Alvendia, Kate Bae, Elena Bajo, Michael Berryhill, Christi Birchfield, Byoungdu Choi, Ernest Concepcion, Grayson Cox, Jon Cuyson, Arvin Flores, Michael Gaillard, Eric Guerrero, Jose Guinto, Robert Gutierrez, Josephine Halvorson, Anne Marie Heal, Rafael Laurel, Dominic Mangila, Abbie Manock, Teruyuki Matsuyama, Maceo Montoya, Murad Mumtaz, Studio One, Alyssa Pheobus, Chaenee Rhee, Daniela Rivera, Ivan Sarenas, Ivor Shearer, Annie Shaw, Emily Mae Smith, Jomar Statkun, Paolo Vinluan, Jessie Weiss, Nate Wolf

Seek and You Shall Find


Jon Cuyson’s art book, Seek and You Shall Find, challenges the viewer to determine the meaning of the work. The protagonist of the story appears to be the image of a “midnight sun,” weaving a linear connection with the constant yet constantly changing street signage. Ads, personals, wanted notes, and job offers, meaningless by themselves, assume a new significance when placed next to the constantly appearing image of the sun.

Here, contrasting allusions to meaningful and meaningless signage lead to two ideas: that the hypertextual iconography is intentionally reduced to a steady line, to a sense of unison in the reverberation of meaning, suggesting that if there is meaning, it is open- ended meaning, a meaning determined by random relationships and no closure. The meaning here is meaning without message, meaning not drawn from the signified, but from the signifier. Secondly, role shifting between viewer and artist takes place through the artist’s eye when he photographs his objects of interest from both distance and proximity. What is relevant here is not what is viewed, but simply the act of viewing.

The book deals with color, words, and images as aesthetic form.  Color is always autonomous and formal, even when deeply embedded into an image that gives it meaning. By themselves words are meaningful, although in the book they lack significance as narrative. The narration is the sequential act of turning the pages, and finding sameness and difference in each page. There is no meaning that leads to the next page, but certain words determine what the angle of the page is. This after-the-fact significance shows words and phrases as abstract form, autonomous, able to create a de-touring effect in relation to specific meaning, therefore, not universal. Images can also be subjected to meaning, but here they are destabilized by the repetitive image of the sun next to them. Seek and You Shall Find is also about how an image can be perceived differently; how images become iconic through our social imagining, reminding us of the deep connection between images of objects or situations and their philosophical, religious, political, or cultural interpretations.

Denise Carvalho