Events > Book Launch

12 Apr. 2018

PREZENCE: Card Works by James Prez

+ Launch : Journal of Curatorial Studies 6.2: Paradigms and Pedagogy
James Prez

Curators/Editors: Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick (DisplayCult)

Please join Art Metropole on Thursday, April 12 for the launch of PREZENCE: Card Works by James Prez, an installation of over two dozen examples of the artist’s books and multiples from the past decade. The artist and curators will be present.

By any measure, James Prez is prolific. Creator of over 500 bookworks, and innumerable pieces in other media, the Brooklyn-based artist collects and transforms the ephemeral remains of everyday life to raise issues about media saturation and the grittiness of urban living. His pithy visual commentary incorporates street photography, advertisements, Google maps, art books, and magazines, all manipulated through collage, painting and drawing. While extending the traditions of surrealist objets trouvé, situationist détournement, Fluxus multiples and postmodernist appropriation, Prez’s constructions can offer, in turn, engaged political commentary, wry observations on daily existence, or sincere homages to art world figures and movements.

The selection of works in PREZENCE highlights one genre in his practice — boxes and collections of card-like elements. This genre partakes of what we call “shuffle aesthetics”: accumulations of similar but different elements that can be combined and displayed in numerous ways. Prez’s cards mimic (and critique) commercial formats such as sets of tourist postcards, and show both the artist’s wit and appreciation for things that are typically only glanced at or casually thrown out. In Prez’s works, transient sights such as the lace-like patterns of tar used to repair city streets or the vernacular “no parking” signs scribbled on storefront shutters become humorous meditations on new forms of urban folk art.

Concurrent with the opening of Prez’s display, the latest issue of the Journal of Curatorial Studies will be launched. This special volume examines key ideas influencing curatorial studies today — paradigms and pedagogy. An international roster of major figures in curatorial studies speculate on how the discipline is poised to evolve. Authors include Amelia Jones, Jean-Paul Martinon, Terry Smith, Leigh Markopoulos, Nina Möntmann, Lianne McTavish, Paul Gladston and Lynn Howarth-Gladston.

PREZENCE: Card Works by James Prez will be on view and available for purchase from April 11 to May 12. Copies of the Journal of Curatorial Studies will be sold during the launch on April 12.

Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick are critics and curators who have published widely on exhibitions, the visual arts, the senses and post-media practices. Together they founded the Journal of Curatorial Studies, and form the curatorial collaborative DisplayCult, a framework for interdisciplinary projects in the visual arts ( Fisher and Drobnick are professors at York and OCAD Universities, respectively.

James Prez is a Brooklyn-based artist working in a broad range of media. Besides showing at commercial, alternative and artist-run venues such as the Center for Books Arts, DUMBO Arts Center and Printed Matter, he recently exhibited “Horse Paintings” (on hardcover books) at Phil Space (Santa Fe). His works can be found in major museums and artist’s book collections throughout the US and internationally, such as at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Groniger Museum (Netherlands), the Experimental Art Foundation (Australia), the Internationale Bibliothèque (Paris), and the National Gallery of Canada. Prez earned his master’s degree from the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester.

  1. Prez greetings from New York