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Issue No. 16 - Chaos

Nica Ross at BAXTER ST at CCNY

Image above: The first image is an installation shot of the noo reality gayme, 2016. / Courtesy of BAXTER ST at CCNY
IMG_3250-EditAshley ComerImage above: © Ashley Comer, Nica Ross (right) and Their Mother, from the opening reception

BAXTER ST at CCNY presents a solo exhibition by artist and 2015 Workspace Resident Nica Ross. Ross uses photography, performance, installation and video, drawing upon tropes of gaming and game design, creating their first playable card game. noo reality ≈ a gayme, engages active, group participation. Composed of 140 gaming cards including photography and text, a system of symbols is used to match cards together, creating photographic narratives and fostering collaborative storytelling through game play.

IMG_3249-EditAshley ComerImage above: © Ashley Comer, Playing The Gayme,  from the opening reception

Taken over a period of personal wandering and developed upon the completion of this particular drift, the images that appear in the gayme deck reveal shifting landscapes that convey a sense of displacement and voyeurism. The resulting images of empty spaces and landscapes are ingrained with an ambiguity that allows the viewer to project their own emotional states, experiences and fantasies on the images. Inspired by research on gay-themed games Ross imbues the “gayme” with the lust-filled and at times stealthy histories of queerness, in particular the practice of gay cruising. However, there is no singular narrative perspective, as Ross embraces the subjectivity of the photographic medium, allowing the re-contextualization of images through game play. With noo reality ≈ a gayme Ross invites the viewer to participate as a world builder and asks them to collaboratively construct a new narrative thus actively contesting the idea of any fixed reality.

IMG_3258-EditAshley ComerImage above: © Ashley Comer, from the opening reception

An edition of 25 noo reality ≈ a gayme will be available for purchase. The gayme includes a cloth gayme flag, 156 gayming cards, a digital audio sound track and 3 colored light bulbs. An unlimited digital edition of the gayme will also be available for download via nicaross.com/nooreality.

IMG_3275-EditAshley ComerImage above: © Ashley Comer, Nica Ross's hand, from the opening reception

  

Nica Ross is a New York based visual artist whose work challenges the notions of reality using performance and light. Nica holds a B.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University and an M.F.A. in “Advanced Photographic Study” from the Bard/International Center of Photography program. Prior to their graduate education Nica worked as a photographer and producer for 3 years at Kink.com, a San Francisco based BDSM and fetish porn company. In New York Nica co-hosts a monthly audio and visual event, WOAHMONE, for which Nica creates original live video performances and curates work from a wide-variety of visual artists. In addition Nica has worked with 3-Legged Dog Media & Theater group in immersive media design and production and also joins The Joshua Light Show in creating light and video installations in venues such as the Hayden Planetarium, Performa 11, and Art Basel Miami 2011. Nica’s photographic and video work has appeared in/on MOLD: PEDESTAL (Secretary Press, 2013), The International Center of Photography’s Triennial “A Different Kind of Order” (2013), Culturehall.com (August, 2012 Featured Artist), The 8th International Conference of International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (Madrid, 2011), MIX NYC (2009), and San Francisco’s Camera Work Journal (2008).

IMG_3305-EditAshley ComerImage above: © Ashley Comer, from the opening reception

Each year, BAXTER ST at CCNY selects four emerging photographers living in New York City for the Workspace Residency Program, which offers them analog and digital workspace at the International Center of Photography, access to the BAXTER ST at CCNY community and programs, and solo exhibitions at BAXTER ST. This exhibition is the second in a series of four solo exhibitions by 2015 winners of the Workspace Residency, supported by the Jerome Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, Kodak and Fujifilm.

On View Until February 20, 2016 at BAXTER ST The Camera Club of New York, 126 Baxter Street New York, NY 10013 Gayme Nights: Every Sunday, January 24 – February 14 | 5 – 7 pm, for gayme invites, sign up here

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