Peggy Ahwesh @ Armory Show, March 5-8

Peggy Ahwesh
The Armory Show

March 5-8, 2020
Microscope Gallery, Booth P5
Pier 94, 711 12th Avenue, New York

Microscope is very pleased to announce its first participation in the Presents section of the Armory Show with a solo booth (P5, Pier 94) of works by feminist, media artist Peggy Ahwesh.

New video and video installations — including a series of 360-degree videos representing the artist’s debut with this technology – shot by the artist in real life become mesmerizing works of visual abstraction that address a range of subjects such as displacement and immigration, cultural identity and American folklore, and concern for the environment, among others.

In the four-channel installation “Border Control” (2019) — a work composed of four flat screens arranged in a square formation on the floor — Ahwesh examines first hand US border policy. Eight prototypes for Trump’s “Wall” stand in a line at the San Diego-Tijuana border as shot by Ahwesh from the Mexican side. Without warning, a man climbs over the existing wall and disappears into the US, making the artist a “witness to a direct act of intention and desperation as well as to an act of optimism for the future.” Mirroring and kaleidoscopic effects transform the linearity of the walls into circular, moving mandalas, subverting the symbolism and heightening the sense of absurdity of such man-made separations.

Ahwesh’s approach to the five 360 videos on view, which are displayed on touch screens that viewers may navigate, is similarly personal and poetic. Combining home movies, impromptu performances, scripted scenes, literary texts, music, and other elements, Ahwesh reveals in these works the unexpected and often the uncanny within the ordinary.

Shooting scenes of quotidian daily life with this technology creates a balance between the humanity of the subject matter and the unusual insight the technology provides, showing the simple relationships of time, space and subject in a unique way — a chance to rediscover the symmetries and compositions at work in our everyday world. — PA

Among the locations in these 360 videos are the home of the artist’s Syrian/American aunts outside of Pittsburgh; the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in the Hudson Valley; the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens; a subway station in New York City; and various indoor and outdoor sites in the West Bank. All are places where Ahwesh has lived or has developed connections to over the years.

For any additional info please contact us by email at, or by phone at 347.925.1433. Information about The Armory Show and how to visit the fair HERE

Peggy Ahwesh is a media artist who got her start in the 1970’s with feminism, punk and amateur Super 8mm filmmaking and is recognized for using a palette of technologies and practices including Pixelvision, drone and heat-sensitive cameras, 16mm film, Machinima, and others to create the textures and aesthetics required for her subject matter. Her work is currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)’s exhibition “Private Lives Public Spaces.” Her work will be featured in the solo exhibitions “Peggy Ahwesh” at JOAN Los Angeles opening in June 2020, and a large retrospective exhibition of Ahwesh’s work will take place in 2021 at Spike Island, Bristol, UK, curated by Erika Balsom.

Her work has previously appeared in exhibitions at The Kitchen, New York; Foxy Production, New York; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Los Angeles; Maccarone, New York; Salon 94, New York; Murray Guy, New York; Chateau Shatto, Los Angeles, CA; Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Berwick-upon-Tweed, UK; Gasworks, London, UK; and Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona, Spain; among others.

Her films and videos have been presented at the Whitney Biennial, New York; New Museum, New York; Film at Lincoln Center, New York; MoMA PS1, Queens, NY; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; The Tate Modern, London, UK; British Film Institute (BFI), London, UK; Guggenheim Museum, Bilboa, Spain; Pompidou Center, Paris, France, among many others.

Film retrospectives include: “Girls Beware!,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; “Peggy Ahwesh,” Filmmuseum, Brussels, Brussels, Belgium; “Peggy Ahwesh,” Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY; “Peggy’s Playhouse,” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; “Peggy Ahwesh,” Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain; among others. Her films have been featured in numerous film festivals such as New York Film Festival (NYFF), Berlin International Film Festival, London Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF); International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR); Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF); among others. Ahwesh has received grants and awards including from the Jerome Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA), and the Alpert Award in the Arts. Peggy Ahwesh was born in Canonsburg, PA and currently lives and works between Brooklyn, NY and the Catskills.

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