CLOSE QUARTER, 2018 - Governers Icleand

The exhibition features eight NADA Member galleries across two floors of a historic turn-of-the-century Colonial Revival house on Governors Island.

Governers Icleand former military base for centuries - in the house of the group show, former Soviet Union Lear Gorbatchev stayed to prepare for a hitoric meeting with US pres. Reagan.






see also Art World

Did Tinder Swipe Left on Political Art in the Hamptons? Accusations Fly After Show at Surf Lodge


Duriing the initial buoyant phase of war 2004 I studied ARABIC in DAMASCUS, Syria. I took up Arabic studies because of the war.


On a trip across Syria, I was very impressed by a road sign pointing and naming Bagdad.



something as far removed as the on going Iraq war was suddenly reachable by car ! I never forgot that sign and the impression it made on me.

Now we have a war against Syria, and are still in . The Russians are our counterparts but the frontalines and goals change and are complicated
and one doesn t even know who fights against who.. ... where even Nato members shoot at each other over the Kurds in Syria ( US versus Turkey)

the ongoing Syria war is SOMEHOW absent and yet always present

so when i made it first for Montauk at an eastern us tip of sorts ( nyc centricly seen ) I wanted to point

Hey, you could take a boat -- SYRIA, it s over there - on the other side of the Atlantic.

a harmless context
a harmless sign
a repressed reality
a brutal reminder of a brutal reality with us groups on the ground

i m an US citizenas

hence questions of immigrations are my concerns as well -- SEE BELOW.. o patria nuova / oh my adapted homeland. ... 2018 video

SAD !- THAT SYRIAN CITIZENS ARE ON THE "muslim ban " (Trump) the supreme law of the land now...
the suroeme court allows now to officially discriminate against muslims (and gays - bc biz can refuse service to gays )
also, US gov. is now re-examinging through thousands of granted naturalization applications of citizens ( of Muslim Ban countries)
accross decades to find something to allowes them to revoke passports and citizenshiops and clear everything for deportation .
citizenship stress

Trump has now the supreme court as instrument and meets Putin in Helsinki without any other US representavies - A private one on one while i write this

They wiull wisper about the law, the state as private entity in one portfolio, and gode
God was mentiioned tooo any times during the nomination address by a new supreme judge
that is family friendly but in all likelyhood willl vote down abortion and gay rights. In fact, he was
picked for this transgenerational role bc he opposes any investigation of a president and any impeachment

A special councel has just offered exact details of Russian meddling in the 2006 election, while the President of the USA was attacking all his alies
but praising Putin.


Below, a painting of my newspainting series. that depicts teh Syria related killing of the Russian ambassador to Turkey in 2017 or so.



News painting: the Gunman After Shooting the Russian Ambassador, New York Times, 12/19/2016/2017
Acrylic on canvas


more info on this here



O Patria Nuova / Oh, My Adopted Homeland
2018 , ,

7:MIN . , 2018


O Patria Nuova / O, My Adopted Homeland

In 2013, I made a video titled In Foreign Gardens, with the music of Giuseppe Verdi's "O Patria Mia” (O, My Dear Country), from the opera Aida. Verdi wrote Aida for the opening of a new opera house in Cairo in 1871, which coincided with festivities around the opening of the Suez Canal. The construction of this canal greatly indebted Egypt to Europe, reinforcing British and French influence over the country that began with Napoleon's military expedition to Egypt in 1798. Napoleon, suggests Edward Said in Culture and Imperialism, staged Egypt's "antiquity, its wealth of associations, cultural importance, and unique aura for a European audience," an audience with an imperial gaze.

The "archeological revolution for which the Orient was a theater" came with famous discoveries that left tombs open and emptied out with the contents shipped to European museums, where the artifacts helped expand "imaginary geographies" and fueled exotic desires. Tales of unusual pleasures and delirious promises mixed with the flexing of imperial powers, rendering Egypt a distant cultural and religious Other to be exploited. By Said’s account, Verdi never traveled to Cairo but conceived Aida as an "imperialist 'article de luxe,'" written for an Egypt defined and mainly controlled by foreign European powers for a mostly European audience.

For this video, I asked the Chinese Soprano Li Mingming to sing "O Patria Mia" at the Wilhelma, a former Stuttgart Palace built in the mid-19th century by King Wilhelm I of Württemberg. The architecture was informed by Orientalist ideas and built in the so-called Moorish Revival style, echoing the Alhambra. The expertise gained in studying foreign cultures, lands, and people was not only instrumental in colonial quests and conquests but also influenced European self-understanding and its taste formations, for which this Italian opera and the German architectural ensemble in Stuttgart became examples par excellence.

Verdi's Aida remains one of the most commonly played operas in the world; the Wilhelma palace garden has survived two World Wars and has expanded and morphed into an extensive botanical and a zoological garden. Unfortunately, contemporary Egypt drags itself from bloody revolution to counter-revolution, from military dictatorship to military dictatorship with young and old people alike losing their lives over irreconcilable notions of justice, freedom, and the role of religion and the arts.

Meanwhile, in Stuttgart today, only a ten-minute walk from the Wilhelma palace garden zoo is a makeshift camp that houses hundreds of Syrians and others refugees who have lost their "patria," their homeland, but have found at least a host country and a certain—if limited—degree of acceptance by the host population. But that is now also under increased attack. With the current political change in Washington after the election of Donald Trump and its repercussions around the world, we see the rise of xenophobia, the rejection of refugees and the insistence of group-specific socio-narcissism that renounces anything foreign everywhere. Trump’s aggressive anti-Muslim and anti-immigration politics inspired me to revisit Verdi’s aria for a US context, now retitled “O Patria Nuova," or "O, my adopted Homeland."

I cast the renowned Argentinian-born opera singer, Milena Dayen and the Canadian-born trombone player Mike Fahie to perform the piece in a $1-a-slice pizza parlor in Spanish Harlem. This local business is patronized mainly by a public that has been traumatized by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies following Trump’s aggressive “America first” deportations, as if immigration has not always been at the core of American values. During the entire performance, a customer of African descent wearing a red hooded sweatshirt sat in front of an empty paper plate sipping on a can of Coca-Cola and occupied himself solely with his iPhone. This relatively new immigrant from Africa, who wanted to be anonymous, turned his back to the camera while we filmed.

We recorded the piece while the pizzeria was open for business, in a neighborhood known to be one of the most diverse and economically deprived in the country. The owner of the pizzeria, who didn’t want to be named, is Jordanian and has an Arabic prayer poster hanging prominently behind the performers. His employees are new immigrants from Africa and Latin America with some who didn’t want to be recorded.

For the Wilhelma garden version of Aida, the expulsion and killing of Egyptian protesters by a repressive US-supported government served as the backdrop of the piece. Verdi’s libretto was appropriated without alteration and the singer sang only the aria “O patria mia,” a capella. The silence of the former palace garden added to the horrific circumstances of the first recording. The deporting villain in Aida, Radamès, was not named. For the Spanish Harlem pizzeria version, we changed Radamès to ICE, which has become under Trump a terrifying household acronym. Due to the Third Avenue traffic and street noise, we added a trombone player to guarantee the acoustical continuity of the piece and add a funereal quality to the music. And in fact for many people losing their adopted homeland, deportation can equal death.

See video links:

--- press release nada.


On behalf of New Art Dealers Alliance, we are pleased to invite you to the Opening Preview of NADA's first off-site exhibition, Close Quarters, in partnership with Governors Island, thisThursday, June 28, from 1–5pm!

The exhibition features eight NADA Member galleries across two floors of a historic turn-of-the-century Colonial Revival house on Governors Island.

Rainer Ganahl (Kai Matsumiya)
Fabienne Lasserre (Safe Gallery)
Michael Mahalchick (CANADA)
Jerry the Marble Faun (SITUATIONS)
Hayley Martell (Signal)
Asif Mian (False Flag)
Devin N. Morris (Signal)
Elliott Jamal Robbins (Kai Matsumiya)
Johanna Unzueta (Proyectos Ultravioleta)
Jeff Williams (Jack Hanley Gallery

Previously occupied by the Coast Guard, House 403 has a storied history on Governors Island, serving as the site of many of President Ronald Reagan’s meetings with world leaders, including Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Governors Island is open to the public and accessible by ferry. Ferry schedules can be found at

Directions here.

We hope to see you there!

House 403, Close Quarters on Governors Island
Opening Preview
Thursday, June 28, 1–5pm

Close Quarters
July 1–29, 2018
Governors Island
Colonels Row, 403

Open to the Public
Each Friday, Saturday, & Sunday in July

About NADA
Founded in 2002, New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) is a not-for-profit 501c(6) collective of professionals working with contemporary art. Its mission is to create an open flow of information, support, and collaboration within the arts field and to develop a stronger sense of community among its constituency. Through support and encouragement, NADA facilitates strong and meaningful relationships between its members working with new contemporary and emerging art. In addition NADA hosts two fairs a year: New York, and Miami.

About Governors Island
Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor nestled between Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront. Eight minutes from the energy and excitement of the City, the Island is a popular seasonal destination. A resilient new park is complemented by dozens of unique historic buildings, environmental educational facilities, a rich arts and culture program and a 22-acre National Monument managed by the National Park Service. Unlike anywhere else in New York, Governors Island offers peaceful settings with sweeping views of the Harbor, Lower Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. Looking ahead, the Island will be activated year-round as a sustainable campus for learning and entrepreneurship, with plans for expanded commercial and non-profit uses in its future.

In 2018, Governors Island is open to the public and accessible by ferry every day from May 1–October 31. For more information, visit

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Here are aspects taht interest me for my work

As already the title says, GOVERNORS island it s a major place for politics, and built as a location for the military. It s also the ground zero (sorry for using this term for IMMIGRAOITN, COLONIZATION AND THE TAKE OVER OF LAND from the native population that predated columbus - A SITE OF FORTIFICATON, of symbolic significance. .


As such, the New York State Senate and Assembly recognize Governors Island as the birthplace of the state of New York, and also certify the island as the place on which the planting of the "legal-political guaranty of tolerance onto the North American continent" took place.[7]

2. The island is facing THE STATUE OF LIBERTY.. hencee iseland of immigration (( president stayed and spent night in this house.. in 1986)

3 - 1988 gorbatchev ( Soviet (russian) head of Soviet Union. (State) …. and BUSH had a meeting or at least. Gorbatchec prepared IN THIS VERY HOUSE over there his dealings with the USA
Hence a diplomatic site of sifnificace