Sunday, December 27, 2009


Tenthaus is a performance collaborative made up of Abby Cornelius and Wyatt Niehaus. Cornelius is currently a student at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, while Niehaus is studying in the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program. In their projects, they stage ambient, playful performances that blend music and theatrical shadow play by employing a camping tent as a barrier between the activity and the audience. Working with loop pedals and a mixture of traditional instruments and less clearly defined noises, Tenthaus’ performances are delicate and whispering, like a musical round of ghost stories. Tenthaus has performed around Cincinnati and Columbus, including the Art Damage Lodge in Northside and the historic Arnold’s Bar and Grill in downtown Cincinnati. For this exhibition, Cornelius and Niehaus will perform on the evening of the opening reception. Relics and leftovers from the performance, including the trademark tents designed and built by Cornelius, will remain in the space for the duration of the exhibition. Tenthaus is a pioneering effort, making use of gear that has come to symbolize adventure: a Walden-esque vision of man, the environment and survival. Their live performances fit into a lineage of oral storytelling, a pastime principal in America’s history, especially in periods of development and expansion. Tenthaus has band pages on both myspace and facebook.

Tenthaus will perform at the opening of COLONY at 8:00 PM on Saturday January 2, 2010, and will perform on the evening of January 23, 2010 at 8 PM.

Travis Meinolf

Travis Meinolf is an artist and self-titled “Action Weaver” currently based in Berlin, Germany. Meinolf works primarily in woven textiles, but builds this traditional practice into interactive social projects that are radical, educational and successful in locating convergence points between community intervention and aesthetics. For COLONY, Meinolf has used his weaving projects as a sounding board to inquire further into his own family’s history with Old World Catholicism. Using a legend about his patron saint, Martin, as a model, Meinolf has designed and woven garments consisting of two layers: one to be kept by the wearer and another to be given away to someone in need.

Meinolf holds a BA in Industrial Arts from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Textiles/Social Practice from California College of Arts. He has been widely exhibited and collected in recent years, including exhibitions at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco; Koh-i-noor in Copenhagen, Denmark; and Guertin's Graphics in Chicago, IL. His society-based weaving projects have been featured in Craft Magazine and Handwoven Magazine. Learn more about Meinolf’s projects here.

From Meinolf’s personal statement: “As a weaver my primary methodology is to make connections, to manipulate elements and produce structure and pattern, which embody meaning. In my studio practice this entails gathering yarns and using the loom to organize them into cloth. My social practice involves engaging with groups and individuals and encouraging them to tap into their own productive capacities; the potential that lies within each of us to create objects which function in a real, physical sense, and also semiotically: these things and the processes used to produce them can operate as political and aesthetic statements. The overarching goal of my artistic project is to present productive labor as an engaging, satisfying endeavor, whose products could be shared freely within a community to serve the needs of all of its members.”

Earlier this month, Meinolf’s work was reviewed by the Acquisitions Director of SFMOMA. The museum purchased the resulting work from his first public weaving project.

Additionally, Meinolf’s woven textiles are also currently featured at PS1 in a project by Stephanie Syjuco included in the exhibition 1969 that reflects on that pivotal year by displaying works made in 1969 from the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection. Along with significant works from mid-century artists, PS1 invited a number of contemporary artists to respond to the work of this era through the creation of new works. Stephanie Syjuco’s “Borrowed Beuys” recreates a Joseph Beuys’ installation that MOMA could not risk exposing to the exhibition spaces at PS1 (which are not climate controlled). Syjuco enlisted the help of friends and acquaintances through e-mail, facebook and other networking tool, inviting others to give her specific elements to recreate the Beuys piece. In lieu of Beuys’ famous grey felt blankets, two of Travis Meinolf’s blankets have been used.

Maidens of the Cosmic Body Running

Maidens of the Cosmic Body Running
is a collaboration between Denise Burge and Lisa Siders that explores states of melancholy and ecstasy, referencing archaic and contemporary forms of ritual trance. Although begun by the two artists, Maidens has evolved as a project to include other collaborators for specific artworks, making its identity fluid, capable of expanding and contracting to respond to their undertakings. The work seeks to reflect and personify the constant state of ecstasy (metamorphosis, decay, birth) that is the natural world.

In December 2009, the Maidens are traveling to Germany to use the legendary Black Forest, about which many of our familiar fairy tales have been written, as a setting for video and photographic works. Their presentation at U.turn will include some of these brand new projects.

Denise Burge holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and works as a Professor of Art at University of Cincinnati. She works in a variety of media, including drawing, film, and quiltmaking. Her quilt work has been widely commissioned and collected, and was included in two Quilt National exhibitions. For this work she has been awarded multiple Ohio Arts Council grants, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation award. In 2006 she formed a collaborative animation group called "The Dozens.” Their work premiered at the Fringe Festival in Edinborough, Scotland, and has been in several national and international film festivals. Lisa Siders holds an MFA from University of Cincinnati and teaches at Northern Kentucky University and University of Cincinnati. She has also worked as a freelance artist and designer. She has a wide range of media practices, including fibers, sculpture, and film. Exhibitions include national and international venues; her work has been featured in the Houston International Quilt Festival, and the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN), as well as various venues in Ohio, and national magazines. As a member of "The Dozens" collaborative animation group, she has exhibited nationally and internationally. For more information about the collaborative visit their website.

Adam Longbonz

Adam Longbonz is one of the artists whose work will be featured in our upcoming exhibit, COLONY. As a graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design with a BFA in Photography Longbonz has participated in numerous exhibitions and has been awarded Best of Photography and Best of College Photography in the pages of Photographer’s Forum.

Longbonz will be exhibiting a series of large-scaled digital prints collectively titled “Half Breed.” These stark portraits show distinctly Caucasian young adults costumed in wigs and accessories that hearken more from Wild West interpretations of Native American cultures than from factual archeology/anthropology. The pale skin, fair hair and intensely blue eyes of the subjects are startling as these features are seen beneath their exaggerated garb. Longbonz currently lives and works in Wisconsin. For more information, visit Longbonz’s website.

From Longbonz’s personal statement: “When making images I am constantly trying to survey the places in which I find myself. I create scenes that represent the past, present, and future coalescing into something representative of the world in which we exist; not the physical world—but the feelings and memories collected in the mind."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The new year is nearly upon us with that in mind we over here at U.turn would like to announce COLONY, our January exhibition.

COLONY to open on January 2nd at U
· turn

January 2-30th, 2010
Opening reception: Saturday, January 2nd, 7:00-10:00 pm

U · turn begins the new year with COLONY, a group exhibit featuring the work of Adam Longbonz, Travis Meinolf, and two collaborative groups - Maidens of the Cosmic Body Running and Tenthaus. Maidens is an ongoing collaborative project initiated by Cincinnati base artists Denise Burge and Lisa Siders. Tenthaus is a performance art duo comprised of Abby Cornelius and Wyatt Niehaus.

COLONY looks at how cultural identity is revised, stereotyped and mythologized. Mining their own personal and societal histories, the exhibiting artists construct art practices that exchange summarized accounts of America, western expansion and the dynamics of community for abstractions, conflations and sly fantasies. Along with reaching for a "complete" account of who we are, where we came from and what we should be doing, the exhibition as a whole suggests that multiple fictions can lend a hand to "truly" knowing ourselves as a culture. This project itself and how these different practitioners come together in the space is an exercise in fluid identity.

Stay tuned to the blog for updates including posts about the artists involved in this upcoming show!