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When: Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 | Opening Reception 6:00-8:00pm
Where: Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York | 570 Lexington Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY. 10022
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Sotheby's Institute of Art is pleased to present m ’ a i d e z [may-day], a group exhibition curated by Master of Contemporary Art candidates Elle Czura, Selen Sarioglu Sulos, and Erin Wainwright. This is the third installment in a series of weekly exhibitions curated by MA students enrolled in Curating Contemporary Art.


Entry is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 6:00pm. An opening reception will take place on Wednesday, May 1 from 6:00-8:00pm at Sotheby’s Institute of Art (570 Lexington, 6th Floor). Prior registration is required.


m ’ a i d e z

m ’ a i d e z brings together five New York-based artists whose practice is rooted in autobiography. By employing personal conflicts and experience as source-material, these artists create critical work—many of which are shown here for the first time—that addresses or exposes broader contemporary issues whose impact extends beyond the confines of the artist’s studio, including gun violence, climate change, and a growing cultural dependency on innovation and optimization.

When spoken, m’aidez [may-day] conjures a number of historical associations: a once-violent pagan holiday turned jubilant springtime festival, the landmark Haymarket labor protests, and most recently, twentieth century military protocol. Replacing the international distress signal S.O.S., the latter mayday is an anglicization of its phonetic equivalent m’aidez, French for “help me.”

m ’ a i d e z investigates the artist’s role as agent for change. Where words are no longer adequate, we are witnessing a turn to the visual, experiential, and physical modes of communication to spotlight concerns plaguing contemporary society such as issues of sexual identity, personal trauma, and the perplexing co-dependency of progress and loss. Like the term m’aidez, art has become a universal device transcending linguistic and physical boundaries to foster the free and equal exchange of information.

Artists have reinterpreted their roles, invoking cross-disciplinary approaches to content creation and further reexamining the importance and function of their public platform. On the occasion of this exhibition, m ’ a i d e z brings together artists whose practice—from environmental activism to parodied social critique—calls attention to the pain points of our modern world. Featuring work across a wide variety of media—including video, sculpture, drawing, and conceptual journalism—

m ’ a i d e z provides a glimpse into the role of the artist as multi-hyphenate and art as conduit for mutual activism and public critique.



About the Artists

Amy Khoshbin is an Iranian-American artist merging performance, video, collage, costume and sound to examine our individual and collective compulsion to create, transform, and sometimes destroy the stories of who we are and who we think we should be. Shown here for the first time in New York, Khoshbin’s ongoing series The Opposite of a Weapon encourages the public, specifically children, to start thinking about a culture of non-violence and disarmament.

Devra Freelander and Addis Goldman meditate on their role as both artist and millennial, assuming the position of informer and ambassador. Through the practice of conceptual journalism and eco-feminism respectively, Goldman and Freelander illuminate—in a sometimes playful or ironic way—the very serious tensions that technology and the digital age have generated within contemporary culture.

In meticulously beaded sculptures, Caroline Wayne pulls from her autobiography to illustrate stories of trauma, sexuality, intimacy and growth. The Daily Calibrate series, shown here for the first time, reflect the containment and repressive management of rage in a survivor’s life post-trauma and under siege of constant trigger and cultural demand to temper our emotional response.

Driven by his experience growing up in a period of heightened geopolitical instability and simultaneous exposure to often overtly violent Western media, Turkish-American multimedia artist Ahmet Civelek confronts and synthesizes certain dialectical relationships—between creation and destruction, author and audience. With an interest in the nature of materials, Civelek explores the notion of a destruction divorced from violence and its potential to act as an entry point to better understand the precarity of creation.