'Space - Sight - Line' Presents Collaboration and Conversation at The Church - 27 East

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‘Space – Sight – Line’ Presents Collaboration and Conversation at The Church

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At the opening of

At the opening of "Space - Sight - Line" at The Church on March 9. ANNETTE HINKLE

Tara Donovan,

Tara Donovan, "Composition (Cards)," 2017. Styrene cards and glue, 24 1/2" x 22 1/4" x 4 ." Sherry and Douglas Oliver Collection. ANNETTE HINKLE

At the opening of

At the opening of "Space - Sight - Line" at The Church on March 9. ANNETTE HINKLE

At the opening of

At the opening of "Space - Sight - Line" at The Church on March 9. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

At the opening of

At the opening of "Space - Sight - Line" at The Church on March 9. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

At the opening of

At the opening of "Space - Sight - Line" at The Church on March 9. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Jim Lambie,

Jim Lambie, "Zobop (Wild Poppy)," 2021 installed at The Church. Colored and chrome vinyl, site-specific installation. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Matthew Satz,

Matthew Satz, "Smoke Painting 4.21.15," 2015 installed at The Church. Smoke, oil on canvas, 72" x 60." FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Curator Sara Cochran and artist Christine Sciulli at the March 9 opening of

Curator Sara Cochran and artist Christine Sciulli at the March 9 opening of "Space - Sight - Line" at The Church. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Frankie Kadir Vaughan on Mar 11, 2024

Collaboration is key in the arts, though at The Church, collaboration is effortless. Bringing together artists who are local, internationally recognized and have pioneered art movements, “Sight — Sound — Space,” a show which opened on March 9, manipulates visual perception within an arts space and questions how architecture can alter an artwork’s detail and meaning.

In an interview with Sara Cochran, the chief curator at The Church, she shared how the first exhibition the organization installed was described as “an experiment” — they hadn’t known how the space and architecture would react to the artwork.

“We like to say we’re a modernist interior or contemporary interior in a historical building,” said Cochran. “And you know, that’s kind of emblematic of our mission. One of the things we do is, we have this juxtaposition of the architecture and the art. So far, the building has been incredibly generous to art.”

The Church was purchased by North Haven artists April Gornik and Eric Fischl in 2017 and officially opened its doors to the public in 2021, and Cochran said the building has been incredibly generous to previous works shown there.

“I think that part of that as a kind of alchemy of the space itself, it’s very open,” said Cochran. “It works well with dramatic pieces. But we’re able to modify the space in order to also create more intimate moments. Most of these works are pretty big and in your face. They play very nicely with the architecture.”

“Sight — Sound — Space,” which runs through May 26, began with an invitation to Amagansett artist Christine Sciulli who is known for her large-scale installations and light projections. Sciulli’s installation “The Weight of Water,” is both a sculpture and a 3-dimensional drawing in space. Utilizing the negative space of the building, Sciulli created seven site-specific sculptural waves made of Manila rope. The installation uses the negative space of the gallery, and appears to be paused in motion.

“Christine Sciulli’s piece is very much three dimensional,” said Cochran. “But given that you walk around it, your experience changes, it becomes almost like a drawing in three dimensional space.”

“Named in memory of the estimated 1.8 million Africans at rest in the Atlantic Ocean after escaping the Middle Passage from disease, murder or suicide,” said Sciulli, ‘The Weight of Water’ invited viewers into a safe space to reflect, asking the question: What can each of us offer to heal and repair the societal injustices originating by way of water?”

By creating a resource shelf in The Church’s library, Sciulli aims to use the building as a gathering space to further conversations surrounding the topic. On Friday, April 19, at 6 p.m., The Church will host Shinnecock Nation tribal member Chenae Bullock for a presentation on the waterways of the region followed by a Q+A. Additionally, on Sunday, May 19, at 10:30 a.m., Sciulli will take part in an “Insight Sunday” conversation with Donnamarie Barnes, David Rattray and Meghan McGinley. At the event, Sciulli will talk about her installation and process, as well as the history leading to New York State’s historic Reparations study committee and how local communities can participate.

“I figured the messaging would be on a slow burn because it is a group show, not mine, but at the same time it’s important to keep these discussions in the air and move the needle to get H.R. 40 on the floor for a vote,” Sciulli stated in her artist statement, referring to a bill that would create a task force to study reparations for Black Americans. “It’s just a study, not anything more than an examination of pathways to reparations, but political will has faded as so many people feared it would after the massive growth of passion and support during the 2020 surge of support for the B.L.M. movement.”

In addition to Sciulli’s site-specific work created for this exhibition, Jim Lambie shares an engaging and splashy geometric vinyl installation on the gallery’s south staircase.

“Jim Lambie is an artist from Glasgow which is my hometown and in Scotland,” said Cochran. “I had always wanted to work with Jim Lambie, and again, thinking about pushing the envelope to see how The Church would react to a piece like that — it’s very, very brightly colored.”

Also on view in the show is “Passage Azur (Sag Harbor),” a neon-lit sculpture by the late Keith Sonnier which is on view in The Church’s library.

“Some of the motion in the neon pieces, and the way the piece is installed, kind of recall some of the things that Christine is doing,” said Cochran.

Though she is known for her large-scale installations, Tara Donovan’s “Composition (Cards),” made of stacked styrene cards and glue, is noted by Cochran as playing “with the space between the playing cards,” creating a movement which is more than “just your movement around the piece.”

“Sight — Sound — Space” also includes works by Uta Barth, Walead Beshty, Mel Bochner, Sol LeWitt, Gordon Matta-Clark, Matthew Satz and Steven J. Yazzie. The exhibition is open to the public until May 26. Hours are Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The Church is at 48 Madison Street, Sag Harbor. For details, visit thechurchsagharbor.org.

Frankie Kadir Vaughan is a graduate student at SUNY Purchase, earning an MFA in performance art, and an MA in art history.

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