ABOUT
CURATED BY CHRISTINE MIELE

Through immersive interactive projection mapping, video art, illustration and animation, Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger, in collaboration with interaction designer Nicola Carpeggiani, will create a child’s bedroom and bring it to life as it responds to a series of clues and prompts, which will be given to visitors as they enter the room.  Extracted from a 2012 journal entry about Chris' son and his relationship with James, his first Elf on the Shelf, the concept of this stranger from the North Pole was born.The dramatic visual effects will transform the room as the viewer explores feelings, emotions and limits between reality and fantasy.

CURATORIAL STATEMENT

I have been writing letters in a diary to my son since he was a small boy to read when he is older.  I recently came across a touching entry from 2012 which involved his Elf on the Shelf, a magical doll which was sent from the North Pole to determine if he had been naughty or nice.  I refer to him as a stranger that we invited into our house and from there, this concept was born.  Because of the show’s immersive nature, I couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to work with than filmmaker, Laia Cabrera and animator, Isabelle Duverger, who are always exploring new ways of using space and the visual imagination as tools for narrative storytelling and audience connection.  Laia Cabrera & Co. won the 35th and 37th Annual Silver Telly Awards, for Outstanding Directing in documentary film, as well as the New York Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Performance in Art Production.  They are also recipients of the AVA Digital awards for web in two categories-Best Video for Web, and Best Creativity/Writing for web.  Their highly publicized work in film, animation and projection design has been commissioned and presented in Europe, the USA and Latin America. 

Through immersive interactive projection mapping, video art, sound design, illustration and animation Laia and Isabelle will create a child’s bedroom and bring it to life as it responds to triggers in the room which are activated through visitors touching certain integrated objects. The ten renderings, which will be turned into video clips, illustrate the transformation of the room-the different places we can travel to explore feelings and limits between reality and fantasy. The ones with multiple elves are a game of repetition, a timeline that can be read as an obsession or constant surveillance.  The room will be a mix of actual furniture and projections from above.

When this new visitor arrived, he was greeted with all the awe you would expect from a seven year old and I found it fascinating as he projected his own dreams, wishes and fears onto him.  I often found Declan having lengthy conversations with this unexpected confidant, whom he named James.  The accompanying book explained that his smiling face was evidence that he was listening. James came with just one important rule.  He could not be touched or he would lose his magic.  Declan found this slightly torturous because he wanted to hug his first ever doll.  Other friends of his did touch their elves which cast doubt at certain points, but he never broke the rule. He simply was not willing to take the risk. 

Declan explained to me that he always revisited the spot in the house where James hid the day before and wiped his hand across to see if the elf left behind any magic dust.  This belief in him caused me to reflect on beliefs in general.  How we are able to convince ourselves that something is real that we want to be real. Declan’s memories of the doll are intertwined with the objects from our house since James would find heroic ways to embed himself inside vases or hang from death-defying heights. 
 

Since the installation is a dreamscape of sorts, touching any of the the three physical elves will trigger a nightmare. Thunder and lightning will ensue, walls will come crashing down, or multiple elves will take over the room. Other guests might engage the space by touching the boy’s diary which will initiate and put them inside of a drawing. The glass beside the bed will take you inside the water.  The various prompts will open doors to different feelings and emotions.  Since the elf is watching us to determine if we have been bad or good, another prompt will transform the walls into a huge mirror, reflecting ourselves, unexpectedly, back at us through cameras you don’t see.  In the reflection, the room is turned sideways which makes it hard to orient oneself.  It is up to us to take responsibility for the decisions we make and it starts even earlier than how we interact with our elf.  As in life, we don’t always know what is best for us.  Each decision helps us understand ourselves better and defines who we are.  We are a product of all the choices we make every single day.  

 

The parent’s responsibility and commitment in all of this is moving the doll each night to a new and exciting position.  Declan’s memories of these poses are inseparable from the objects in which he found him.  Laia and Isabelle will animate some chosen artifacts to help the viewer see the elf through the eyes of a small believer.  When the lights go down and sleep settles in, the elf will move from the bookshelf to the picture frame and then fly over to the chandelier.  His path will be a fantasy set to music as the boy dreams.

To accompany this exhibition, Isabelle and Laia created renderings on which the show is based.  These will be available for purchase individually or in complete sets of 10. Chris also inspired Product designer Amy Pilkington and Experiential branding/Art director, Laura Valenzuela to create games which double as objects to be both triggers in the room, and keepsakes tor sale in the on-line gallery.

LETTER TO DECLAN

Dear Declan,

 

Yesterday, we forgot to move your elf, James, for the second day in a row.  We felt awful.  We were annoyed with ourselves for ever thinking an elf on a shelf was a good idea. We hope it won’t take the magic of Santa and Christmas away from you earlier than it should.  

 

You spoke to him quite strongly on the second day that he did not move.  You said he was spoiling Christmas and that if he didn’t move the next day, you were going to touch him! (which would make him lose his magic).  It was tough to see you so upset and wielding threats at an inanimate object.  Later on, you told us that you felt really badly about how you spoke to him. Your concern and self-reflection astounds me.  You had worried that he did not move because you had forbid him to go into your bedroom.  The thought of waking and having this creepy little smiling elf staring at you was good cause for your boundaries in my opinion.  But you thought perhaps they were too strong.

 

You mentioned that you always like to re-visit the place where James appeared the previous day to see if he left any magic dust behind.  This belief in you made me think about beliefs in general.  How you are able to convince yourself that something that you want to be real, is real.  Or that something is good for you, when it might not be.  

 

I also thought about the fact that he is your first real doll.  A doll that you can’t touch though. You spoke today of how much you would like to hug him which made me realize it is a slightly torturous dynamic.   I am sorry we invited this strange little elf into your house.  But happy every time I see your capacity to love, care for and believe in things.

Love, 

Mama xo

Christine Miele
curator ·
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Christine Miele has Co-owned reGeneration, a Decorative Arts Gallery in Manhattan for the past 25 years. Throughout her career, she has been drawn to craft driven art, furniture and accessories.  In addition to the finely edited collection of Mid-Century Modern offerings she and her partner became known for, she has co-curated dozens of shows over the years showcasing early work by ceramic artist Pamela Sunday, couture quilts by Denise Schmidt and textiles by Judy Ross.  ReGeneration installed 3 large scaled tapestry exhibits by Jan Yoors, one of which was at the Armory show in 2012, and organized a panel discussion about his life and the context of weavings in the fine art world.  Shortly after, Chris and her partner produced a line of textiles with Pop artist, Dylan Egon which included co-labs with Pendleton and Billy Kirk.  ReGeneration launched the re-edition of Smilow Furniture at the ICFF, and included that work in a show entitled “Hand-Made Modern” featuring their own bespoke furniture line as well as lamps and paintings by Stone & Sawyer. 

 

Most recently, she and her partner hosted a show entitled Two Mundos which featured
nearly 100 hand made products in a highly publicized show by a collective of Costa Rican artists. The quest to keep mixing things up in unusual ways and collaborating with artists, Chris decided to submit a proposal for this year’s SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW, her foray further into the fine art world. 

 

Laia Cabrera
filmaker | video artist
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Laia Cabrera is a filmmaker and video artist based in New York. She is a critically recognized multimedia creator, working in the fields of projection mapping design, visual poetry, documentary and live performance. Many of her projects straddle or blend elements of both fields.  Ms. Cabrera is recognized for innovative interdisciplinary work which merges cinematic arts, dance, music, theater and visual arts. She is the recipient of many awards including the 2016 Silver Telly Award for best directing, AVA and Telly awards for best Animation, Documentary and Art Direction, NYIT awards 2015 winner for Best Art Production and 3-time nominee for Outstanding Innovative Video Design and winner of the Kodak & Color Lab award for Best Cinematic film for Under Influence.  Her work includes traditional and experimental filmmaking, multimedia-theater and video-mapped site-specific installations presented worldwide and commissioned by major institutions. Her last works have been presented in Times Square, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), St John the Divine Cathedral, Nuit Blanche DC, La Mama, Dixon Place, Time Center at the New York Times, Art all Night DC, Georgetown Glow, PBS’s American Masters and Tempietto di Bramante, Rome, Italy.  She is currently the artistic director of LAIA CABRERA & CO, co-founded with French animator Isabelle Duverger, a team of visual artists producing a wide range of multimedia projects. 

Isabelle Duverger
illustrator | animator
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Isabelle Duverger is an award winning French animator, visual artist and video mapper. She is based In New York and works between the United States and Europe. She creates site specific video installations and multimedia shows in collaboration with Spanish artist Laia Cabrera. She is a three-time New York Innovative Theater Awards nominee and her artwork has been shown in renowned places such as Times Square Plaza, St John the Divine Cathedral, Time Center – New York Times, New world Stage Theater and the Cervantes Institute in New York, Art All Night - Nuit Blanche of Washington DC, Georgetown Glow, and the Tempietto Di Bramante at the Real Academia de España in Rome among others. 

Nicola Carpeggiani
interaction designer
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Nicola Carpeggiani is an Italian music producer, a/v engineer and interaction designer, based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2012, he started working as a recording engineer and music producer for several music and sound design projects. This year, he graduated from the Interactive Telecommunication Program at New York University.  During this experience he worked on projects that involve music production, programming, physical computing, interaction design and immersive media. He performed with his project “Gramachine”at the ITP New Interface for Musical Expression festival at Little Field in Brooklyn in 2017. He is now working as an audio and video technician and freelance programmer in New York City.

Amy Pilkington
product design | artist 
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Australian born artist Amy Pilkington moved to the Hamptons in 2005 after graduating
with a Masters Degree from Savannah College of Art and Design in Metals and Jewelry. As a self proclaimed alchemist, sculptor, maker, comedian, gatherer, archeologist, geologist and mad scientist, Pilkington’s art is constantly exploring new forms of expression.

Amy’s jewelry, sculpture, art and textiles have been commissioned by many high profile clients including Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, GAP Inc, Limelight Hotels, Modern Luxury, Maison Gerard, Matta NY, Robin Rice Gallery, Savannah College of Art and Design, ShopSCAD, Kessler Hotels, Crain Communications, Savannah Film Festival, Visalus, Greenwich Academy, Auramet Trading,

Artistic Tile, A Fine Line Chicago, Cristina Cuomo, Christie Brinkley, Kathy Hilton, Christy Turlington, Eve Salvail, Amanda Moore, Clotidle, Tom Ford, Andre 3000,
Vera Wang and Anita Roddick.

Laura Valenzuela
art director | experiential branding
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Laura Valenzuela is the Co-Founder/Art Director of tenDN and comes from a family of designers, architects and artists. Conceptual thought, expressed in visual forms, enveloped her childhood.  Having grown up in Costa Rica, she acquired an innate ability to produce work that people quickly connect with emotionally. 

 

Laura started her career as an assistant to the creative director at GoSilk, working with a number of talented artists including Tibor Kalman, Isabella Ginnaneschi, Fabian Baron, Steven Meisel, Glenn Obrien and Mark Zeff.  She has worked with a range of clients including: Google, Zagat, Disney, Praktik Hotels, Adriano Goldschmied and the Vitra store among others. 

 

She carefully constructs narratives which go beyond the scope of the project.  She has a unique, bird’s eye perspective which allows her to zoom in and out from small details to the bigger picture.  She recently completed  a five hundred page, coffee table book of the life of Tim & Nina Zagat, a commission by Google, the brand re-design of the Hispanic Society of America and the brand art direction for the BLACKBARN flagship store at the Chelsea Market in New York City.

 

Laura inspires everyone around her and raises the bar for any project.

SPRING/BREAK Art Show is an internationally recognized exhibition platform using underused, atypical and historic New York City exhibition spaces to activate and challenge the traditional cultural landscape of the
art market, typically but not exclusively during Armory Arts Week. The seventh annual fair will be held from March 6th  – March 12th, 2018 at 4 Times Square. 

 

By first inhabiting St. Patrick's Old School, and then the former James A. Farley Post Office, the initiative offers independent curators free space within New York City landmarks, past and future. In exchange for no-cost exhibition space, visionary perspectives both established and unknown are charged with engaging these areas under a unifying theme and pushed to extend the boundries of typical market week practices, low overhead and shifting curatorial themes their assets to this end. 
 

All artworks in the show are displayed and available for purchase online, giving artists unknown, emerging, mid-career, and beyond a virtual compliment to their tactile exhibition.
 

Low-cost exhibition space and low-cost entry for art patrons, public, and practioners alike aims to widen the arts audience in New York and broaden the dialog of what constitutes value and economy in a 21st Century city.

In March 2017, over 150 curators premiered new artworks created by over 400 artists, all selected around this year’s central art theme, BLACK MIRROR. 

ADDRESS
4 Times Square, NYC
Entrance at 144 West 43rd Street

SPRING/BREAK Art Show is an internationally recognized exhibition platform using underused, atypical and historic New York City exhibition spaces to activate and challenge the traditional cultural landscape of the
art market, typically but not exclusively during Armory Arts Week. The seventh annual fair will be held from March 6th  – March 12th, 2018 at 4 Times Square. 

 

By first inhabiting St. Patrick's Old School, and then the former James A. Farley Post Office, the initiative offers independent curators free space within New York City landmarks, past and future. In exchange for no-cost exhibition space, visionary perspectives both established and unknown are charged with engaging these areas under a unifying theme and pushed to extend the boundries of typical market week practices, low overhead and shifting curatorial themes their assets to this end. 
 

All artworks in the show are displayed and available for purchase online, giving artists unknown, emerging, mid-career, and beyond a virtual compliment to their tactile exhibition.
 

Low-cost exhibition space and low-cost entry for art patrons, public, and practioners alike aims to widen the arts audience in New York and broaden the dialog of what constitutes value and economy in a 21st Century city.

In March 2017, over 150 curators premiered new artworks created by over 400 artists, all selected around this year’s central art theme, BLACK MIRROR. 

 
 
 

We have created an immersive, interactive room which is available for purchase as it is, as a custom piece, or just the contents inside.  Browse the room…

LETTER TO DECLAN
Hysteria
hamptons art hub
art
observed
BEDFORD +
BOWERY
Spoiled
nyc
 
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© 2018. SELF ON A SHELF SHOW. SPRING BREAK NEW YORK CITY, 2018. DESIGNED BY TEN-DN.COM