• Project 4: Rey Akdogan: Plant Light Curtain
    Rey Akdogan and Sarah Demeuse
    Yasmeen Siddiqui
    Minerva Projects, 2021
    Minerva Projects

Rey Akdogan, "Untitled II," 2020. From "light, plant, curtain.” Courtesy the artist

Drawing on an archive of tear sheets from magazines covering interior design, architecture, and lifestyle, artist Rey Akdogan uses subtraction to transform the way in which these images can be recognized and read. Experimenting with the plasticity of the paper and the porousness of pigments, these subtractions scramble the societal and economic hierarchies embedded in advertising media. Focusing on the recurrence of light, plants, and curtains as atmospheric elements, writer and curator Sarah Demeuse is invited to reflect on classification systems and the subtle ways value is constructed through principles of organization. The project tests the format of the swatch book—an important tool for various disciplines: architecture, interior design, theatre, cinema, and graphic design. The visualization of languages of classification underscores the ways environmental atmospheres are projected on the basis of small standardized fragments and the manner in which these samples reflect hierarchies of value.

Rey Akdogan creates subtle interventions into the spatial, temporal, and material conditions of the built environment. Recent exhibitions include Rey Akdogan, Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles (2014 and 2017); Faction, Miguel Abreu Gallery (2017); Rey Akdogan, Radio Athènes, Athens (2016); Crash Rail, Miguel Abreu Gallery (2015); night curtain, Miguel Abreu Gallery (2012); off set, MoMA PS1 (2012); and Silent Partner, Andrew Roth Gallery (2012). She has also been included in group exhibitions at Miguel Abreu Gallery, Real Fine Arts, Venetia Kapernekas Gallery, Simone Subal Gallery, Elisabeth Ivers Gallery, all in New York; Galerie Anke Schmidt, Cologne; Galerie Max Mayer, Düsseldorf; Galerie Balice Hertling, Paris; Galerie Tatjana Pieters, Ghent; and Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul. #46, a book of the artist’s work, was published by PPP Editions in 2012. Conceived as an extended footnote to her use of slide carousels and lighting alterations, it unfolds as a handheld slide projection in book form.

Sarah Demeuse is strategist at large at design studio Wkshps. She writes, edits, translates, and also collaborates on graphic identity and content-driven projects for arts organizations. In 2010, she founded curatorial office Rivet together with Manuela Moscoso. Demeuse was a member of the 9th Mercosul Biennial curatorial team and has independently worked on a variety of exhibition and mediation projects in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and the US. She has taught the exhibition making practicum at the Curatorial Practice program at the School of Visual Arts and a studio-seminar at Barnard College about writing and graphic design. Her writings have been published in catalogues and journals such as Art Papers, Art in America, Bulletins of the Serving Library, and Frieze.

Yasmeen Siddiqui is the founding director of Minerva Projects, an independent press cultivating writing about the visual arts through an interdisciplinary and literary lens. In tandem with this work, Siddiqui teaches, writes, and edits; having her work published in artist and exhibition catalogues, as well as on Hyperallergic, and in Art Papers, Cairo Times, Medina Magazine, Flash Art, Modern Painters, NKA, and The Brooklyn Rail. Her coedited anthology Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: The Storytellers of Art Histories will be published by Intellect Books in 2021. She was a 2018 Ucross Foundation Residency Fellow; 2018 ICI Independent Vision Curatorial Award Nominee; and received a 2008 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Research Fellowship, and is currently a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute.

Founded in March 2017, Minerva Projects supports artists who have expressed a desire to analyze their practice in light of historiographical, political, philosophical or spiritual frameworks. To realize the mission of serving artists whose practices draw on unfamiliar and regularly misunderstood histories, Minerva designs, publishes, and distributes artist-centric books. Through interview and essay formats, as well as experimental literary approaches, the books function as a portrait, a space for reflection, and a marker of the present moment in the trajectory of the artist’s career.