Press Release

Brooklyn Public Library Names Chloë Bass as the Katowitz Radin Artist in Residence for 2021

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Outdoor Public Art Project The Parts On View at Brooklyn Public Library’s Center for Brooklyn History and Central Library May 8 – September 20, 2021

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) today announced Brooklyn-based multiform conceptual artist Chloë Bass as the Library’s Katowitz Radin Artist in Residence for 2021. Instituted in 2014, the annual residency supports emerging and established artists to meaningfully engage with BPL’s collections, programs, and services as a way to expand their art making practice. Through her BPL residency, Bass will expand her ongoing project The Parts, an exploration of the ways in which public and private history have intersected through the tumultuous events of recent years. 

The Parts will be installed in the exterior landscape of Central Library at Grand Army Plaza and across BPL’s recently inaugurated Center for Brooklyn History (formerly the Brooklyn Historical Society), which is home to the most expansive collection of Brooklyn history in the world, furthering Bass’s interrogation of the relationship between individual experience and public record. The residency will allow Bass to transform the ongoing digital series into a multiform, physical installation, realized as text and image works mounted across the exterior of the Beaux-Arts landmark Central Library and in the form of  two double-sided flags activating the exterior of the Romanesque Revival-style Center for Brooklyn History.  

Born on Instagram as a diary-like, public accounting of the artist’s experiences, The Parts is a reflective work at the intersection of aphorism, narrative, and visual essay. Coupling original texts with images from the artist’s everyday life, The Parts exists as an alternative, personal archive from Bass’s perspective, understood within the context of recent national events including the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, social resistance movements, and pandemic flashpoints. Through her BPL residency, Bass will translate the ephemeral digital series into publicly installed physical artworks, expanding the work to explore how we create collective and personal spaces to grieve, process difficult feelings, and contemplate differences of opinion or experience. Programs this spring, held in partnership with CUNY Graduate Center’s Center for Humanities, where Bass is a faculty fellow in the Mellon Seminar for Public Engagement and Collaborative Research, include a creative writing workshop with a poet, and, in partnership with the Art World Conference, a conversation with scholar Hannah Zeavin (author of the forthcoming MIT Press publication, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy).

Bass’s project expands on BPL’s mission to provide educational and cultural enrichment opportunities of the highest quality to the 2.7 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. The Parts follows major recent BPL visual arts initiatives including Photo Requests from Solitary, an exhibition pairing photographers with incarcerated people experiencing solitary confinement; Stars Down to Earth, an exhibition of work by Dario Robleto and 2020 Katowitz Radin Artist in Residence Mary Mattingly exploring the cosmos and the fragility of life on earth; In Praise of Failure, a creatives-in-residence program co-organized with William Kentridge and his Johannesburg-based arts incubator the Centre for the Less Good Idea; and Kameelah Janan Rasheed: Scoring the Stacks, the culminating exhibition from the 2019 Katowitz Radin Artist in Residence exploring alternative archive building.

The Parts is curated by Cora Fisher, BPL Curator of Visual Art Programming, and is made possible by the Katowitz Radin Endowment and the Brooklyn Eagles—a group of young and engaged supporters of Brooklyn Public Library.

About Chloë Bass

Chloë Bass (b. 1984, New York) is a multiform conceptual artist working in performance, situation, conversation, publication, and installation. Her work uses daily life as a site of deep research to address scales of intimacy: where patterns hold and break as group sizes expand. Bass has held numerous fellowships and residencies: she is a 2020 – 2022 Faculty Fellow for the Seminar in Public Engagement at the Center for Humanities (CUNY Graduate Center), a 2020 – 2022 Lucas Art Fellow at Montalvo Art Center, and was a 2019 Art Matters Grantee. Previous recent honors include a residency at Denniston Hill, the Recess Analog Artist-in-Residence, and a BRIC Media Arts Fellowship. Her projects have appeared nationally and internationally, including recent exhibits at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, BAK basis voor actuele kunst, the Knockdown Center, the Kitchen, the Brooklyn Museum, CUE Art Foundation, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the James Gallery, and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Queens College, CUNY, where she co-runs Social Practice Queens with Gregory Sholette.

About the Katowitz Radin Artist in Residence Program at Brooklyn Public Library 

Through the Katowitz Radin Artist in Residence program, Brooklyn Public Library supports emerging and established artists to meaningfully engage with BPL’s collections, programs, and services as a way to expand their art making practices. The program began in 2014 with renowned jazz vocalist Cilla Owens. Since then, children’s illustrator Pat Cummings, painter Steve Keene, visual artist Molly Crabapple,  artist and educator Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and artist and environmental activist Mary Mattingly have each been awarded the residency, which includes performances or exhibitions and adjacent public programs such as talks and artist-led workshops.

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