Coleen Fitzgibbon wins an Acker Award

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CF Acker Awards


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Marc Levin  independent film

CONCEPTUAL AND PERFORMANCE ART: Sur Rodney Sur & Geoffry Hendricks,

Kembra Pfahler

VISUAL ART: Jim Power, Boris Lurie, Dietmar Kirves, Ed F Higgins III, Arleen Schloss,

Mac McGill. Helen Oliver Adelson, Bill Hiene, Julius Klein, Phoebe Legere

MUSIC: Mattew Shipp, Phoebe Legere, Gary Lucas, Mark Birnbaum 


ART SPACE DEVELOPMENT: Jack Waters, Peter Cramer

JOURNALISM: Sarah Ferguson 

COMMUNITY ART: Anton Van Dalen.

TATTOO: Tom DeVita


FILM: Marc Levin, Bradley Eros, Coleen Fitzgibbon



SCULPTURE: Tom Otterness

THEATER: Robert Hiede, John Gilman, Edgar Oliver

THEATER DESIGN: Helen Oliver Adelson

FICTION: Bonny Finberg, Herbert Huncke


POETRY: Anne Ardolino, Erik LaPrade

ARCHIVIST: Jean Noël Herlin


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Clocktower Radio Interviews Coleen Fitzgibbon & Other Members of Colab

Colab, The Real Estate Show, and ABC No Rio: A History
Clocktower Radio, hosted by Jeannie Hopper.
Originally aired 5/5/14.

“On the occasion of the exhibition “The Real Estate Show” at James Fuentes Gallery and other related exhibitions, this conversation features a discussion between artists Jane Dickson, Coleen Fitzgibbon, and Becky Howland about their involvement in the landmark art collective, Collaborative Projects, Inc., (familiarly known as Colab), and the 1980 Real Estate Show, which led to the creation of ABC No Rio cultural center. Fitzgibbon was one of the founding members of Colab in the late ’70′s. Howland was one of the principal organizers of the Real Estate Show, and a co-founder of ABC No Rio. Both Dickson and Howland were Colab members and officers in the 80s.

Colab is recognized as a “pioneer DIY arts collaboration,” lauded for its open policies and horizontal structure. The group produced a series of shows at artists’ lofts, live Cable TV broadcasts, annual stores of artists’ multiples, and the watershed “Times Square Show”, as well as initiatives like Betsy Sussler’s BOMB Magazine and Jane Dickson’s Times Square Spectacolor Board project.

The women discuss the drastically different climate of New York during the 1970s and 1980s, wherein artists could thrive and collaborate with “energy” and “serendipity” in a bankrupt city filled with derelict and abandoned buildings. The original “Real Estate Show” was held without permission in an abandoned building, and was quickly shut down by the authorities. The artists negotiated with city officials, obtained a storefront on Rivington Street, and in May 1980 opened the first exhibition at ABC No Rio.

The four 2014 exhibitions deal with past and future real estate issues in New York City: The Real Estate Show at James Fuentes Gallery had works and documentation from the original exhibition; The Real Estate Show: What Next at Cuchifritos Gallery was a venue for events and activities related to the current real estate situation on the Lower East Side; RESx at ABC No Rio was a show — in the spirit of the original Real Estate Show — open to all on the theme of real estate; No City is an Island at The Lodge Gallery featured works by artists from Colab.”

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Text / Landscape / Object at Spectacle, Brooklyn, NY with films by Coleen Fitzgibbon, Andrea Callard & Liza Béar

COLAB_TextLandscapeObject_banner2In and Around Collaborative Projects, Inc.
Spectacle, 124 S. 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY

Spectacle is pleased to host this survey of film and video works generated in and around famed no-wave NYC artists’ group Collaborative Projects, Inc., aka Colab. Organized by Laura Kenner and Rachel Valinsky, the series runs in conjunction with springtime programs at James Fuentes Gallery, ABC No Rio, The Lodge Gallery, and Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, commemorating Colab’s 1980 exhibition/action The Real Estate Show.



Liza Béar, Andrea Callard, Coleen Fitzgibbon in attendance!

“Text / Landscape / Object” explores the poetic and personal short films of three distinct female filmmakers’ works from the mid 70s to early 80s. Mining the relationships between image and text, landscape and object, Liza Béar, Coleen Fitzgibbon, and Andrea Callard each take a unique approach toward developing a highly personal idiom of the image in motion using both film and video. This program is roughly divided into three categories that often seep into one another: experiments in video poetics and communication (Béar) and examinations of found text and speech (Fitzgibbon); landscapes as real and imagined, dreamt and mirage-like (Béar and Fitzgibbon); and the relationship of everyday objects to bodies in space (Callard).

Dir. Coleen Fitzgibbon, 1975
USA, 4 min.

Filmed in several parts, Dictionary is a hyper-kinetic work, which runs through the R and the Un- sections of Webster’s Dictionary, using a microfilm camera to photograph and preserve paper documents on a roll of 16mm film. Fitzgibbon contemplates: the yellow notebook and blade-less knife handle were missing when the blue car impacted the red car.

Dir. Coleen Fitzgibbon, 1975
USA, 9 min.

A schizophrenic look at the news: in Time, Fitzgibbon filmed, cover to cover, micro text film of the November 1974 issue of the US, English language monthly periodical, Time, overlaying rapid, constantly scrolling shots, with a muffled, cut-up voiceover soundtrack of Daniel Ellsberg interviewed by Tom Snyder on the Pentagon Papers.

Dir. Liza Béar, 1983
USA, 8 min.

“In the beginning / Was the word processor.” Liza Béar’s Earthglow (1983) is a poetic film where words take the place of images to trace the artist/writer’s inner monologue. Through changes in color, type, placement and movement of words within the frame (that foreshadowed digital fades, slides, and other transition techniques…). Béar’s poetry, like a “Proustian sentence” takes the viewer/reader through warm Pacific suns, movie theaters, city streets (honking and street noise play in the background), recollections of a desert landscape, airplanes and deep sleep, always through the reflexive allusion to the process of writing. As “she strain[s] to remember her thoughts,” a “story line or board” emerges. Electronic engineering by Bruce Tovsky.

“A city dweller attempting to write a poem about a desert trip is distracted by a recent argument. Earthglow, whose only images are words, uses character animation to convey the writer’s internal dilemma through the shuttling of words across the screen, as well as color changes and ambient sound. Using an analogue character and switcher in a live edit, parts of the text are keyed in real-time and others are pre-recorded. On the score, an off-air burst from a Billie Holiday blues song (whose lyrics infiltrate the words of the poem) disrupts the strains of César Franck’s Violin Sonata. Earthglow is a film about the writing state of mind; past and present perceptions are reconciled in the act of writing.”
– Liza Béar

Dir. Coleen Fitzgibbon, 1973
USA, 3 min.

Fitzgibbon’s Found Film Flashes crafts an elliptical evocation of desire and sexual spectacle out of found footage. Strewn with fragments of black and white shots, Found Film Flashes is a collage of recurring speech fragments, where sound and image are particularly disjunctive. Voice over provides a commentary on an audiotape, while an obsessive, repetitious voice returns to the phrase, “It’s about tonight, it’s about tonight.”

Dir. Coleen Fitzgibbon, 1974
USA, 4 min.

Trip to Carolee runs quickly through still images of things passing: an apartment, a typewriter, a bridge, the road, as Marjorie Keller and Coleen Fitzgibbon drive to Carolee Schneeman’s. Fitzgibbon paints an intimate portrait of the travel between the city and the country and back, tracing her surroundings in accelerated, yet attentive ways.

Dir. Liza Béar, 1982
USA, 10 min.

Shot in 1982 in a bizarre Californian landscape, Lost Oasis, is an ambulating narrative with the desert at its core. This short film takes on the airs of a mirage as a loosely structured and evocative drama unfolds. Lost Oasis sets up a strange parallel reality where time moves slowly through the desert, in search of a lost oasis. Starring Michael McClard.

Dir. Andrea Callard, 1976
USA, 4 min.

In Flora Funera (for Battery Park City), Callard explores intimate games and noises as she repeatedly tosses rocks against exposed stakes of rebar.

Dir. Andrea Callard, 1976
USA, 4 min.

In Lost Shoe Blues, Callard ventures outside her studio to survey the clover of Battery Park while singing a round with herself on the film’s soundtrack.

Dir. Andrea Callard, 1976
USA, 2 min.

Callard clomps up flight after flight of stairs with giant white casts on her feet. Each pounding step echoes. When she finally removes the casts, they splinter and collapse and her bare feet emerge as though from cocoons. She enters her studio, abandoning the “fragments,” and inviting the viewer to leave behind the carapaces she wears to protect and hide the self inside.

Dir. Andrea Callard, 1974
USA, 12 min.

In Drawers, Callard playfully pulls the drawers of a white chest open, repeatedly hoisting a string of clothes and fabric tied together in a Rapunzel-like fashion out of the drawers until all have been emptied.

From Spectacle’s website

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Return of the Colab Real Estate Show in 5 Venues!


The artists coalition Collaborative Projects, Inc. (Colab) launched the 1980s by breaking into a vacant city-owned building at 123-125 Delancey St. on New Year’s Eve, December 31st, 1979. There they installed the Real Estate Show to challenge city policies on housing and development. The police closed the exhibition on January 2nd, 1980.

Negotiations between the NYC Department of Buildings and Colab members led to the trade of the building at 123-125 Delancey Street for 155 Rivington St. 155 Rivington St. became ABC No Rio, an artists space still running after 34 years. The original site of the Real Estate Show, 109 Delancey St., is a vacant lot waiting to become part of the SPURA/Essex Crossing development, which will include a branch the Warhol Museum.

To commemorate this history, the following galleries are presenting exhibitions:

The Real Estate Show, Was Then: 1980
Exhibition Dates: April 4 – 27, 2014
James Fuentes Gallery, 55 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002
Hours: Wed-Sun, 11-6 PM

RESx (The Real Estate Show Extended)
Exhibition Dates: April 9 – May 8, 2014
ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington St (Clinton/Suffolk Sts), New York, NY 10002
Hours: Sun 2-5 PM, Wed-Thurs 4-7 PM
Open call to artists thru April for real-estate related, disposable art. RESx CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

No City An Island

Exhibition Dates: April 10 – May 11, 2014
The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St (between Delancey and Broome), New York, NY 10002
Hours: Wed-Fri, 2-10 PM, Sat-Sun, 12-10 PM

The Real Estate Show, What Next: 2014
Exhibition Dates: April 19 – May 18, 2014
Cuchifritos Gallery, 120 Essex Street (located inside Essex Street Market), New York, NY 10002
Hours: Tues-Sun, 12-6 PM
Open call to artists for events planning. Please contact for more info.

In and Around Collaborative Projects Inc.
Real Estate Show related film screenings through May, 2014
Spectacle, 124 S. 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY
More info & full schedule:

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The Real Estate Show, What Next: 2014 | April 19 – May 18 at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space

Currently on view:
The Real Estate Show, What Next 2014
April 19 – May 18, 2014
Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, 120 Essex St (located inside Essex Street Market), NYC

Photo courtesy of Ann Messner. 123-5 Delancey, site of the original Real Estate Show 1979/80

Open call to artists for events planning! Contact for more info.

The return of The Real Estate Show in five NYC venues (James Fuentes Gallery, ABC No Rio, the Lodge Gallery, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space and Spectacle), continues now through May 18th at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space. Find more information about all shows in the Press Release!

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is honored to present the exhibition The Real Estate Show, What Next: 2014. An extension of The Real Estate Show of 1979/1980, this exhibition will serve as a living project space, presenting new work that continues to question the impending re-development of the Seward Park Urban Redevelopment Area (SPURA) sites. By addressing certain issues that have both united and polarized the neighborhood over the last 30+ years, the exhibition will encourage artists and community members to become an active part of the conversation by focusing on the particular insights and experimental processes that artists bring to imagining new urban spaces. All of the projects, contributed by former Colab members and participants in the original Real Estate Show, take form through audience engagement, as Cuchifritos becomes a flexible site for the active processes unfolding throughout the duration of the exhibition. (Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space)

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CF Presents at the Radical Archives Conference, Friday, April 11 at NYU

Friday, April 11, 2014 5:10-6:30 PM
NYU Cantor Film Center (36 E. 8th Street), Theater 102

Participants: Johanna Burton, Coleen Fitzgibbon and Andrea Callard, Tara Hart, Alan W. Moore, moderated by Leeroy Kun Young Kang

Institutions, organizations, and artists have grappled with the need to preserve and provide access to audiovisual materials stored in aging and obsolete audiovisual and digital formats for decades; however, issues related to the cost of storage, equipment and time required for digital reformatting have presented challenges for those with limited resources. Recently, projects such as XFR STN at the New Museum in New York, have worked with multiple practitioners to provide common access to at-risk video materials and make media preservation services available at a grassroots level.

In this session, various participants in XFR STN will reflect on the outcome of the project and discuss radical possibilities that can be brought about through collaboration amongst institutions, communities, and individuals with various disciplinary vantage points. The program will include a screening of select videos digitized during the course of the project from the New Museum Archives and Monday/Wednesday/Friday Video Club, and will end with a moderated Q&A session. (from the website)


Full Schedule for the Radical Archives Conference (April 11-12, 2014)

Curated by Mariam Ghani and Chitra Ganesh

A two-day conference organized around the notion of archiving as a radical practice, by which we mean: archives of radical politics and practices; archives that are radical in form or function; moments or contexts in which archiving in itself becomes a radical act; and considerations of how archives can be active in the present, as well as documents of the past and scripts for the future.The conference is organized around four threads of radical archival practice: Archive and Affect, or the embodied archive; Archiving Around Absence, or reading for the shadows; Archives and Ethics, or stealing from and for archives; and Archive as Constellation, or archive as method, medium, and interface. (from the website)

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No City Is An Island | April 10 – May 11 at The Lodge Gallery

Currently on view:
No City Is An Island
April 10 – May 11, 2014
The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St (between Delancey and Broome), NYC

lodgegalleryThe return of The Real Estate Show in four NYC venues (James Fuentes Gallery, ABC No Rio, the Lodge Gallery, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space and Spectacle), continues now until May 11th at The Lodge Gallery.

Find more about all five exhibitions HERE.

Collaborative Projects Inc (Colab), focused on theme-centered exhibitions with a spirit of openness, experimentation, and minimal curatorial interference. Within this context, “No City Is An Island” asked former members of Colab to respond to the exhibition’s title as a theme around which to contribute work. Dialogues were rekindled and themes were revisited or reinterpreted. As each artist has evolved over time, so has the city itself. With a range of works transversing 35 years, “No City is an Island” revisits the zeitgeist of a New York City long bygone, compares and contrasts the artists and urban realities of then with now, and honors one of the most influential art organizations in New York City’s history.
(The Lodge Gallery)

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RESx (The Real Estate Show Extended) | April 9 – May 8 at ABC No Rio

Currently on view:
RESx (The Real Estate Show Extended)
April 9 – May 8, 2014
ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington St, NYC

Open call to artists for real-estate related, disposable art!

The return of The Real Estate Show in four NYC venues (James Fuentes Gallery, ABC No Rio, the Lodge Gallery and Cuchifritos Gallery in the Essex Street Market), continues now until May 8th at ABC No Rio.

Find more about all five exhibitions HERE.

Complementing the exhibition at James Fuentes Gallery, of original work from the Real Estate Show of 1980, the show at ABC No Rio features new work on the theme of real estate, land-use, and the right to housing.

In the spirit of the original show, we are asking artists to only bring work that can be easily replaced or duplicated. We don’t want to break the heart of any artist if their work is destroyed. ABC No Rio remains a rough and ready space. The exhibition will share the gallery with No Rio’s punk matinee every Saturday afternoon. Although there is no size limit, you may wish to think small – like Vermeer. Big is OK, but likely will be layered over as new work comes in. Participating artists are encouraged to stop by on Sunday afternoons during the run of the show to see how the installation has evolved and to add to it, or to replace work. (ABC No Rio)

CF at ABC No Rio
Coleen Fitzgibbon at the Opening of “RESx”, April 9, 2014

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The Real Estate Show, Was Then: 1980 | April 4 – 27 at James Fuentes Gallery

Currently on view:
The Real Estate Show, Was Then: 1980
April 4 – 27, 2014
James Fuentes Gallery, 55 Delancey St, NYC



The return of The Real Estate Show in five NYC venues (James Fuentes Gallery, ABC No Rio, the Lodge Gallery, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space and Spectacle), continues now through April 27th at James Fuentes Gallery. Find more information about all five shows HERE!

CF at Fuentes 1
Coleen Fitzgibbon at “The Real Estate Show, Was Then: 1980″

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FABRICATIONS: CONSTRUCTING FEMALE IDENTITY Laura Elkins • Coleen Fitzgibbon • Laura Marsh Curated by Yulia Tikhonova


Opening Reception: Friday, January 10, 6-8 PM Show runs January 7-31, 2014 Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St. NYC

Artist Talk & Screening with Coleen Fitzgibbon Wednesday, Jan. 15 @ 7:30 PM

FABRICATIONS features the work of Laura Elkins, Coleen Fitzgibbon, and Laura Marsh. The exhibition attempts to both explore and deconstruct mass media depictions of women. Though the Feminist movement is closing its 5th decade, little has changed in mass media. The span of years represented by these artists attests to the endurance of women as the object/subject of the male gaze, ambition, and fantasy. The descent from archetype to stereotype has been relentless; feminist artists have their work cut out for them.

From the beginning of television, stereotypes of women served political agendas. Once portrayed as weak, and manipulated by men, women are now “seemingly” independent actors. Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama, and Hillary Clinton are recent examples. Although women’s roles in society have changed, the media tools that fabricate their identity remain the same: aggressive media campaigns, over-abundance of paparazzi images, and an extensive crew of assistants and advisors.

Elkins, Fitzgibbon and Marsh deconstruct the way we conventionally process media images, using political and social juxtapositions, and spatial distortions. Blending candor, humor, and psychological analysis, these artists subvert the mediatization of the female idols and icons of American popular culture. They make it clear that it is hard work to become a symbol, and even harder to remain one.

Gallery/Lounge: 6 PM-Midnight Monday–Saturday Daytime showings by appointment. Phone: 212.219.0736 ext ’0′ Contact: Curator Yulia Tikhonova,, 646-596-1283



After a long hiatus, San Francisco Cinematheque has recently published Volume 7 of their journal Cinematograph. Cinematograph Vol. 7: Speaking Directly – Oral Histories of the Moving Image, edited by Federico Windhausen, features recent conversations with filmmakers, artists, curators, and scholars.

An interview with me by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder is part of the publication! Beside myself, other filmmakers interviewed include Narcisa Hirsch, Jim Jennings, Chris Kennedy, Kerry Laitala, Annette Michelson, Tomonari Nishikawa, Elizabeth Price, Ben Rivers and Kidlat Tahimik. Interviewers beside Sandra and Luis, include Erika Balsom, Kathy Geritz, Aily Nash, Lucy Reynolds, Jonathan Walley, Mark Webber and Federico Windhausen. Also included are some great interviews from SF Cinematheque’s archive with Owen Land, George Kuchar, Warren Sonbert and Peter Hutton.

Cinematograph 7 may be purchased on SF Cinematheque’s website HERE.

Excerpt from Coleen Fitzgibbon by Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder (2008):

The following interview focuses on the conceptual ideas and exhibition history of Fitzgibbon’s structural film masterpiece Internal System. Film artists Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder have written: “In one of her minimalist films, the viewer is presented with nothing but a blank microchromatic frame slowly shifting through various intensities of color saturation, flickering/shuttering repeatedly from light-to-dark (and back again) for a duration of 45 minutes. The only hint of information we have to navigate through this complex and difficult film is at the head and tail of the film, in the rolling text “credits” introduced as positive at the head of the film and negative at the end. Technical information such as film stock, film speed, film length, camera, lens, shutter, projector, and a host of other data appear on the screen like hieroglyphs of some secret language to be decoded. Whether we know what this cybernetic schemata means or not, Internal System abandons us to the pure phenomenological ecstasies of cinematic temporality – the reveries of a radical filmic monochromism. At the end of the sojourn the titles repeat but in negative, as if the experience of their effects – purely visceral rather than analytical – offer no direct correlation to the mechanism they wield.” (Catalogue for the Independent Film Show 7th Edition, Naples, Italy) This interview was conducted by Gibson and Recoder at Fitzgibbon’s studio in NYC, December 6, 2008.

Sandra Gibson / Luis Recoder: What is it like to be showing your early films again? Your films have been at the New York Film Co-op since the mid-70’s and people have been renting them on a sporadic basis here and there. We pulled them out to get them preserved, and are currently screening them. What is it like to revisit this body of work? Are there new experiences that emerge, especially in interacting with newer audiences?

Coleen Fitzgibbon: There are always things you wish you had done, but then that would have been another film. Showing the films again does bring up some of the same thoughts I had when they were first shown, such as how audiences receive them, and it isn’t always, you know, happy. Internal System is not like showing an audience a Hitchcock film with a plot, an ending and great images in between. When the film was screened for the first time at Knokke-Heist, 297 people walked out of 300 people in the audience.

Gibson / Recoder: But that’s the very crux of this kind of filmmaking. In other words, when you were making these aesthetic choices it was somewhat of a critical act that deliberately applied pressure on audience expectation. You were obviously challenging your audience and didn’t care to appease them.

Fitzgibbon: As you both know, experimental films can been aggressive in deconstructing audience expectation, and it’s usually filmmakers making films and videos for other filmmakers. That’s about as diverse as the audience gets.

Gibson / Recoder: Was there perhaps a certain crisis in the air where you said to yourself: “I need a broader audience, I need to reach out to other communities because this one is too jaded?”

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