assume vivid astro focus: Masks | "Exclusive" | Art21

Episode #157: Filmed in his Brooklyn studio, Eli Sudbrack—founding member of assume vivid astro focus—discusses the motivations behind the collective's use of masks during public events and installations. Originally created to enjoy personal anonymity at openings, avaf have continued to use masks in their work as a way to create equality between itself and the audience and to encourage free personal expression. Masks have had an important role in avaf's numerous projects including "assume vivid astro focus XI" at the Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz Private Collection, Miami (2004), "homocrap#1" at MOCA, Los Angeles (2005), "Super #3" at Maison des Arts de Créteil, Paris (2008), "absolutely venomous accurately fallacious (naturally delicious)" at Deitch Projects, Long Island City (2008), and "antonella varicella arabella fiorella" at Enel Contemporanea, Rome (2008).

The collective assume vivid astro focus fuses drawing, sculpture, video, and performance into carnavalesque installations in which gender, politics, and cultural codes float freely. A study in visual adaptation and modification, avaf’s work recycles and transforms imagery from one project to the next—often in the form of densely patterned wallpapers and graphic signage. Personal expression and a lust for life feature prominently in projects simultaneously rooted in the politics of free speech, civil rights, and the dissolution of rigid classifications of identity.

Learn more about assume vivid astro focus at:
http://www.art21.org/artists/assume-vivid-astro-focus

CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Roger Phenix. Editor: Morgan Riles & Mark Sutton. Artwork Courtesy: assume vivid astro focus. Additional Photography Courtesy: Rick Castro, Rodrigo Garcia Dutra, Steph Goralnick, Kristy Leibowitz, Yves Malenfer, Kat Mareck, Kleber Matheus, Marino Paoloni, Alfredo Piola, Tom Powel, Bec Stupak & Josh White. Theme Music: Peter Foley.

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