Awardee: A.K. Burns

Visual Arts, 2015

A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist living in Brooklyn, NY. Burns is a 2016-2017 Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University, where she will continue to develop Negative Space. The opening episode, A Smeary Spot, debut at Participant Inc, NY in the Fall 2015 and a new iteration is exhibited at Portland Institute of Contemporary Art in 2016. Additional support for a forthcoming episode of Negative Space is provided through the Education Department’s Spring 2017 Research & Development Season at the New Museum and will culminate with a solo exhibition in early 2017. Burns is a founding member of W.A.G.E (Working Artists in the Great Economy) an artists’ advocacy organization. Burns has exhibited collaborative and solo works internationally at the Tate Modern, The Museum of Modern Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Kitchen, The Sculpture Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Project Arts Centre Dublin.

Project: Negative Space

Negative Space is a cycle of video installations, publications and sculptural works. The opening episode, A Smeary Spot (2015) includes a 53 minute 4-channel video, drawing on theater and documentary methods to exploit and rethink the science fiction genre. This work is about orientation, a re-orientation within a speculative present. Shot in two locations: on public lands in the deserts of southern Utah and inside a black box theater, where performers deliver recitations of appropriated texts that compose a loose manifesto on being. Negative Space is a surreal narrative of bodies in transition (both movement and definition) and their relationship to nature, technology, territories and resources. In relation to these bodies known as "acting agents"; the land, the water, the refuse pile and the theater are not simply grounds, resources, waste or stages upon which their actions occur, they are also sprawling protagonists. Forthcoming episodes focus on subjects such as the body, landscape, water and the void.