Friday, February 25, 2011

Crossing the Blvd

Sergey Ryabtsev
15" x 9"
oil on wood, 2011
The exhibit Crossing the Boulevard is currently on view at the Urban Art Space in Columbus, Ohio until March 26. The exhibition was curated by Judith Sloan, a documentary maker and sound artist. I helped putting up the show and during the installation, as well as thereafter, I became intrigued with the contents. In the exhibition portraits are displayed from immigrants in Queens, NY, the most ethnically diverse spot in the world. Stories are communicated through photographs by Warren Lehrer and interviews by Judith Sloan. One can easily spend a few hours in the gallery looking, reading, listening to the interviews, and—yes... listen to musical examples from some of the immigrants portrayed. Of the latter category my favorite track is a violin improvisation by Russian born Sergey Ryabtsev. He's a member of the well known gypsy-rock band Gogol Bordello, led by Ukrainian born Eugene Hütz. Ryabtsev immigrated to Queens in 1994 and joined Gogol Bordello in 2000.

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