November 8, 2008 - Dumbo Arts Center - Sarah Beddington
November 8, 2008

Sarah Beddington

Sarah Beddington
Crossing, 2008

Curator: Tania Duvergne
On view through November 16, 2008

30 Washington Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
T. 718.694.0831
F. 718.694.0867
gallery [​at​]

The Dumbo Arts Center (DAC) is pleased to present the first major New York solo exhibition by British artist Sarah Beddington. Crossing is a mixed media installation responding to DAC’s ship-like interior and past maritime activity of the waterfront neighbourhood of Dumbo, Brooklyn. The exhibition’s premise draws on the story of ‘The Experiment’, the second ship to make a direct crossing to China from the newly independent United States in 1785. Over two hundred years later, Beddington weaves an array of fragments backwards and forwards through time and space, interposing details of the historic voyage with current global realities including trade, transportation, cultural exchange and migration.

Beddington’s installation, Crossing, takes the entrepreneurial 18th century venture of Captain Dean and his nine-man crew as an initial point of departure on an expedition that reflects on the idea of ‘journey’ – both actual and metaphysical. The core of the exhibition is a three-channel video projection characteristic of Beddington’s cinematographic style. Meticulous framing, sensuous imagery and suspense reminiscent of film noir are partly informed by her practice as a painter. None of her films are staged and her astute editing demonstrates a complex understanding of pacing, structure and spatial possibilities. Mixing color and black-and-white footage, digital video, still images and Super 8mm film, she creates a sense of parallel realities that undermines any clear distinction between then and now. A feeling of the continuous motion of a ship is juxtaposed with an evocation of the lonely, inner world of those on board, giving the work a haunting, surreal quality. The psychological aspects of duration and place in the video are emphasised by an especially composed sound piece.

As with Beddington’s solo show at Bloomberg SPACE, London earlier this year, Crossing also examines the intersection between the social, the personal and the political to be found at the periphery. In the environment created for DAC, Beddington invites the viewer to construct their own narrative using a variety of other elements, including glass panels sandblasted with text and an intricate twenty foot drawing in silverpoint depicting a contemporary aerial view of the Hudson River leading from Albany – where ‘The Experiment’ was built – to New York and the open sea.

Sarah Beddington is a British artist based in New York and London. Solo exhibitions include Places of Laughter and of Crying, Bloomberg SPACE, London (2008); Panoptiscope, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, London (2006); Parallel Lines and Other Stories, Artlab, Berlin (2005). Group exhibitions include Eastern Standards: Western Artists in China, MASS MoCA which continues until March 2009; Vanishing Point, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; About Time, Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Denmark; Panoramica, The Rufino Tamayo Museum, Mexico City. Her work is represented in a number of public and private collections including Arts Council England.

Tania Duvergne is an independent curator and public art consultant based in New York.

Dumbo Arts Center (DAC) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit contemporary arts organization, located in Dumbo, Brooklyn, New York.

DAC gratefully acknowledges the support of The Greenwall Foundation, surroundart, Evan Eisman Company, Russell Maret, Anton Esteban and Alexander Posell of Ghost Note Ltd. DAC is supported in part, by public funds from: the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts. DAC receives additional funding from: The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., The Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Lily Auchincloss Foundation, The Robert Lehman Foundation, The Dedalus Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. DAC’s gallery and office space is generously donated by the Walentas Family and Two Trees Management Co. LLC.

Dumbo Arts Center

Dumbo Arts Center
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