July 20, 2021 - Friedman Benda - Tales of Immensity
e-flux Architecture
July 20, 2021
July 20, 2021

Friedman Benda / Manifest Institute

Set design for Tales of Immensity. Image: Shawn Maximo. Object: Misha Kahn.

Set design for Tales of Immensity. Image: Shawn Maximo. Objects: Misha Kahn.

Tales of Immensity

Performance: July 27, 12–12:30pm



Friedman Benda and Manifest Institute are pleased to present Tales of Immensity, curated by Dan Handel and Tal Erez.

“Spatial immensity beggars designation. Immensity itself fails, vastness and other common terms fail...five hundred years into the settlement of North America by Europeans and Africans, intellectuals, and designers especially, lack words for bigger than big.” —John Stilgoe

Tales of Immensity is an experimental live performance initiated by Friedman Benda gallery and Manifest Institute. Combining voices from the Manifest Journal, design objects by prominent designer Misha Kahn, digital environments by groundbreaking artist Shawn Maximo, and dance by acclaimed choreographer Renana Raz, the performance creates a series of visual encounters in which notions of American immensity are explored through text, sound, and movement.

Composed as a three-act performance, each focusing on a facet of the experience of American space (encounter, crossing, immersion), Tales of Immensity uses multidisciplinary work and live editing techniques to question the boundaries between physical and virtual space, vast landscapes and human bodies, and past and future conceptions of American immensity. 

The live performance will air on Tuesday, July 27, 12pm EDT, on the Friedman Benda YouTube channel.  Additional screenings will follow.

About Tal Erez
Tal Erez is a designer, researcher and curator who explores issues of political change, institutional critique, and contemporary forms of resistance. Since 2016, Tal is the chief curator for the international Jerusalem Design Week.

About Dan Handel
Dan Handel is an architect and curator working on research-based exhibitions and publications with a penchant for underexplored ideas, figures, and practices that shape contemporary built environments. He is a founding director of Manifest – An Institute of the Americas.

About Misha Kahn
Misha Kahn has emerged as one of the leading creative voices of his generation. Through a wildly imaginative approach that embraces spontaneity and non-conformity, Kahn allows the illogical and the irreverent to take over his entire process. He employs everything from lo-fi and ad hoc techniques—such as improvisational molds and collage—to high-tech tools such as virtual reality and robotics. His work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collection of museums such as the Corning Museum of Glass, NY; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX and Speed Museum of Art, Louisville, KY. Kahn lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.                 

About Shawn Maximo
Shawn Maximo is an artist working primarily at the intersection of virtual and real worlds. He often uses cues from design history to portray future-state built environments with implied social conditions. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Zeit Magazin, PIN–UP and Interview magazines, and has been exhibited at the Vitra Design Museum, Swiss Institute NY, Kunsthalle Wien, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Perez Art Museum Miami, and at the 9th Berlin Biennale.

About Renana Raz
Renana Raz is a leading voice in the young generation of Israeli choreographers, pursuing various fields of artistic genres, both on stage as a choreographer and dancer and both on screen (television and cinema). Her work is characterized by originality and innovation, as well as integration of many disciplines such as dance, theater and performance art. Her pieces explore the connection between shape and content; they are subject to a re-examination of how it should be presented, and thus creating a variety of innovative formats.

About Manifest Institute
Manifest Institute is dedicated to creating a radically new kind of environment for the study of the art, architecture, and cities of the Americas. Founded by Anthony Acciavatti, Dan Handel, and Enrique Ramirez­­, Manifest Institute enriches the public domain through exhibitions, publications, and public programs.

About Friedman Benda
Friedman Benda identifies and advances key narratives that intersect contemporary design, craft, architecture, fine art, and cutting-edge technological research. The gallery promotes synthesis between leading creative thinkers and makers by creating opportunities to advance new connections within the global design community. Friedman Benda is committed to a critical view of design history. We aim to expand the design dialogue from its established sources, exploring perspectives that have previously been marginalized. Spanning five continents and four generations, Friedman Benda represents a roster of seminal established and emerging designers, as well as historically significant estates. Since 2007, the gallery’s exhibitions, publications and collaborations with institutions have played a vital role in the development of the contemporary design market and scholarship. Dedicated to archiving the pioneering voices in our field, the gallery hosts Design in Dialogue, a weekly series of online interviews with leading architects, designers, curators, and critics. For further information please visit the gallery’s websiteInstagram and YouTube channel.

Friedman Benda
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Friedman Benda / Manifest Institute, July 20, 2021
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