This side, or the other…
Organized by Residency Unlimited and Artist Alliance
Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space
88 Essex Street
October 9 - October 31, 2020
Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 6pm
Artists: Elizabeth Moran, Carlos Rosales-Silva, Christopher Udemezue, Ziyang Wu
Cuchifritos Gallery and Residency Unlimited are pleased to present This side, or the other… a culminating group exhibition of work by the 2020 NYC-Based Artist Residents Elizabeth Moran, Carlos Rosales-Silva, Christopher Udemezue, and Ziyang Wu. Their respective practices take on historiography, knowledge-making, socioeconomic structures, and the digitization of contemporary society. The NYC-Based Artist Residency Program is dedicated to artists living and working in the five boroughs who represent a range of diverse voices traditionally underrepresented in the arts and whose practices fill in gaps in historical knowledge.
The four artists were selected from an open call of over 180 submissions reviewed by a panel of arts professionals: Natasha Becker, an independent curator, writer, and a co-founder of Assembly Room; Ilk Yasha, an arts administrator, multidisciplinary facilitator, educator and Studio Museum Institute Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem; and Rachel Gugelberger, RU Residency Program Director & Curator of Programs. The three-month residency program was indelibly shaped and formed by the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism — the program launched April 13 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in NYC and concluded in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests erupting around the globe. During the three-month residency, artists conducted virtual studio visits with ten guest curator/critics, made virtual presentations (available on RU’s website), attended information sessions, hosted salons, and participated in weekly discussions on topics ranging from photography to IMF’s role in Jamaica to universal basic income and sex work.
This side, or the other… features new works conceived and manifested through the lens of our current moment of increasingly polarized debates around historical accuracy and alternative facts, migration and borders, death and rebirth, immunity and spirituality, falling on one side (or the other) in response to our long-standing democratic and constitutional crisis.

Ziyang Wu is a Chinese artist based in New York who draws from contemporary technology, digital power structures, popular culture and the dynamics between identity and community and the alienation of both body and spirit. His practice examines how the virtual world, data, and algorithms ubiquitously “micro-alienate” and reconstruct human interaction. Where Did Macy Go? is an 11-episode animated video told through a series of reports by its main character Macy and their encounter with “the epidemic,” life under quarantine, the search for their grandfather’s farm, and their revival. The video explores the collapse of old community structures, the emergence of a new community after decollectivization, Confucian obedience vs. social obedience, the new tele-republic of home, “mask politics,” and social justice under the pandemic. Originally posted on TikTok, the video installation is a physical manifestation of an online project created in response to our contemporary moment of fear, complexity and confusion.

This side, or the other… is curated by RU Residency Program Director & Curator of Programs Rachel Gugelberger with RU Communications Coordinator & NYC Residency Program Assistant Alyssa Alexander.

The 2020 NYC Artist Residency Program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council and generous support from individual donors.

About Residency Unlimited (RU)
Founded in 2009, Residency Unlimited (RU) is a non-profit art organization that supports the creation, presentation and dissemination of contemporary art through its unique residency program and year-round public programs. RU is located within a former South Congregational Church in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. The space acts as a multifunctional hub and meeting
place for RU’s various activities and public programs, including talks, screenings, performances and exhibitions. Here artists and curators-in-residence meet with RU staff, conduct research, and at times produce work. RU provides customized residencies for international and local artists and curators in New York City focused on network support, project/production assistance, and public exposure. This includes weekly meetings with art professionals aligning artistic and curatorial interests, regular project support from RU staff, and a public program opportunity at our Brooklyn location or partnering venues throughout New York.

About Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space
Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is a program of Artists Alliance Inc. (AAI). Founded in 1999 by 40 artists living and working on the Lower East Side, AAI is dedicated to launching, strengthening, and advancing the vision of emerging and underrepresented artists and curators through fully-funded residencies, paid exhibition opportunities and commissioned projects. AAI cultivates art practices that challenge the way we experience ourselves, our communities, and our world, and aims to widen the audience for contemporary art by encouraging public dialogue using art as a catalyst.

When AAI envisioned an art gallery in the historic Essex Street Market in 2001, the mission was born from the conviction that art matters in society; that art can facilitate intersection; and that galleries can serve as inclusive civic space. Deeply embedded within the new Essex Crossing market space, Cuchifritos Gallery makes contemporary art more accessible to the public, including those who are not accustomed to the experience of viewing art, may not have the time to visit museums and galleries, or cannot afford the rising cost of admission. Cuchifritos relieves the distance between art and audience, defying the more traditional belief that the aesthetic experience is separate from the everyday. The exhibition program demonstrates the connections between art and life; addresses financial and perceptual barriers to art access; comments on the production and distribution of knowledge; and reflects on the circumstances that shape it. For those artists who make a practice of mining daily life, the gallery provides a fundamental connection to something expansive and alive.

Artists Alliance Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos Gallery is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Exhibition programming is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc for their continued support. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers and interns, without whom this program would not be possible.