Spirit Level: Open Sessions 14 will explore materials that bear witness to suspended states common to “waiting” in relationship to the practice of drawing. The exhibition gathers components that characterize the waiting room—of a doctor’s office, the Department of Motor Vehicle, or a bus depot, for example—where strangers assemble in varying degrees of temporary stasis. The waiting room at The Drawing Center will serve as a space for drawing and rituals that will guide visitors through a variety of life’s transitions. The visible elements in the exhibition are a stage for a performance or an activity in the making. Here the collective voice of Open Sessions’ artists sets in motion an absurd play, incorporating the behaviors (norms and otherwise) of waiting in a designated space. Diagrams, charts, blueprints, drawings, videos, and schematics will explore the passage from one place to another; the transformation of line to form; and the metaphysical shift to some place unknown. This exhibition features the work of Mike Crane, Kunlin He, Victoria Keddie, Lux Lindner, Sharon Madanes, and Guadalupe Maravilla.

From October 12 through December 2019, Open Sessions presents five exhibitions organized by Rosario Güiraldes and Lisa Sigal, Open Sessions Curators, together with participating artists. Conceived and organized over fourteen months, The Lab or the Drawing Room exhibitions present experimental work and ideas, and take the form of thematic group shows. In the second year of the cycle, Open Sessions curators organize a full-museum exhibition to which all Open Sessions artists contribute work that best manifests and/or expands what drawing is.

Mike Crane is an artist based in New York. His work has been exhibited at Documenta 14, Kassel; Haus der Kulturen der Welt and The Berlinale Forum Expanded, both Berlin; Orgy Park and The Bronx Museum, both New York; and the Center for Contemporary Art, Derry, Northern Ireland. Crane was an artist in residence at Banff Center, Alberta, Canada; Rupert Centre Vilnius, Lithuania; MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire; Smack Mellon and Triangle Arts Association, both New York.

Kunlin He is an artist who lives and works in San Francisco, California. His art explores contemporary visual culture and the methodology of Chinese studies and Sinophone studies in performance, essay, film, painting, and installation. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2018 and has been selected as a finalist for the 2019 SFMoMA SECA Award.

Victoria Keddie is an artist working within the cross-disciplines of sound, video, installation, and performance. Keddie has devoted her work and research to an expanded use of media with a particular focus on broadcasting and the use of electromagnetic energies. She lives and works in New York City.

Lux Lindner is a visual artist and performer living in Buenos Aires. His artwork often deals with themes of memory, national identity, and a doomed technological sublime.

Sharon Madanes lives and works in New York. Her current art practice focuses on the rituals, aesthetics, and ethics of medicine, as contextualized within the banal and institutional surroundings in which doctors treat patients, and in which patients wait. Sharon completed her MFA at Hunter College and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2014. She is currently completing a medical degree at Columbia University.

Guadalupe Maravilla (formally Irvin Morazan) was part of the first wave of undocumented children to arrive at the United States border in the 1980s from Central America. In his multidisciplinary work, he creates and choreographs fictionalized rituals that incorporate his pre-colonial ancestry, fiction, and autobiography. His drawings, performances, and videos portray the “undocumented” as the protagonist of his work. His art often addresses a hybrid of border politics and fictional practices and creates new visual memories for the entangled genealogy of the border crossing stories.