ALINA AND JEFF BLIUMIS CULTURAL TIPS FOR NEW AMERICANS ATPOPIASHVILI GVABERIDZE WINDOW PROJECT, TBILISI, GEORGIA, SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER 2016
To be a foreigner — one who is defined as not from here — often means unknowingly breaking rigid social and cultural rules. Definitions of these social and cultural standards often say a lot about the native society. As the proverbial Land of Opportunity, the United States has always had a steady stream of new Americans and "what it means to be an American" is loudly and frequently discussed on national television.
For Cultural Tips For New Americans project, we gathered advice to help recent arrivals assimilate and understand their new home. We took advice from published guides, public forums, streets questionnaires, social websites, and friends.
ALINA AND JEFF BLIUMIS, RECENT WORKS, BUSHEL, DELHI, NY
15 July - 5 August 2016
Bushel is pleased to present new work from NYC- and Andes-based artists Alina and Jeff Bliumis. The pair have worked collaboratively since 2000, but this show is built around a single recent series from each artist: POST NEWS from Alina Bliumis and VIEW FROM BELOW from Jeff Bliumis. POST-NEWS is a series of single-print etchings inspired by the unintentional visual narratives newspaper pages convey and their aftereffects on readers; VIEW FROM BELOW consists of oil paintings of Delaware County residents and workers inspired by the views—both real and imagined—of a patient confined to a hospital bed for an extended period.
BENJAMIN IS PART OF DEAD: A CELEBRATION OF MORTALITY, THE SAATCHI GALLERY, LONDON, UK
26 June - 30 August 2015
Artists: Ahmed Alsoudani, Jordan Baseman, Alina and Jeff Bliumis, Daniel Bragin, Jonny Briggs, Gao Brothers, Gareth Cadwallader, Jodie Carey, David Falconer, Rafael Gómezbarros, Gregory Green, David Herbert, Des Hughes, Gerry Judah, John Kleckner, Terence Koh, Ulrich Lamsfuss, Goshka Macuga, Vikenti Nilin, Halsey Rodman, Aurel Schmidt, Dallas Seitz, Dirk Skreber, Mikhael Subotzky, Denis Tarasov, Andra Ursuta, Francis Upritchard and Little Whitehead
Thank You Paintings Exchange IS FEATURED IN PHILANTHROPY ISSUE, LAPHAM'S QUARTERLY, 2015 SUMMER ISSUE
Thank You Paintings Exchange initiates a series of material, social, gestural, intellectual and monetary exchanges between artist and collector. The series of paintings depict scenes of everyday life: a woman sitting on a deserted beach, children playing, cars parked in front of a suburban home, etc. Each painting has the text, Thank You For Your painted on it, completed with words such as Email, Poem, Kiss, Prayers, Dance, Pants, Thoughts. Sometimes a viewer might detect a relationship between the text and the subject of the painting, but there is no deliberate, direct relationship. The painting points toward the value of the painting as an artwork, while the text points toward the exchange the artists propose to initiate with the collector.
SPECTERS OF COMMUNISM, WRITTEN BY KSENIA NOURIL
"Jeff and Alina Bliumis, a pair of New York-based, Russian-speaking artists born in Moldova and Belarus, respectively, also open themselves up to the potentialities of new landscapes in the work that produced an installation of thirty-nine 24 x 24 inch photographs at The James Gallery. For their long-term project A Painting for a Family Dinner (2008-2013), the Bliumis' traveled the world from The Bronx to China stopping in Italy and Israel, looking for hosts who would exchange a home-cooked meal for a small sweetly but primitively rendered painting. Their project, which is the only one in the exhibition that does not directly engage with Russia, is documented through photographs where they stand with their temporarily adoptive families and in a set of limited-edition books that trace the project's steps within each country. Reviving the barter system in the twenty-first century when our transactions have advanced to new currencies, like Bitcoins and devices like Apple Pay, the Bliumis' humble proposition is inspiring, even though its success is not guaranteed in the capitalist system. A Painting for a Family Dinner allows us to see a positive side of communism because it puts into practice the notion of equal and shared property circulating within an international codependent community". Excerpt from Specters of Communism: Contemporary Russian Art, The James Gallery and e-flux, New York
ALINA AND JEFF BLIUMIS
FROM SELFIE TO GROUPIE
Authors: Joshua Ellison (editor), David Shneer, Anya Ulinich, Jenya Gorbatsevich and Konrad Bercovici
Release Date: May 2015
Format: 9 x 11 inches
Features: 240 pages, 245 full color and 14 black-and-white photographs, hardcover
From Selfie to Groupie by Alina and Jeff Bliumis is a book of photographs and essays that explores the variety and intricacy of Jewish-American identity, beginning with the Russian-Jewish immigrant enclave of Brooklyn's Brighton Beach and continuing with the Jewish-American community at large in locations from New York to Philadelphia, Miami, Sonoma Valley, and St.Paul.
In total, 1922 participants have helped make this a vital portrait of the community today “in its many shades, shapes, and sizes” and a collaborative statement about collective identity. Participants ranged from a two-years old girl who identified herself as a "future president" to the vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, who identified himself as "a proud and grateful Jewish American." By creating these social portraits, the project documents a quickly shifting experience, from the past to the present and into the future. The publication has been made possible with the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group.