Fragments of an Unknown Civilization by Damien Olsen
to Nov 9

Fragments of an Unknown Civilization by Damien Olsen

Damien Olsen
Fragments of Unknown Civilizations
October 17th, 2019 - November 9th, 2019
Opening: October 17 // 7-10 PM

Synesthesia is pleased to present Fragments of Unknown Civilizations; a solo exhibition showcasing 40 years of sculpture by New York-based artist Damien Olsen.

Recognizing life as artistic trial-and-error, Olsen views his career as a lifelong exploration of sculpture as an extension of his personal experience. Much like an autobiography, his sculptures and their environments communicate with one-another to form an intimate dialog.

The pieces on display are part of an extensive body-of-work that exists in its own realm--a personal realm, which is independent of a linear narrative or chronology.

Olsen imports that the works, in themselves, occupy parallel realities that he accesses through a process of “conscious dreaming”. Creation thus exists as both a ritual of taking dictation and acting upon the reception of a “call to action” from a higher source. The character of the artwork is evidenced by an overwhelming amount of detail and textures. One could say that his works reveal the environmental conditions that they were created in and subsequently reflect private moments of creation, back to the audience in an intimate way.

Discovering haunting and forgotten architectures, striving for nature to be reclaimed, the viewer might feel like a wandering spirit, exploring galleries like labyrinths. For Olsen, the endless puzzle, inter-connecting fragments, relics and artifacts, express the process of excavating unknown civilizations--of understanding any given individual or artist, as they document their experience.

“Every normal human being (and not merely the 'artist') has an inexhaustible store of buried images in his subconscious it is merely a matter of courage or liberating procedures... of voyages into the unconscious, to bring pure and unadulterated found objects to light.”-- (To quote Max Ernst, Olsen’s spiritual artistic mentor)

About the artist:
Damien Olsen, is an American, interdisciplinary artist, based in New York City. Born to a migratory Russian family, his family relocated to Brazil where he resided until the late 90’s. Olsen grew up experiencing many cultures and languages. Although he never formally studied art, he started selling drawings and paintings at a very young age and later on developed professionally as a sculptor and photographer.

In the mid-70’s, while studying psychology and contemporary dance, he earned a living operating as both a photography assistant and advertising designer. A few years into his college degree, he dropped his psychology studies to pursue a career in contemporary dance. His study of dance thus became his continued focus for the next 12 years.

Olsen took an interest in studying Zen and Taoism at a Zen Center run by Robert Aitken Roshi. There, he pursued the study of Capoeira, overseen by several academies in the Brazilian state of Bahia.

In the late 90’s, Olsen relocated to New York and continued on to engage in various visual arts and musical practices. During this time, he was supported by art dealers, Ivan Karp of Ok Harris Gallery and Cecilia de Torres, a specialist in Constructivist art.

From 2003 to 2006 Olsen studied music composition and Jazz improvisation, training with ECM Records guitarist and composer, Raoul Bjorkenheim.

With over 4 decades of devoted interdisciplinary activity under his belt, Damien Olsen has developed a vast and dynamic collection of paintings, artist books, found-objects, assemblages, photographs, and sculptures. His series of shelves or “cabinets of curiosities” are exemplary of the breadth of his work. Taking on the character of geological/anthropological displays, which exhibit no subtle likeness or mere symbolic allusion to themes in Architecture, Philosophy, Sexuality, Psychology, Paleontology, and Natural History.



Video works can be seen at:

YouTube Channel:

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Richard Sylvarnes WE CAME FROM THE STARS
to Oct 5

Richard Sylvarnes WE CAME FROM THE STARS


September 6, 2019 - October 5, 2019
Opening Friday September 6, 7-11pm

Synesthesia Space is pleased to present We Came From The Stars, a solo exhibition at the gallery by New York-based artist Richard Sylvarnes. This work consists of eighty photographs and a feature film titled Here Comes Everybody. Using the mediums of photography and video, Sylvarnes explores the underlying question of why we tell stories and how they shape our identity. In an elaborate network of storytelling that weaves together history, mythology, literature, fables, religion, and comic books, Sylvarnes plunges us through 4,000 years of Western civilization presented as a kaleidoscopic dream, or nightmare - depending on the viewer’s interpretation. The photographs were created utilizing a combination of processes using numerous chemical combinations and darkroom strategies; incorporating large doses of Potassium Ferricyanide, Sodium Thiosulfate, and Potassium Aluminum Sulfate, then rephotographed for further computer manipulation. The gallery will present twenty nine of the original eighty photographs that comprise the work as a whole. The accompanying film Here Comes Everybody is entirely composed of stills, most of them photographed in the style of nineteenth-century tableaux photography, manipulated through stop-motion animation, flicker, and rotoscoping. The film plays like an early magic lantern show, as if Eadweard Muybridge had gotten his hands on Final Cut Pro. "The most merciful thing in the world," says an angel-winged child in a scene from the film, "is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents." As Sylvarnes says, “This exhibition chronicles the stories I was told that eventually became a part of who I am and of which I can not escape.”

On opening night there will be a special screening of Here Comes Everybody, along with two short films, Die Nacht Ist Leben and Cupiditas, which will feature live text and musical accompaniment.

Friday September 6, 8:00-10:30
●Die Nacht Ist Leben (19 minutes)
●Cupiditas (12 minutes)
●Here Comes Everybody (90 minutes)

During the exhibition there will be a series of related screenings and performances.

Richard Sylvarnes is an artist that works in the mediums of film, photography, and music. His work has been shown internationally at museums, galleries, clubs, performance spaces and cinemas. His first feature film, “The Cloud Of Unknowing”, premiered in the International Dramatic Feature Competition at the inaugural Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 continuing on in festivals throughout Asia and Europe and was released by Possible Films in 2004. “Here Comes Everybody”, his second feature, also premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in the NYNY Narrative Competition in 2006. His third feature, “The Last Words of Dutch Schultz”, is a found-footage film that featured live music accompaniment premiering at The Microscope Gallery in New York City and then at the Anthology Film Archives. In 2009 he received a Creative Capital Grant to work with the four-time Bessie Award winning choreographer David Neumann on a work titled “Big Eater” that premiered at the Kitchen in 2010. In 2008, he was nominated for a Rockefeller Renew Media Fellowship. Richard has released music through the Skrymir Label and 3D Media under various monikers and bands including “Zero Times Everything”, the “Underworld Oscillator Corporation”, “Sylvarluxe”, and Berlin based “KaiSaR”; and is a member of the expanded cinema collective “Optipus”. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology and has studied film making at New York University, music at Berklee College of Music, guitar with Robert Fripp, and art at the School of Visual Arts. He has been a guest Lecturer at Harvard University and he presently serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Film-Makers’ Cooperative.

“WE CAME FROM THE STARS” runs from September 6th through October 5th, with an opening reception and special screening on Friday September 6th from 7-11pm. For additional information please contact the gallery at or by phone at 917-789-2252

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Collective Storytelling -Contemporary Art from Yogyakarta, Indonesia
to Sep 4

Collective Storytelling -Contemporary Art from Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Opening Party August 17th 7pm~10pm (Performance from Yogyakarta at 9pm)

The Indonesia-based Artspace ASP (Artist Support Project) proudly presents to you our persepective on the contemporary art scene in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Through this work, we hope to reveal the significant differences between various sociocultural backgrounds by creating a visual dialogue without the boundary of nationality. We hope that you will be inspired to rethink the variability of life through the work.

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Miki Kitazawa, Insideout
to Jul 31

Miki Kitazawa, Insideout

Opening Party: June 1st 6pm-10pm
Exhibition Date: June 1st to July 31st 2019

Synesthesia is pleased to present Insideout, a solo exhibition featuring work by Japanese photographer Miki Kitazawa. This is Kitazawa’s first exhibition in the United States and features three of the artist’s signature photo series, "Contact”, “Dust”, and “Bodyscapes”.

 Born from Kitazawa’s experience of the Fukushima earthquake in 2011, her series CONTACT(2013) explores the relationship between memory and living embodiment of the event. Her series Dust (2014), raises questions about the tenuous delineation between inside and outside, prompting viewers to consider “where does one start and end?”. Bodyscapes (2017) is a careful study of the body as the subject of a still life.

Through these series her interests shift from outward to inward--escaping categories between sensing and process. Her works shed preconception and ego--sharing with viewers, a refreshing and untethered perspective.

[see below, a selection of brief and eloquent words from the artist herself...]


In the highway bus I was leaning against the wall, which was slightly shaking.
Suddenly, my past memory has come back unconsciously.
Vibration rips my consciousness and memories in the real world.
I made this series to connect to forgetting.

I photographed dust floating on the surface of a colorless transparent glass and water droplets. By focusing on the dirt we don't usually care, the outer and inner worlds are intermingled through the glass. Dirt is a trace of biological activity in the environment surrounding us.

The human body is a part of this world and exists in relation to and interacting with various entities. By placing the body in the landscape, I try to shot the body as a still life because I can’t look the person who is front of me as a same human. This series is neither a portrait nor a landscape. Bodyscapes is a combination of landscape and human body.

Miki Kitazawa

(b. 1988 in Nagano, Japan)

[Solo Exhibitions]

2018 Relation, Gallery Yukihira, Tokyo, Japan.

2018 Bodyscapes, TAP Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.

2017 Bodyscapes, C7C Gallery, Aichi, Japan.

2015 CONTACT, Norton Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.

[Group Exhibitions]

2019 Transparent Mirror, Theater Guild, Tokyo, Japan.

2019 New Universality 02, CCAA Yotsuya Sanchome Gallery3, Tokyo, Japan.

2017 Here is ZINE Tokyo 15, Beams, Tokyo, Japan.

2017 New Chapter of Landscape#2 -The Principles of Contemporary Landscape Photography-,

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan.

2016 A.W.P Selection 2016, Ricoh Imaging Square Ginza, Tokyo, Japan.

2014 SHIBUYA STYLE vol.8, SEIBU SHIBUYA, Tokyo, Japan.

2014 TAGBOAT ARTFES2014, Daihonzan Zojoji, Tokyo, Japan.

2014 Canon New Cosmos of Photography Sendai Exhibition, Sendai Mediatheque, Sendai, Japan.

2013 Canon New Cosmos of Photography Tokyo Exhibition, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan.

2012 [See-through],UPSTAIRS GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan.

2009 ASAHICAMERA Magazine Exhibition 2008, KONICA MINOLTA PLAZA,Tokyo, Japan.

2008 EPSON ColorImaging 2008 Exhibition, Spiral Garden, Tokyo, Japan.


2008 EPSON ColorImaging Contest. First Prize Award, Photograph Category.

2008 ASAHICAMERA Magazine Prize. Second Prize Award, First Step Category.

2013 Canon New Cosmos of Photography. Honorable Mention, HIROMIX Award.

2014 TAGBOAT ARTFEST Special Recognition Award. Toshiki Minamiguchi Award.


2008 [PHaT PHOTO] 2008.7-8 "NEW STEP OF WINNERS vol.1"

2009 [Fotocon] 2009.5 "NEXT GENERATION Photographer"

2010 [Fotocon Magazine] Series (2010.1~2010.12)

2015 [Pen] 2015.8/1 "Creator's file #026"


2018 [Gallery] 2018.12 "for five years Miki Kitazawa"


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Michelle Wen Porcelain Opening Party
12:30 PM12:30

Michelle Wen Porcelain Opening Party

Opening Party: June 1st 6pm-10pm
Performance: at 8pm by Rachel Chevat (@rachelrainlights)

Exhibition Date: June 1st -July 31st

Michelle Wen is a visual artist born and raised in Brooklyn, currently living in New York. We will exhibit her handmade porcelain works. The artist will attend the opening event. You can bring your friends, enjoy live music and drinks!

Michelle Wen

47 Thames St #306, Brooklyn, NY 11237

Entry: Free

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