Mask Series Solo Show featuring Justine Reyes
Stoned Solo Show featuring Kim Badawi
Curators Lynn del Sol & Zena el Khalil

Run dates: September 27th- October 30th, 2004
Opening Reception: Monday, September 27th; 6-10pm
Location: xanadu*
Directions: 217 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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In an ever-increasingly fast paced world, artist Justine Reyes, Kim Badawi and poet Zohra Saed frequently travel around the world, speak several dozen languages, come from strong cultural backgrounds, and yet still search within their own skin to feel at home. In this highly provocative and personal account, these artists examine identity, sexuality, and reason. Xanadu* is proud to present three concurrent solo presentations Mask Series, Stoned and reading, Halal in Sheepshead Bay.

Artist Justine Reyes focuses on our infatuation with the human figure, and its intense debate from all sections of society. The Mask Series, which began in 2002, are eight 30”x40” color photographs.Her pieces overall remain untitled, so as not to aid in assumptions or lead viewers to conclusions. Fetish, fashion and fear intersect in these images of the artist wearing masks which the are made out of panty hose. They are delicate pieces, only activated when worn. Each mask has a distinct identity that is taken on by the artist. These photographs create a push and pull between seduction and repulsion by moving through images that are overtly sexual to others that are more ambiguous and still others that are terrifying and grotesque. Her compositions are meticulously staged, each one dangerously close to the foreground where the viewer is forced to feel the gaze of these veiled eyes. The Mask Series explores both the empowerment and the vulnerability of masking one’s identity through the use of the seduction and fear that the mask creates. The mask or veil stands as the absolute divide in east and west philosophies, a cloth that represents both resistance and repression.

Photographer Kim Badawi’s Stoned series can also be viewed as an open ended search for a new more all-encompassing cultural identity. To become both the performer and the observer within a specific spacial and temporal dimension. An idea to “use” stereotypical multi ethnic physical attributes of himself and the specificity of a given location to investigate the reaction of unsuspecting viewers. In Stoned the artist appears covered by a pile of stones, seemly unconscious, will those who pass him by stop... will they offer a lending hand; or will they continue on easily shaking the image of a fallen man. Stoned was recorded on New York City streets in 2002. It is printed in stark black and white and suspended above a pile of rubble against the gallery windows.


about the artist: Justine Reyes lives and works in New York. She received her BFA from Syracuse University in 2000. Reyes' work revolves around issues of identity, history and time; and our relationship to these themes in a post 9/11world. Using photography and installation, she examines family, the idea of leaving and returning home, and the longing to hold on to things that are ephemeral and transitory in nature.

about the artist: Kim Badawi was born in Paris in 1980, he is American photojournalist and documentarian of French, Egyptian, and Slovenian background. He began his photographic career photographing the plight of refugee families from Mississippi to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, while still interning for Contact Press Images and Magnum Photos in New York.

about the curator: Born and raised in New York, Lynn del Sol currently lives and works in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In late 2003 she left the commercial art world and set to create a vehicle for expletory artists to exhibit their works to the public by founding {CTS} creative thriftshop, a young art company that represents international emerging and under-represented artists.

about the curator: Zena el Khalil born 1976 in London, has lived in Nigeria, London, New York, and Beirut. Zena is an installation artist, a painter, and writer and holds a MFA degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York. el Khalil has been involved in a love/hate relationship with Beirut for the past decade- clearly evident in her work. el-Khalil is also the co-founder and director of xanadu*.

about the gallery: xanadu* an art space/collective based in Beirut with a small extension in New York city, dedicated to promoting young and/or under-represented artists. xanadu* was born on the number 2 train in New York City in 2001. Zena el Khalil and Imad Khachan felt that within New York City there was an under representation of budding international artists, especially from Arab and Eastern countries.

  Installation View: xanadu*, New York, NY. 2004
Image courtesy of {CTS} creative thriftshop, New York
Installation View: xanadu*, New York, NY. 2004
Image courtesy of {CTS} creative thriftshop, New York
Installation View: xanadu*, New York, NY. 2004
Image courtesy of {CTS} creative thriftshop, New York