Mira Friedlaender: Half of What’s There

September 2 – October 25, 2014

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, Mira Friedlaender: Half of What’s There underwent constant modifications; the features of this page provided accruing information on the Session’s developments and will continue to track the project’s progression beyond Recess’s walls.


Reception: Sept 18, 6-8pm
Public Conversation: Oct 11, 2-3:30pm
Closing Reception: Oct 23, 6-8pm

About Mira Friedlaender: Half of What’s There

On September 2, 2014, Mira Friedlaender will begin work on Half of What’s There as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation.

Over the course of her Session, the artist will unpack, document, and inventory the life’s work of Bilge Civelekoglu Friedlaender.

Bilge came to New York at the age of 24 to become an artist. A Turkish émigré active from the 1970s-1990s, she produced non-objective work in the form of works with paper, installations, and sculpture. She was also Mira’s mother.

When Bilge died, her gallery did not continue representation, and so her life’s output has remained in storage, undisturbed, for years. Bringing these works from storage to Recess to be unpacked, Mira will take on the role of artist, art handler and registrar. Each week of the Session she will present a new installation of excavated works. She will display her mother’s work alongside the materials that have housed and informed it: storage bins, packing supplies, and a selection of original ephemera.

As she sorts these materials, Mira’s labor will become a public performance that draws attention to the epic archives that represent the fate of most artworks. Throughout the Session she will respond to the formal components of the evolving installation as well as her mother’s work by creating new works in video, on paper and with reconstituted stored materials.

In a series of conversations with art industry workers she will further excavate ideas of value, legacy, presentation and labor. Reframing the installation, deinstallation, and storage processes as the center of artistic activity, Mira will present the hidden economy of art removed from the market.

Open to the public Tuesday – Saturday, 12-6pm; Thursday, 2-8pm


About the Artist

Mira Friedlaender is a Brooklyn – based multidisciplinary artist who puts creative struggle at the center of her projects. She received a BA from Tufts University, BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and her MFA from NYU. She has exhibited her work locally and internationally and has been a Visiting Artist at the American Center, Dhaka, Bangladesh and at Dulcinea Independent Art Space, Istanbul, Turkey.
She has always been a fan of packing materials.


This program is supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works. This project is also supported by the Fleishhacker Foundation.

Download the press release for Mira Friedlaender: Half of What’s There