The Operating System

AWESOME CREATOR: Legacy Russell, Brooklyn NY: Wayward Ceremonies for Our Times

Portrait by Annie Powers

Legacy Russell
Legacy asks of her work, “Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?”
She creates “tangible constructions inspired by the often intangible landscapes of memory and identity, the objects that rise to the surface have escaped their original owners and serve the function of participating in wayward ceremonies of remembrance, iconography, and idolatry.” 
And we are thankful that she does. Legacy’s critical, playful, artful examinations are the work of a committed woman whose production across a range of mediums is at once is intimate and universal, searing and comforting, ephemeral and concrete. Here is someone who has continuously engaged in the public sphere, creating and enabling community and connection, questioning and interrupting our visual and verbal culture — yet who never ceases to turn the lens on herself, writing fiction and poetry with the deft quietude of the best hermits.
Every inch the model of the AWESOME CREATOR, Legacy is tireless in her efforts, and has been very rightly been recognized as a force to be reckoned with (but also well loved and appreciated) by her peers — one comes quickly to realize the great humility, kindness, and generosity of spirit in this young artist, one that is rare in someone on whom such accolades have been showered. Just this year she was recognized as one of the “10 Most Inspiring Young Artists in NYC Right Now” by Refinery 29, who had previously profiled her site specific, interactive piece, OPEN CEREMONY, begun in association with Trust Art in 2011.

Exit Strata is very excited to introduce you to Legacy this week as we celebrate the opening of Young Curators, New Ideas IV, this thursday June 7th at the Meulensteen Gallery in Chelsea.

Legacy is one of 12 emerging curators selected to be part of this ambitious showcase, which covers 7,000 square feet of space over two floors, including works from 29 artists.
Her contribution is the critically engaged, textual/visual/interdisciplinary examination
which she describes thusly
“An erratum is a correction of a book or article that generally comes in the form of page inserts placed within a text after the book or article has been released for publication.
ERRATUM asks artists to display work in juxtaposition to an existing text, as a means of providing a “correction” in a larger narrative as posed by such cultural documents.

Amy Beecher Title: Please Read This For Me, Installation View Date: 2011 Media: Mixed Media Dimensions: Variable. Shot at Primetime, Brooklyn NY

Amy Beecher, A.K. Burns, and Julia Weist take varied approaches in response to narratives surrounding gender, sexuality, and cultural politic. Each experiments with the redefinition of portraiture and sculpture via the lens of printing, archiving and conservation. These works are paradoxical, challenging the same social and creative histories they strive to integrate into, highlighting the conflicts and clashes within the language of negotiation, critique, and reexamination as proffered by female artists. Each questions the codes of power that substantiate themselves within a longer historicized lineage of process-based art-making and bridges the gap between classical forms of art (painting, literature, sculpture) and pop culture. These artists offer up corrections within the scope of this narrative via their individual practices, a series of erratum that strive to set the record straight.”
Exhibit: June 8 – August 24th, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday June 7th, 6-9 pm
Music by Derrick Adams and DJ Imposter
[RSVP essential:]

In case you weren’t already floored, Legacy has also had work featured in a myriad of printed and online publications alike— Refinery29, the Village Voice, the New York Times, the Santa Fe Literary Journal, Guernica, the online theological journal Killing The Buddha, and more. Her creative and academic work explores mourning, remembrance, iconography, and idolatry within the public realm. Oh yeah, and she’s an art editor at BOMB.

Enjoy a recent fiction piece, The Sweepstakes, at Exit Strata favorite Berfrois, a studio visit with Guernica Mag, and please, if you know what’s good for you, have a good laugh at (and also seriously appreciate all the implications of) Bruce Nauman’s 1968 video reset to Drake in this video piece from 2010. 
Editor’s Note: I feel like I’ve known Legacy all my life, and perhaps it’s because for nearly two decades we’ve been walking concentric circles (I wonder to what soundtrack?) around each other. We (re)connected recently at a Friends Seminary alumni event for the K-12 Quaker School we both had the great luck to attend as impressionable young things here in NYC, and immediately struck up a conversation and ensuing correspondence.  We’re thrilled to have her as part of our thriving community, and will be publishing a piece of her writing in the upcoming PRINT! issue Volume II. 

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