Nava Levenson

www.navalevenson.com

$500 Anything Art Grant Winner

 

I intend to use this grant to work on a new project tentatively title Practice Preserves. The mission of this project is to archive practices of a group artists through alternate means of preservation. During this project, I will be exploring the intersection of homesteading, art making, and curating in order to understanding a practice through its scrap material similar to the way we understand american culture through thrift/junk stores.

“Despite the second hand economy's’ growth, the interchangeability of terms such as junk, scrap, and salvage reveals contemporary america’s lack of specific knowledge of life, death and afterlife of objects they discard.” -Shirley Teresa Wajada

Throughout our history as a country, we have gone through different phases of valuing material and scrap. In colonial days, during the depression, and notable wartimes, we were more resourceful with our waste out of necessity. During easier times, salvaging, scavenging, and collecting was looked down upon or even seen as ‘low-life.’ In recent history, the amount of thrift stores, reuse centers, junkyards and salvage stores has decreased but their popularity with creative communities has increased leading to contemporary phenomenons such as pinterest, the DIY movement, and the boom of artisan and craft industries.

With the help of this grant, I will be sending a canning jar with a letter/invitation explaining the project to each artist and asking that they send it back to me filled with their studio scrap. This can be anything that would end up in one’s studio trash, down a sink, or anything they would normally not hold on to. The jar and letter serve as a loose contract, by return a full jar the artists agree to participate. The group of artist who are receiving jars will be people I cross paths with and whose work I consider to be admirable and relevant. After receiving the jars, I will document all material in the jars, archiving the received artifacts. Then I will begin applying individualized and alternative preservation methods to each artist’s scraps. For example, if the jar is filled with layers of solid plaster, a core specimen may taken or if the jar is made of objects that are subject to quickly decay, they may be pickled. As an end goal for this project, I would like to exhibit the preserves and plan to publish a catalog.

This grant will cover the expenses of shipping, materials, publication, exhibition fees, etc. I view this work as my own, while simultaneously curatorial. I am very much so in the business of creating opportunities for other artist but when I can do so in a creative way that helps to break down boundaries and norms in the art and material world, I definitely feel I have fulfilled my own practice. The mission of specto art space and my goals within this project feel very aligned and with the support from specto, I feel this project could reach a more expansive audience and become more inclusive of different art practices.

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  • Title

    Bread Scrap

  • Year

    March  2018

  • Art Medium

    Assemblage

  • Dimensions (L X W)

    7 x 12 x 4

 

 

Bread Scrap was created in a ritualistic consolidation of material. This object is comprised of extra cut off materials from a lamented wood project stacked inside a former home from sliced bread.

 
 
  • Title

    Toll Money

  • Year

    April  2018

  • Art Medium

    Assemblage

  • Dimensions (L X W)

    10 x 10 x 4


Toll Money is a storage unit for a memory of crime. Collection of the broke car window glass embeds nostalgia in material.

Infertile American Dream.jpg