Exhibition Dates: April 6 – 28, 2024

Opening Reception and Performance: Saturday, April 6, 5-8 pm

Closing and Performance: Sunday, April 28

Viewing Hours: Friday – Sunday, 1- 6 pm and by appointment

Curated by: Renana Neuman

Participating artists:

Milcah Bassel, Amra Causevic, Yu Rim Chung, Eugenio Salas

“habit-at” investigates the multiple realities we inhabit and re-imagines the meaning of what surrounds us. The participating artists work together with their habitats, becoming a part of the ecological systems in which they live and work. They create habits through which they source their materials, found and discarded objects, “leftovers” of activities that act as a diary of a place and time, of political and cultural structures. They actively aspire to tangle their relation to the places they inhabit and the different people who cohabitate there with them. They make our blindspots visible, acknowledging what we usually filter out as the “background noise” of everyday life. These are offerings for possible futures, of different ways of formulating what can be sustainable approaches to existing in the world at large and as artists specifically.

Yu Rim Chung* (b. the Republic of Korea, lives and works NYC) creates sculptural ecosystems, urban landscapes from materials she collects from her home, job sites as a welder/metalworker, and from the street on walks around the city, gathering a record of labor and activity in NYC. Inspired by practices of gleaning and jury-rigging that arise from scarcity and necessity, she connects these materials to spaces that she grew up in with her family after they immigrated from South Korea: warehouses, discount stores, delis, and produce farms. Packing materials and containers figure heavily in her work as a function of their availability and an intervention in their disposability. The qualities of these peripheral materials – flexibility, sturdiness, sorting, holding, and protecting, contend with issues of climate change and plastic consumption to migration and income inequality, but also highlight the ingenuity that arises in the face of these obstacles.

Chung’s “diving for pearls in a man-made ocean” is a deceptively large sculpture, a mobile complex of scraps, boxes, packaging materials, and empty bottles, sprouting with artificial greenery like a small landscaping project on wheels. Alongside it, Chung presents smaller sculptures that act as magnifying glasses into events, occasions, and daily exchanges that make up her larger piece.

Yu Rim Chung, overdrawn seed bank account, 2023, 24” x 16” x 4.5”, clipboard, manila envelope and mailer, cardboard, jewelry boxes, artificial turf and leaves, wood, graph paper, inkjet print on paper, dentist’s mirror, ceramic shards, twig, charcoal air filter, bronze slag, welding tungsten packaging, tape, acrylic paint, HDU foam, coquina, rock, tape core, plastic caps, drywall anchors, cork, air dry clay, planting soil, spirit level, egg shell, dried rubber leaf, eroded shell.

Amra Causevic (b. Bosnia, lives and works NYC) draws from her personal experience of involuntary migration as a young person, looking into the “baggage” of discarded objects she sources from walks, on transit, during commute, from a habitat, job sites, and gifts from others. Causevic’s vessels and rugs are objects that make up a home, heirlooms to encapsulate memories across generations, embodying the tension between what can carried and what Causevic was forced to leave behind. Her vessels elevate their ingredients into objects of desire, making the mundane into a keep-sake inheritance that needs to be adored, no matter what it’s made up of. Her rugs invoke the tradition of cilim, the craft of making traditional Bosna rugs, an art that has almost perished. These are sacred yet utilitarian objects of storytelling and cultural hand-me-downs. They are maps to locations lost or not yet discovered, they are what makes a home comfortable, and a practice ritualistic.

Amra Causevic, Esoteric Slav Cilim: Rug series 02, 2023, thread, house paint, 12 x 5 ft

Milcah Bassel’s (based in Jersey City) “Summer Pour”, is a friendship-based papermaking project, co-created annually with a rotating constellation of people, plants, and places. Centering skill-sharing and nurturing between people and plants, the project asks to reconsider and reshape the roles of integration and intimacy within a rigorous collaborative art practice. In Summer Pour 1: Milfoil, Maine**, Bassel collaborated with Maine-based performance artist Patricia Brace, who has since 2022  been researching and working with milfoil – an invasive aquatic plant taking over Lake Arrowhead. William O Valdes, an MFA candidate and Bassel’s student at SMFA-Tufts assisted in processing the fibers. During one daylong session, the participants in the inaugural ‘Summer Pour’ created eight pieces of handmade paper, revealing new qualities of the black milfoil fiber by playing with ratios, texture, gradients, and layering. The sheets of paper document the process of their making; the movement and evaporation of water, the bonds created between the fibers, and the collaborators that gathered to make them.

In “Continua,” the realms of body, architecture, and landscape are collapsed into porous paper skins, offering new structures for our psyches. Hand-made from pigmented cast abaca fiber, each piece in the series is an undulating composition of interconnected geometric units. For “habit-at,” Bassel is presenting two pelt-size pieces, titled “bell” and “louise,” extending a continuum across time and thought. These torso-sized, transient skins, will be activated throughout the exhibition with a performance on April 28.

Milcah Bassel, Continua: Pelt 3 (louise), 2022-2024, Dimensions 47 x 24 x 3”, Potential wearable: cast handmade paper (abaca fiber, pigment). Photo credit: Kevin Francis. Metal Fabrication: Nick De Pirro

Eugenio Salas’s*** (b. Mexico, lives and works Philadelphia) practice employs participatory performances – often improvised and unexpected. Salas weaves his projects into everyday life beyond art institutions, focusing on immigrant labor issues in North America. For “habit-at”, Salas will present a participatory process-based performance titled “Adobo Sauce,” which will be activated during the opening event. Utilizing upcycled ingredients, Adobo sauce, and slow cookers, the ingredients are sourced from local restaurants, food processing businesses, and an organization dedicated to redistributing surplus food. For the creation of the ‘Adobo Sauce’ mural in the gallery, Salas is using recycled paint and collaborating with Moises Granda to provide a visual representation of the project’s ethos.

Informed by Salas’ experience working in the food industry, “Adobo Sauce” intertwines elements of commerce and food production, emphasizing collaboration with non-artists and cultural workers beyond traditional institutional boundaries. By reimagining spatial and social norms within the gallery space, this intervention challenges visitors to reconsider their perceptions of art, sustainability, and public engagement.

Eugenio Salas, Documentation of the Adobo Sauce development process, 2018

Eugenio Salas, Documentation of the Adobo Sauce development process, 2018 

During our lives, we inhabit different spaces by choice, chance, or necessity. How we inhabit them, is what’s at stake. The participating artists foreground not what can be taken advantage of or exploited, but what we can give back, and how we can understand ourselves as one component of an ever-growing and changing system that is reaching its capacity. These are matters of belonging, relinquishing control, collaborating with the landscape, with people, and the unknown.


* Yu Rim Chung’s “diving for pearls in a man-made ocean” was supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.

** SUMMER POUR 1: Milfoil, Maine, July 2023 created by: Milcah Bassel and Patricia Brace with William O Valdes, Ziv Steinberg, and Grace Brace. This project is in loving memory of Stacey Leigh Kemp who believed that with confidence, you could do anything. 

The metal fabrication for “louise” and “bell” was done by Nick De Pirro.

*** Eugenio Salas would like to thank the Workers’ Justice Project, WM MacMillan Foods, Brazas BBQ Chicken, Sharing Excess, RAIR, Evil Katsu, Artist Alliance Inc., and Foreman Arts Initiative for their support in executing this project. Mural collaboration with Moises Granda.

Artists bios:

Yu Rim Chung is a Brooklyn-based sculptor working with found and common objects from domestic and industrial environments, creating new relationships between them through dense assemblage. As we contend with our human impact on this world, her work reflects on overburdened systems, but also the optimism of communities that have always found a way to thrive. Chung has primarily shown her work at non-profit and artist-run spaces such as Field of Play, Greene House, and Kunstraum, as well as Abrons Art Center and the Zimmerli Museum. She is a recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Robert Blackburn Printmaking Award, the Giza Daniels-Endesha Award, the Hubbard Hutchinson Fellowship for the Arts in Visual Art, and has been a resident at MASS MoCA. She received a BA in Studio Art from Williams College and a MFA from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Amra Causevic is a multidisciplinary artist who primarily works with paper and collected objects. Drawing from her personal experience of involuntary migration as a young person, her current practice explores themes foreignness, materiality, and the collective intimacy towards personal belonging(s). Her work is informed by language and objects of antiquity to reimagine a future that is based in collective joy and curiosity. Her work has been exhibited at Shoot the Lobster, Swivel Gallery, NADA Art Fair, Galerie Christine Mayer in Munich, was recently featured in Art in America’s Summer New Talent Issue, and currently is a current Artist-in-Residence at Hercules Studio Art Program. In 2020, she received her Masters in Fine Arts from Hunter College in New York, NY. She is currently living and working in New York, NY.

Eugenio Salas is a self-taught Mexican-Canadian artist based in Lënapehòkink, the ancestral homelands of the Lenape peoples, also known as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Disrupting social roles and dynamics and looking to explore the symbolic spaces that unfold, Salas’ practice involves collaborative process-based projects. Salas carries out participatory performative actions employing media, print and cooking. His previous projects include baking and animating hundreds of doughnuts in a stop-motion animation to work through his experience in the fast-food industry (Snack Pack), building a Tunnel inside a gallery with a non-status construction worker and the exhibition curator, baking a 22-foot long edible sculpture (The Supercake) in collaboration with immigrant women with whom he worked at a cake factory, and building a fire-powered sculpture from waste materials in collaboration with waste laborers that has been activated at events across Philadelphia. 

Milcah Bassel is a transdisciplinary artist raised in Israel and based in Jersey City, NJ. Her practice centers the experiential, integrating material and non-material approaches to explore the body’s gross and subtle entwinements with culturally generated structures. Incorporating installation, performance, and elemental material processes, the pieces evolve through physical engagement and viewer participation. She has exhibited and performed at Rubin Museum of Art; Bronx Museum of the Arts; Newark Museum; Zimmerli Art Museum; Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking; Soho20 Gallery, NY; William Paterson University, NJ; Brandeis University, MA; Project for Empty Space, NJ; Hanina Gallery, Israel; PULSE and EAB fairs, NY; Untitled and Select fairs, FL; In Print Art Book Fair, Israel. Awards and residencies include the Center for Book Arts, NYC; Bronx Museum AIM Fellowship, NY; ArtYard, NJ; ACRE, WI; Haystack, ME; Brodsky Center funded by an NEA grant, NJ; Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, MA; Guttenberg Arts, NJ; Smack Mellon Hot Picks 2017; Newark Artist Accelerator Grant; New Jersey State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship. Bassel earned a Post-Baccalaureate in Studio Art from Brandeis University and an MFA in Visual Art from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.

Renana Neuman is a Brooklyn-based visual artist, organizer, and educator born in Israel. Her installations utilize video, animation, projections, and sculpture, interacting with architecture and objects, conjuring spectres of possible pasts and futures. Her works invoke the ghosts of our cultures and invite them to haunt us, to tell us their stories, to play. Her work received support through residencies and awards including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; Artis Residency Grant; Artist Exhibition Grant; a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant; Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Residency; LABA: Laboratory for Jewish Culture; Ox-Bow Faculty Residency and Winter Intensive; and Vermont Studio Center. Her work has recently been shown at Transmitter Gallery, Brooklyn, Ortega Y Gasset Projects, Brooklyn, The Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ; Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland; 14th Street Y, NYC; Kunstraum LLC, Brooklyn; Barbur Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel; The Immigrant Artist Biennial, NYC; and the RVK Feminist Film Festival, Reykjavík, Iceland among other venues. Renana received a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, and an MFA from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Patricia Brace’s practice is located in rural Maine.  Overall her work is concerned with the body as it relates to place and crisis. Viewing performance art as the most sustainable visual art medium, Brace’s art examines how we cohabitate with nature during a rapidly unfolding climate situation. Brace currently teaches at Maine College of Art and Design and formerly taught at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Brace has recently attended the Studios at MASS MoCA and Alumni Residency at Maine College of Art and Design. She has exhibited at The Charles Danforth Gallery, University of Maine at Augusta, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland, Maine. Brace’s work has also been shown at Gary Snyder Project Space and SOHO 20 in New York and Ortega Y Gasset Projects, Smack Mellon and Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn. She is the recipient of the Kindling Fund, Professional Development Grant at MECA&D and Women Invigorating the Curriculum and Cultivating Diversity Committee Grant at University of Maine, Augusta. Brace is the Co-founder of the Performance Art Initiative, Sine Gallery and GROUNDWORK retreat and has work in the permanent collection at the Portland Museum of Art and Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC.

William O Valdes (W.O.V) (b. 1998) creates figurative works on handmade paper and handmade laminate paper objects. They experiment with specific papermaking “recipes” such as, semen-stained rags, coffee, tobacco, and sugarcane fibers to embed their materials with a distinctly queer Cuban conceptual origin that is built directly into the fibers of the work. Born in Sancti Spíritus, Cuba, and raised in Miami, Florida, they obtained their Bachelor of Fine Arts and a certification in Art History from the University of South Florida in 2020. They are expected to receive a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in 2024.

Summer Pour 1: Milfoil, Maine, July 2023. 3+7+4 (action photo). Photo credit: Kevin Francis. Co-creators: Milcah Bassel and Patricia Brace. People collaborators: William O Valdes, Ziv Steinberg, and Grace Brace. Plant collaborators: Milfoil, Abaca. Place: Lake Arrowhead, Maine. Products: 8 pieces of handmade paper.