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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BAM Blog Questionnaire: Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen of Oxbow

Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen are Brooklyn-based installation artists who have been working together since 2005. They maintain separate studio practices that they allow to inform their collaborative work. Their common medium is often paper that suggests landscapes in motion and other elements of the natural environment. They collaborated with Ivy Baldwin on Oxbow, a piece inspired by Oxbow lakes, which will have its New York premiere in the BAM Fisher Nov 13—16. Wade and Stephen continue their collaboration by answering a few questions together for a BAM blog questionnaire.

Oxbow. Photo: Andy Romer.

Which artist do you admire from a field other than your own?

Robert Smithson and Gordon Matta Clark come into our conversations a lot. Their work is pretty different from ours, and of course the context for our work is different, but I think we all share an interest in entropy and geologic time.

The Experience of Green, 2009. Paper and wood.

Any advice you've gotten and ignored?

Most people advise us to make small salable objects.

What's the biggest risk you've taken?

As far as risk goes, collaborating by nature is a huge risk.
Tug O' War, 2012. Paper and chairs.
What are you looking forward to most about the run at BAM?

We rarely have shows in Brooklyn, so we are really looking forward to sharing this new work with our friends, supporters, and local art community.

What was the collaboration process like for Oxbow?

The collaboration process for Oxbow was a year long conversation with Ivy Baldwin.  It was somewhat of an organic process that changed as we moved forward. There were four versions of the set in total and each changed considerably as we got closer to opening day at BAM. The piece was initiated by images conjured by the title and feedback from Ivy and the dancers. Ivy developed the dance movements in and around the piece from the very beginning and so the set and dance were integrally developed.

White Stag, 2010. Paper and wood.

Oxbow runs November 13—16 in the BAM Fisher.

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