Parable of the Planes

NADA East Broadway is pleased to host PARABLE OF THE PLANES, a group exhibition presented by Protocinema in partnership with Rhode Island School of Design, with Aiza Ahmed, Jaimie An, Ashley Bergner, Christine Jung, Da eun Lee, Elena Bulet i Llopis, Julia Helen Murray, Lorena Park, Shori “Halie” Sims, and Suiyuan Jin, curated by Tamara Khasanova for the 2024 Protocinema Emerging Curator Series.

PARABLE OF THE PLANES doesn’t idealize close vicinities or take them for granted. Instead, it suggests that the space of proximity and coexistence is far more complex and intricate than we imagine. Some distances are hard to bridge, and some impossible. But how and whether we cross these distances is entirely up to us. Drawing inspiration from Ursula Le Guin’s collection of stories Changing Planes, the exhibition utilizes planes as a metaphor to question the boundaries and delinations of our subjectivities. Conceived as a sequence of four planes that groups artists based on their differing, colluding, and overlapping positions, PARABLE OF THE PLANES is constructed on the tension between a plane as an environment of fixed principles and a plane as a ground for shifting orientations. 

The conceptual, formal, and aesthetic languages of Aiza Ahmed, Ashley Bergner, Julia Helen Murray, and Shori “Halie” Sims investigate reckoning with grief, family, and nostalgia within the realms of the public and private through film and video collage, installation, and painting. Meanwhile, installation-driven pieces by Christine Jung and Lorena Park respond to the hierarchies associated with histories of control, domination, and class divides. Working at the intersections of photographic, sculptural, and performative practices, Da eun Lee, Elena Bulet i Llopis, and Suiyuan Jin grapple with the scale of personal narrative against the narratives of grandeur and conquest. All the while, the scientifically charged work of Jaimie An gazes toward dimensions beyond our immediate grasp. These artists are committed to redefining and challenging the boundaries of their artistic practices and subjectivities while also striving to engage with issues beyond their immediate microcosms. This group of artists demonstrates a dynamic interplay that occurs when we find ourselves in close proximity to one another, at times not by choice, and form relationships akin to knots on a thread, tightening and loosening as we navigate our lives. 

While Le Guin’s Changing Planes is often described as a tale about the challenges of comprehending different cultures, languages, and societies, its narrative also points to the socioeconomic and political imbalances between the individual and the collective, history and time. And while the world we inhabit frequently appears as one, flat, all-encompassing plane, once we start unearthing the truth, it’s impossible to deny that its essence is more layered than it appears. As we feel our planes of existence confine and close in upon us, the ability to change planes, relate to a story that is not immediately our own, and resist retreating into the isolation of set beliefs is what allows us to endure the forces of life alongside one another.  

The exhibition will be accompanied by Protozine: PARABLE OF THE PLANES, with a text by Tamara Khasanova.

Launched in 2015, the Protocinema Emerging Curator Series (PECS) is a mentorship program that provides professional training, first-hand experience, network building, and camaraderie utilizing the exhibition-making process as a teaching tool. Protocinema Emerging Curator for 2024, Tamara Khasanova, was mentored by Natasha Ginwala, Artistic Director of Colomboscope, Sri Lanka, and co-visionary of the Sharjah Biennial 16; Ajay Kurian, artist and founder of New Crits, New York, and Mari Spirito, Executive Director and Curator, Protocinema, Istanbul, New York.