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OpenStudio_Natacha Mankowski-1200729 | by watermillcenter
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OpenStudio_Natacha Mankowski-1200729

On Saturday, April 25, Natacha Mankowski presents her project The Island in an Open Studio from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. At 5:00pm, Natacha will hold a Q & A accompanied by a reception. Natacha will open her studio again on Monday, April 27 between 3:00 to 5:00 pm for those who cannot attend on Saturday.


In The Island, Natacha Mankowski is ‘opening’ the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

As a ‘spatial opera’, she will display a collection of objects, sounds and paintings in the main studio of The Watermill Center and the connecting rooms. Each painting will be presenting an unknown face of the Brooklyn Navy Yard; as part of a larger narrative process, offering her personal vision of this inner ‘island’ that is the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Through The Island, she critically examines how our digital and globalized era challenges past traces of identity, showing the struggle of maintaining heritage while adapting to a new era.

Seeking to tie together two temporalities, she recalls the story of the Shinnecock nation. While the history of the Shinnecocks and the Brooklyn Navy Yard have two different origins, they both reflect on the continuation of oral history that allows them to survive, challenging our understanding of history as static and immutable.


Scenography and paintings are by Natacha Mankowski with sound in collaboration with Shane Weeks.


About Natacha Mankowski

Natacha Mankowski was born in 1986 in Paris. In 2011 she received her MA in Architecture from the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris. She received the Tony Garner Prize in 2012. Coming from an architectural background, Natacha Mankowski aims to blur the traditional categories of representation of space. Her work, adapted into the diverse media of painting, installation and architecture, considers virtual and real space in terms of science and experience.


Natacha Mankowski has been included in important exhibitions including 104 Manifeste at 104, Paris, East River at Gallery MC, New York, as well as Berlin Art Week.


About Shane Weeks


Shane Weeks is a member of the Shinnecock nation, multidisciplinary artist, and cultural consultant. Born on the Shinnecock Reservation in Southampton, NY, Weeks has always been instilled with a sense of responsibility to better his tribe, which inspired travels up and down the East Coast to a multitude of American and Canadian reservations in order to study the history and culture of other native peoples. At age sixteen, Weeks was elected co-owner of the Shinnecock Pow Wow stand and travelled the tri-state area. At this time, he began the craft of carving. Studying under an artist from the Lumbee tribe in North Carolina, Weeks was taught to carve wood, reindeer antler, whitetail deer antler, and wampum, made from the rare Quohog shell and the first currency of the original colonies. He has proceeded to work for the largest wampum manufacturer in the country, run by the Unkechauge tribe in Mastic, NY, specializing in Wampum beads. In addition to his practice, Weeks has dedicated his life to education, bridging gaps between the local community and the Shinnecock Nation. His involvement is widespread: he has taught craft workshops for years, and worked for the Shinnecock Cultural Center and Museum, using the stand to promote education. A distinguished member of the Shinnecock community and government, Weeks’ mission is to bring knowledge to both the Shinnecock people and neighbors in order to build a better future for the Reservation and the community.


photos: © Caterina Verde

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Taken on April 25, 2015