Sara Magenheimer


Public Formats at Abrons Art Center


May 18 – June 11, 2017
Opening Reception | Thursday, May 18 | 6 – 8 PM

The poster has participated in modernity fraternizing with ideology and war and directing the crowds towards commercial and political activities. A medium of communication defined by its visual efficiency; a format determined by its size, its materiality, and its distribution. The influence of the poster can be traced in public and personal imagery, paradoxically combining an ephemeral quality with a desire to accumulate, revise, and keep.

Following the dissemination character of the poster, the exhibition will inhabit two spaces—the Culpeper Gallery at the Abrons Arts Center, and a satellite exhibition at ESTE in Brooklyn. A workshop organized by Paul John will engage participants with the potentials of risograph printing.

Featuring American Artist, Itziar Barrio, Anton Ginzburg, Gordon Hall, Paul John, Sara Magenheimer and Alan Ruiz. Curated by Xavier Acarín, Abrons’ AIRspace Curator-in-Residence 2016-2017.



Surfacing at James Harris Gallery, Seattle


April 6 – May 13, 2017

Opening Reception:
Thursday, April 6th, 6:00-8:00pm

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present “Surfacing”, a group exhibition curated by New York based artist Cameron Martin. For this show, Martin has chosen work by Jessica Dickinson, Xylor Jane, Miranda Lichtenstein, Pam Lins, Sara Magenheimer, Ulrike Müller, Monique Mouton, Amy Sillman, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung. Martin’s theme “Surfacing” provides a conceptual framework for the exhibition that addresses a range of artist practices including painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, and video.

Body Language at the High Line

smagenheimer_1 car_bestbreath1

From the Movie of the Same Name and Best is Man’s Breath Quality will be screening at the High Line in a program with two videos by Hannah Black

March 9 – April 26, 2017 Daily beginning at 5 PM

On the High Line at 14th Street

Body Language is a group exhibition in video format that focuses on two emerging artists whose video works explore the ways in which language determines and is eluded by our relationships to our bodies. While speech is inherently bodily – sculpted by our hand gestures, larynx, vocal chords, and breath emanating from the lungs – it also divides our understanding of our bodies in the world, creating distinctions that we would not necessarily otherwise perceive. – See more at:

I Collect Neglected Venoms at The Kitchen


An excerpt from the video can be viewed here.

As part of an installation in The Kitchen’s theater, Sara Magenheimer presents her new video, Best is Man’s Breath Quality, in which an ancient jellyfish suggests how new positions can inform our capabilities to heal. His deep-ocean vantage allows him to comment (through an authoritative voice-over) on a truer spectrum of human behavior seen up above; and his capacity for inflicting pain on human bodies finds parallels in our capacity to embody the more nebulous and unruly forces in life. With performances featuring singing and narration, Magenheimer explores how language mutates and reproduces itself in culture. Creating abstract narratives through vernacular associations, she proposes linguistic turns more empathic than expository. The human voice and sound operate as floating signifiers, addressing the body through the disembodied.

Curated by Lumi Tan and Tim Griffin.

Opening reception:
Saturda, February 25, 6–8pm

Saturday, February 25, 7pm
Saturday, March 4, 5pm

Installation hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am–6pm.

Sara Magenheimer: “I Collect Neglected Venoms” is made possible with commissioning support from Jerome Foundation; annual program grants from Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Marta Heflin Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Ambiguity Forum


The Renaissance Society

A reading of texts around the theme of ambiguity. Concurrent with Sadie Benning’s show Shared Eye.

JAN 14, 2017, 3PM

In both form and content, Sadie Benning’s works often suggest how indeterminacy or ambiguity can take on a political dimension or an active quality. More generally, in many different contexts, ambiguity becomes a concept to contend with, whether as something to embrace, challenge, or question. A number of artists and writers have been invited to send in short written responses to these ideas. Their replies are also joined by selected excerpts from other books, essays, and poems. A performative reading of these varied texts in the gallery space stages a polyphony of sorts, with different voices rising up within the exhibition.

Featuring new contributions by Alex Chitty, Mashinka Firunts, David Getsy, Matthew Goulish, Sara Magenheimer, Jesse Malmed, Jennifer Reeder, and Steve Reinke.

Additional Texts:

Nicholson Baker, “Changes of Mind,” in The Size of Thoughts: Essays and Other Lumber, 1997.

James Baldwin, excerpt from “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity,” speech recorded at the Community Church, New York, 1962.

Jorge Luis Borges, “Argumentum Ornithologicum,” in Collected Fictions, 1999.

Hayan Charara, excerpt from “Usage,” in Something Sinister, 2016.

Lydia Davis, “Agreement,” in The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, 2010.

Simone de Beauvoir, excerpt from The Ethics of Ambiguity, 1948.

William Empson, excerpt from Seven Types of Ambiguity, 1930.

Jamie Holmes, excerpt from Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing, 2015.

Clarice Lispector, “Fifth Story,” in The Complete Stories, 2015.

Claudia Rankine, excerpt from Citizen, 2014.

David Shields, excerpt from Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, 2010.

Ludwig Wittengenstein, excerpt from On Certainty, 1969.

Additional excerpts and selections read by Elizabeth Allen-Cannon, Brit Barton, Jessica Cochran, Max Guy, Michael Harrison, Karsten Lund, Karen Reimer, Angela Zhang, and Zsofia Valyi-Nagy.




Sara Magenheimer

Sara Magenheimer
Curated by Kristen Chappa

Opening Reception:
Thursday, December 8, 6pm-8pm

December 9, 2016 – January 15, 2017

kim? Contemporary Art Centre
Sporta iela 2, Rīga, Latvia (Map)
Hours: Tue 12-8pm, Wed-Sun 12-6pm

Art in General presents a solo exhibition of newly commissioned work by Sara Magenheimer in partnership with kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Latvia.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago


SAIC Conversations at the Edge + VDB 40th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, October 20, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

In her arresting videos, Sara Magenheimer mixes humor and playfulness with a sophisticated inquiry into language and meaning-making. Using visual puns, graphics, and text-to-voice computer programs, her work explores the slippery dimensions of communication. In Seven Signs That Mean Silence (2013), two disembodied computer voices describe in-between places where meaning hides. InSlow Zoom Long Pause (2015), characters meditate on the many ways language fails.

2011–16, USA, multiple formats, ca 60 min + discussion

Presented in collaboration with Video Data Bank (VDB) as part of the organization’s 40th Anniversary Year.


PopRally Presents: TEN

Saturday, September 10, 8:00–11:00 p.m.

Participating artists

  • Zach Gage: game designer and artist
  • Alina Tenser and Chris Domenick
  • Allison Janae Hamilton
  • Am Schmidt
  • Andrew Lampert/Public Opinion Laboratory
  • Black Chalk (Nontsikelelo Mutiti and Tinashe Mushakavanhu)
  • Brendan Fernandes
  • Institute for New Feeling
  • Jacolby Satterwhite
  • Jonah Groeneboer
  • Lauren Halsey
  • Sable Elyse Smith
  • Sara Magenheimer
  • Željka Blakšić (aka Gita Blak) and Brujas


2016 Fall Flaherty NYC

Anthology Film Archives
Programmed by Chris Stults and Genevieve Yue
OPENING NIGHT Monday, October 3, 7pm

In film, the voices of men speak, allied with reason and language. Women’s voices, meanwhile, tend to only sound, though they do so across a variety of registers: from music and song, disembodied and relocated voice of technological devices, the learning and mimicry of social linguistic norms, and the politicized voices that shape constituencies and speak truth to power. As the technical term “wild sound” connotes a sound recorded independent of the image, the wild sounds organized in this series challenge social and filmic convention. More than mere speech or sound, the woman’s voice creates an alternative space where meaning is negotiated and generated anew.

Monday, October 3, 2016, 7pm
Carolyn Lazard, Sara Magenheimer, and Aura Satz in person

Aura Satz, IN AND OUT OF SYNC (2012, 20 min, digital)
Martine Symes, A PILOT FOR A SHOW ABOUT NOWHERE (2015, 24 min, digital)
Courtney Stephens, IDA WESTERN EXILE (2014, 7 min, digital)
Sara Magenheimer, SEVEN SIGNS THAT MEAN SILENCE (2013, 11 min, digital)
Carolyn Lazard, GET WELL SOON (2015, 13.5 min, digital)
Gunvor Nelson, MY NAME IS OONA (1969, 13 min, 16mm)