return to, the home of critical reviews

Rape New York an art exhibition by Jana Leo

From:     press release reviews
Category: Art
Date:     22 June 2009
Time:     04:58 PM




June 26 � July 3, 2009

14A Orchard Street, New York NY 10002

INVISIBLE-EXPORTS is pleased to announce RAPE NEW YORK - An Open Archive, presented by 
Jana Leo. �

* * *

In January 2001, soon after moving to New York, Jana Leo was held hostage and raped during the 
course of an afternoon in her apartment.

The documents assembled here, seven years in the making, accompany the release of her book 
RAPE NEW YORK. The archive consists of photographs from her emergency visit to the hospital, 
police reports, crime scene photographs, notes from her therapist, as well as records from the civil 
suit and other assorted items and documents related to the rape and the legal case that followed, 
none of which can be reproduced, or even reviewed without the victims� consent. The documents 
are kept in organized boxes to be retrieved by the archivist, not displayed on the gallery walls. The 
archive is not presented to the visitor; instead, each guest must fully identify oneself (photo ID is 
required), and request materials from the archivist. This way, the visitor takes responsibility for 
what�s requested, making private again what was made public by Leo�the latest revolution in a 
cycle of public and private that began with the rape itself.�

It is difficult to talk about rape, and even more so to allow strangers to sift through the private and 
often disturbing materials. But to Leo, the archive is a necessary investigation into the �disruption of 
[her] close memories.� RAPE NEW YORK is a raw, deeply personal work, but also a fully public 
endeavor, in which the artist asks the viewer to reexamine in clinical detail her own harrowing 
experience. Leo has censored nothing, and asks the same clear-eyed focus of all archive visitors.
Jana Leo has an MA in Architecture and a PhD in Philosophy from the Universidad Autonoma de 
Madrid. Previously, she was a professor at Cooper Union in New York and is now the director of 
MOSIS Foundation-Models and System: Art and City. Her first show was a series of self-portraits 
depicting herself as a woman who has been attacked in her own bed � unknowingly opening her 
career with a subject that will resurface almost fifteen years later. Her videos and interactive 
installations have been shown in galleries and institutions for over a decade. She currently divides her 
time between New York and Madrid.

RAPE NEW YORK is published by Book Works (UK) as part of their Semina series, selected by 
Stewart Home.

Excerpts and images are available upon request.�

Please note, due to the intimate nature of this exhibition, there will be no formal opening.

* * *

INVISIBLE-EXPORTS is a gallery dedicated to superior conceptual work. IE is located in the Lower 
East Side, at 14A Orchard Street, just north of Canal. Special hours for this exhibition Tuesday 
through Sunday, 11-6:30pm, and by appointment. For more information, call 212 226 5447 or email:�


return to, the home of critical reviews