Matthew Mottel

Mottel_Mottel The Image is a Seed
September 13 - September 30, 2018


For two hours a day, over the span of fourteen days, Matthew Mottel will present his father Syeus Mottel’s entire archive of 35mm color slides in the heart of the East Village. This work will function as a public ‘image shiva’ for the collection of approximately 3000 slides all shot by Syeus between 1967 and 1975.

Much of the archive has not be seen by anyone in decades, including the artist. By choosing a public forum in which to present this archive, Matthew will transform a yet unexamined cultural history into a social and artistic happening. This action will serve as a regenerating trigger to connect communities with a cultural history, as well as activate the archive through a collaborative process. Each image will be projected once, with no repeated viewing of any singular image.

Matthew has invited those connected to both his and his father’s cultural networks to participate and respond to this presentation; intertwining their own histories and performance practice into a new archive.

Two video cameras will record these daily viewings. One fixed on the projected image and the second capturing the performance, invited viewers and public as they respond to what they are seeing in real time. Using these recordings, as well as elements of painting, sculpture and sound Matthew will develop a new artwork, Reverberant Images, as the exhibition and archive unfold.


Syeus Mottel (1930-2014, New York, NY) was a theater director and photographer, notable for his documentation of Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio and Buckminster Fuller. Syeus defined his photography as “diaristic”: he shot the people he encountered including John Cage, Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, Martin Luther King Jr., William S. Burroughs, Abbie Hoffman, Miles Davis, Patti Smith, Vito Acconci, Robert Rauschenberg and Diane Arbus. In 1973, Syeus published Charas, the Improbable Dome Builders, about the Lower East Side community organization CHARAS, who had been experimenting with Buckminster Fuller’s and other’s ideas to build inexpensive housing on vacant land on the Lower East Side.  The book was re-published in 2017 by Song Cave Press and Pioneer Works. Matthew Mottel wrote an accompanying essay that appeared in Art News Magazine in December 2017. Syeus’s photographs were the subject of his first solo show at Situations gallery, New York in 2017

Matthew Mottel (born 1981, New York, NY) is an artist, performer and writer. Matthew researches political and cultural histories to ameliorate the relationships between archival historical documents and their contemporary context. These investigations often are in the form of sculpture, intermedia art installation and performance; creating unique environments for archival media to exist within. Matthew was an Artist In Residence At Issue Project Room in 2010 and an LMCC Swing Space Recipient in 2011.  He has presented work at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Kitchen, New York; Deitch Projects, New York; All Tomorrow's Parties Festival; London and Moers Music, Germany. He received his B.A at SUNY New Paltz, with a degree in Political & Cultural Studies in 2003. He presented his thesis exhibition towards an M.F.A. at City College’s DIgital Intermedia Art Practice program in 2018.



PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: 8pm – 10pm

9/13 Opening Reception with David Amram

9/22 Steve Dalachinsky & Daniel Carter

9/14 Peter Gordon & Kit Fitzgerald


9/23 Lary7 & Bradley Eros


9/15 Rachael & Gabriel Guma


9/26 Art Jones

9/16 Anthony Coleman

9/27 Will Cameron

9/19 Jeff Preiss

9/28 Jean Carla Rodea

9/20 Brian O’ Mahoney

9/29 Cat Tyc

9/21 Cooper-Moore

9/30 Gil Arno


mh PROJECT nyc is also open for viewing Saturdays and Sundays 1 - 6pm and by appointment. Space Closed Sept 17, 18, 24, 25