curated by Carla Lucini

September 9 - october 8, 2016


“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”
                                                                                           - Carl Sagan, Cosmos (1980)
The Chimney is pleased to present "Vertical Horizons" by Peruvian artist Nicole Franchy. Curated by Carla Lucini, Franchy’s first solo exhibition in New York features a site-specific installation of her most recent collage works and prints.
How many meanings can an image convey, over time, in the minds of different people? “I am fascinated with the idea of representation and translation”, explains Franchy, “how we take in images and information related to our knowledge systems, and those are mostly constructed through the Western eyes.” "Vertical Horizons" immerses the viewer into a fictional reality, a possible utopia based on an uncertain memory of the past, where there is no ‘truth’ or ‘false’, but the need for reinvention. Franchy's collages and photographs often convey an intriguing sense of ambiguity. A close-up look enables to identify remnants of human architecture, revealing a sense of staleness and abandonment as a result of the passage of time. Contemplated from afar, a seemingly utopian and at times apocalyptic world emerges from her sceneries
Inspired by the idea of a living archive, Franchy’s working process is characterized by appropriation, translation, and re-interpretation of different times, imageries, and ideas. Throughout a selection of archival material such as vintage postcards and encyclopedias, she realizes collages and assembles imaginary landscapes where both ‘natural’ and ‘human’ architecture interact with one another. Her works produce new topographies and explore the fine limit between natural and artificial, objective perception and mental construction. She emphasizes the mechanisms that Western society has historically regarded as valid methods for building and accumulating knowledge.
Upon entering The Chimney, the monumental collage Black Wasser plunges the viewer in an enigmatic environment. A starry sky and a silhouetted skyline overlook a pond in which peculiar floating bodies are reflected. The temporality and spatiality of the exhibition is ambiguous and multiple. Past, present and future overlap at a time where that fantastical world faces a simultaneous rebirth and a fateful end. The scale of her prints allows the audience to enter in the intimacy and detailed layers of the collage and emphasizes the power of images in the construction and prevalence of urban myths.
Dispersed throughout the space, Vertical Horizons are human-scale C-prints collages suspended from the beams of The Chimney. Printed on Duraclear film, they are excerpts from the Encyclopedia Britannica on which the artist's engraved freehand drawings. These pieces address a variety of themes including, color and visual perception, memory, information systems, and structural notions as well as concepts connected to political geography. By using archival material with printed fabrics to craft three-dimensional pieces, Opposite and Above are three unique works made directly within the gallery space, giving the exhibition its site-specific and voluminous character. 

Franchy’s “Vertical Horizons” de-categorizes understandings, establishes new definitions and propels the imagination and fantasies of the audience to invent new narratives and new meanings at the intersection of fiction and reality.  

NICOLE FRANCHY (1977, Lima, Perú) completed her Bachelor degree at Escuela de Bellas Artes Corriente Alterna, and Postgraduate degree at The HISK Higher Institute forFine Arts, Belgium. She is currently in residence at the ISCP International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York.

Nicole Franchy solo exhibitions include: Boundary / Lugar Desconocido, Galería El Ojo Ajeno, Lima (2013); The Visitor, HISK, Ghent (2011); Satellite Cities, Galería Vertice, Lima (2008); Urbania, Galería 5006, Buenos Aires (2007). Nicole’s work was also featured on group exhibitions including: Dreamers and Realists, Ruiz-Healy Art, San Antonio (2016); Ashes, Nova Invaliden Galerie, Berlin (2016); Where do We Migrate To? Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN (2016); Europa, arteBA, Buenos Aires (2015); Theorem, Mana Contemporary, New Jersey (2015); Nothing to Hide, Kinz + Tillou Fine Art, New York (2015); La Encomienda: Nueva Fotografía Peruana, Galería Marta Traba, São Paulo; Reconstrucciones, Project Rooms Art Lima, Lima (2014); Tierra de Nadie, Galería Gonzalez y Gonzalez, Lima (2014); Suspension, Artistdock, Berlin (2013). Traveling exhibition: Where Do We Migrate To? Värmland’s Museum, Karlstad, Sweden (2015-2016), The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, New York (2012), and Center For Art Design and Visual Culture, Baltimore (2011).

Selected fairs and biennials include: Art Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto (2015); arteBA Art Fair, Buenos Aires (2015); Untitled International Art Fair, Miami (2014); Scope International Art Fair, Basilea (2014); "Reconstrucciones" Project Rooms ArtLima, Lima (2014); ArtLima, Lima (2013); PARC, Lima (2013, 2014); Scope, Miami (2012); ArtBo, Bogotá (2012); Dublin Contemporary Biennial, Dublin (2011).

She was selected in 2014 for the EFG-Art Nexus International Art Prize by Pablo León De La Barra UBS MAP Guggenheim Curator for Latin América, and Celia Birbragher, Founder of Art Nexus; Duvel Prize: First prize, ArtBrussels, Brussels (2010); “Humboldt y El Perú”: First Prize, Goethe Institute, Lima (2002).

Nicole Franchy works and lives in New York City. 

CARLA LUCINI is an Art Historian and Independent Curator from Buenos Aires, Argentina, currently living in New York. Carla was part of the curatorial team of The Illusive Eye (2016), the Op and kinetic art survey exhibition at El Museo del Barrio, New York City's only museum dedicated to Latin American and Caribbean art. Recently, she curated Amérika: Bahía de las Flechas, by artist and filmmaker Ana Vaz at 67 Ludlow, NY. In her hometown, she was Exhibitor Liaison Manager at arteBA, one of the leading art fairs from Latin America, for almost five years.  

Carla holds a Bachelor of Arts, Art History and Art Management from Universidad del Salvador (2011, Buenos Aires, Argentina), and a Master in Contemporary Art from Sotheby's Institute (2015, New York). Her graduate dissertation about biennial exhibitions was titled "From the Center to the Periphery: Mapping the Global Shift in Biennials”.



For the last day of Vertical Horizonsthe exhibition will be accompanied by Subtracted, a sound piece by Richard Garet. Garet's pieces, whether conceptual in origin or stemming from his investigation of complex systems and algorithmic translations, are informed by the background noise established not only by mass media culture but also by the collective experience of the world that surrounds him. Garet’s reductive process seeks to invert the normative function of this background noise, drawing it up from unconscious status to active presence. He finds further inspiration from observing isolated situations of everyday life and from material interactions that incorporate problems of context, technology, defunctionalization, commodity, and environment. For this sonic construction, Garet focused on the metallic structure that emerges next to Pier D in Upper West Manhattan. This structure was accidentally created by the subtractive and take-away-processes of consuming fire, random chaos, erosion, and organic modification and eventually became an industrial heritage and a piece of art in its own right. Subtracted is the result of field recordings submitted to systems, digital processing, and reduction.


Cecilia Biagini and Damian Catera will perform an improvised piece inspired by Nicole Franchy's exhibition Vertical Horizons at The Chimney NYC, curated by Carla Lucini. Using Franchy's texts and images from the exhibit the duo will layer violin, guitar and electronics creating a dialogue of sounds that are a live response to the piece. By utilizing an intuitive model, they will create an ambient sound collage that traverses the ups and downs of our perception of space. The piece functions as a synesthetic experience, where sound and image interact