Performance by BAIT with choreography by Kate Speidel - 8-9pm
Selected artist include: BAIT Stephanie Buresese, WIll Owen, Ga Hee Park, Chiara No,Dani Frid Rossi, Caity Shaffer and Alexander Stewart
Chiara No, Crowning (Queenie), Marker on acid dyed canvas,
cement, cinderblock and galvanize steel post, 2014, 80” x 90”
Hard To Please features artwork exploring relationship power struggles and their contribution to the culture of violence as a result of conflicting mutual desires. The exhibit addresses our human tendency to desire what other people desire, imitate others in order to achieve those desires, and react towards other people taking the things we desire.
The exhibit includes photography, video, painting, collage, performance, a short story and three-course meal by artists living and working in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and Austin. Each work centers around a relationship dynamic where two or more people--competing athletes, coworkers, romantic partners, a mother and her child, and so on--rival for sole possession of something. Rather than establishing who wins or loses a conflict, the exhibit chooses relationships where the power dynamic is ambiguous.
Based on philosopher Rene Girard’s theory of Mimetic Desire, Girard suggests that all of our desires are borrowed from other people. The word “mimetic” can be directly translated into “using imitative means of representation”. Girard considers mimetic desire--learning to desire what other people desire--to be the origin of a type of conflict that focuses on the destruction of a rival. His theory explains our competitive and envious behavior, which can escalate into physical violence.
Hard To Please is presented in Little Berlin's main gallery from November 7, 2014 - November 29, 2014 with an opening reception on First Friday, November 7 from 6-10PM. There is also an event in conjunction with the exhibit where New York-based artist, Will Owen concludes his time-based plant piece by cooking a three-course meal and serving it in Little Berlin's main gallery. Free and open to the public, the event takes place November 22, 2014 at 8PM.
Gallery Open Hours:
Saturday 12-5pm and during special events including our MONDAZE events every Monday evening at 7pm. Also open by appointment via contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
FJORD is pleased to present Blind Handshake, featuring the work of Jennifer Berman, Anthony Bowers, Liam Thomas Holding, Amalia Wilson, Tara White.
Sometimes you are so serious and entrenched in what you are talking about that you don’t even realize that what you are saying is actually funny––or crazy. And you are so invested in what you do, because it is your life, and it is really hard to get perspective on something that is so close to you. But your work gives you some kind of perspective, and provides punctums that reveal something amazing or unexpected. Something you can’t convey with words, a blind spot in speech.
Humor can enter the work so many ways and engage or pass the viewer. A missed connection or a moment of recognition, enjoyable either way. Humor is articulate speechlessness. It can open a closed way of thinking. It can be light or subversive, it can be the only thread of communication between two opposing positions.
Blind Handshake is a meeting [departure] ….between artists that explore the humorous possibilities of marks, gestures, actions, and narratives….. where you are unsure what will happen. Sometimes the interactions will be humorous right away, other times they will be serious or sad, but hopefully you can look back on them with a sense of humor.
CLOSING RECEPTION: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4TH FROM 5-7PM EXHIBITION DATES: SEPT. 12 - OCT. 5, 2014
Fowler Project Space is pleased to present Life of the Party, an exhibition organized by Peter Schenck featuring work by Tess Bilhartz, Austin Eddy, Sarah Lubin, Jeremy Roby, Peter Schenck, and Simon Slater. Everyone wants to be the life of the party, but most of us also grapple with the need to be apart from the group, either in search of solitude or for the purpose of breaking new ground, be it intellectually, materially or physically. Each artist in this exhibition addresses the need for both outside acceptance and for isolation.
Tess Bilhartz weaves a full narrative of cool to ominous with the juxtaposition of two, equally sized canvases. In the first image, we are drawn to a man taking a tired, reluctant drag of a cigarette. His melancholy is only partially camouflaged by his upbeat, brightly patterned glasses. The next and final image is of the man's mouth and chin blown up to a nightmarish scale. His exhaling fills the canvas with almost nuclear neon green puffs of smoke. This is hardly a group of images resembling the Marlborough Man.
Austin Eddy’s paintings are a mixture of cowboy swagger and boyhood prankish wit. But residing in plane site of his gregarious, pipe-smoking, cowboy-booted protagonists are silhouetted, shadowy doppelgangers meant to interrupt and possibly end the party at hand.
Sarah Lubin constructs multi-figurative paintings, but the figures remain aloof from one another, preferring to focus in on the mundane, meditative routine of daily activities. Putting on socks, holding a cup, or propping one’s head up with a casually bent arm on a desk serve as the introduction to each figure’s seemingly voluntary isolation.
Jeremy Roby squeezes a Lego-like blockhead into the narrow confines of a rectangular picture plane. A young boy fills up half of the painting's composition with his own tears, submerging the lower half of his stunned, bug-eyed face in salt water. Unaware of his transgression, we as the viewer share in his shame. Roby’s imagery evokes the same playful adolescence of catching a child with his hand still in the cookie jar, but we feel some darkness lurking beneath.
Peter Schenck de-constructs the body and re-builds it to suit his compositional needs. Tree trunk-like, Guston-esque legs are wrapped in colorful patterns of stripes and plaids. A gloved hand in the foreground presents a pizza-shaped wedge. Is this meant as an offering or as a defensive shield? Schenck’s figures are loud and bright, but they are equally evasive and on guard.
Simon Slater cloaks his subject matter in all over patterning, concealing his work’s true identity. Through the use of comedic timing, he waits until just the right moment to land each punch line. Pizza slices, breasts, and splattering beer bottles are all ripe territory for Slater. He enjoys the game of concealment, but the joke teller in him can’t wait to expose the gag.
All of the figures in these paintings have it in them to be the Life of the Party, but it’s what separates them from such inclusion that intrigues us and makes them relatably human.
~ Exhibition essay by Peter Schenck + exhibition image by Jeremy Roby
Please join us for the opening reception of Life of the Party on Friday, Sept. 12th from 7-10pm. The opening coincides with a neighborhood-wide event: Greenpoint Gallery Night. The last weekend of the exhibition takes place during another neighborhood event, Greenpoint Open Studios, which happens October 4th and 5th from 12-6pm.
This project is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
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