We all need balance in our lives. I, for one, constantly struggle with discovering the perfect New York balance of work and play, friends and alone time, delicious food and exercise. Struck by these dualities constantly in our day-to-day lives, it is easy to reach the conclusion that it’s impossible to have it all – we must choose to tip the scale one way or another. The five shows featured this week all delve into these issues of balance, duality, and finding that sweet spot in between extremes. In these dog days of summer, we could all use a little centering!
Members of Con Artist Collective unite this Wednesday for a group show that seeks to embrace that liminal, often uncomfortable place in between. Prompted with this issue of contradiction and conflict, the participating artists, including core collective members Laura Tack, Ko Irkt, Michael Sharp, Miranda Nichols, Olivia Fox, Charles Allen, Chris Simon, Cody Oyama, Saroj Patel, Matsumoto Sanpo, Natania Frydman, Shaina Yang and Eric Steginsky, were asked to look within to their own artistic practice in order to become more in tune with what they do. Asked to focus on three main contradictions in artistic practice – art as rejuvenator and self-destructor, art as both dependent and independent upon consumerism, and art as both a heightening and an obfuscating agent in our attempt to perceive reality – the participating artists work in a variety of media to present their own take on these concepts.
Focusing on the issue of presence in our transient, digitally-driven lives, the thirteen participating artists in this group show, working in a variety of media ranging from installation to photography, will engage the audience and force them to take a head-on view of our use of technology today. Focusing on the medium as it ceases to simply be a vehicle and becomes the driving force itself, the work aims to facilitate understanding of these mediating forces themselves as they impact and exist within our daily lives. In their curatorial statement, curators Gina Pollack and Anu Valia say, “In ‘You Are Here,’ we invite viewers to disconnect from mediated distractions and fully engage with their surroundings. With constant access to unlimited information, the opportunity to slow down and get lost in a single idea or image is often fleeting. What happens when we create the space to focus on the present and nothing else?”
Also focusing on the moments that cause us to pause – gaps or intermissions in our daily lives and jam-packed schedules – the works of this group show live in these quiet spaces between. By observing these moments, the participating artists, Margaret Coleman, Jeff Feld, Tracy Grayson, Jennifer Gustavson, Allison Maletz, Andrea Suter, and Jeanne Verdoux, take what is typically considered “wasted time” and give it new life. The liminal works, again, exist in those fleeting moments between breath, between thought, existing as their own separate from the daily strife. Take a moment out of your Friday to exist in the doorway of these stolen moments.
This exhibition of new work by artist Daniel Allegrucci centers on the metaphysical concept of the body in the largest sense of the word. Rather than focusing on the corporeal or theoretical basis of the body, Allegrucci’s work delves into concepts of national and political “bodies” in a world that is increasingly fragmented into disparate data points and statistics. Comprised primarily of illustrations and animations, Allegrucci’s work exposes aspects of contemporary culture that now only exist in the mediated, over-saturated world.
5. Incorruptible Flesh: “Messianic Remains” @ Grace Exhibition Space (FRI 9:30PM, $20 suggested donation, 21+)
Grace will do it again this Friday – the third week of their Climate Change series in participation with the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival (BIPAF). This week’s production will feature Roy Athey, Rocio Boliver, and Peter Dobill as they toe the line between convention and fetish, investigating the many hidden aspects of the natural human psyche. One of the main aspects of the pieces will address issues of “normal” and “strange” as the artists’ performances will connect multiple influences from our own ideals of propriety, focusing also on the way sexuality, control and gender can relate to religion and spirituality.