December 18 | 7 pm
George Ferrandi, Nate Hill, William Powhida, Amanda Alfieri, and A.E. Benenson. Moderated by George Terry and Jonathan Durham. Special performance by Amanda Alfieri.
Artists: Amanda Alfieri, Brent Birnbaum, Alberto Borea, Abigail Deville, George Ferrandi, Nate Hill, Irvin Morazan, William Powhida, Letha Wilson.
With an essay written by A.E. Benenson
Co-curated by George Terry and Jonathan Durham
GUTS are the slippery viscera of courage, nerve, and audacity. Quite possibly the most vital trait an artist can have. The artists in this exhibition embrace the irreversibility of pushing themselves through the most narrow of passageways. The choices they make come with great risk of failure to materials, concept, reputation, and body. Risk takers, however, at times achieve the highest results and deserve the most respect.
This exhibition features artists whose practices exemplify a spectrum of the audacious: be it through loud, provocative action, handling of materials, or engagement with their environments. Most of the artists are contributing completely new work and the opening reception will include new performances from Amanda Alfieri, Brent Birnbaum, and Nate Hill. Each performer will push the boundaries of their bodily presence – both virtual and literal – into potentially unacceptable social realms while at the same time challenging their historic predecessors.
The body in public space, it’s need for shelter, and the circumstances which systematically threaten this basic requirement are examined in a suite of large black and white photographic screenprints by Alberto Borea which picture the artist lying down on the doorsteps of buildings in Manhattan’s Financial District. George Ferrandi takes her body into the subway to willfully and tenderly reshape the space between herself and strangers as she gently rests her head on fellow passengers calling upon the gravity of sleep and the power of touch to bridge the gap created by personal fears and social norms.*
William Powhida will present a new work in his sprawling critique of artistic career development within the complex sphere of class distinctions and global capitalism – this time training his wry humor on Ali Lohan as a surrogate self portrait of a minor celebrity. And Irvin Morazan debuts a new sculptural installation that involves a beautiful amalgam of materials; among them a Chinese fountain and a birthday cake smeared from wall to gallery floor.
Other artists in this exhibition push the material conventions of sculpture, photography and installation into areas where the goals of each project surge out of control. Abigail Deville is constructing an installation that explodes a particularly idiosyncratic void space within Abrons’ already non-traditional gallery configuration. Her work challenges both the scale of the rooms she inhabits as well as the integrity of the materials she sources from the surrounding neighborhood. Letha Wilson is contributing three brand new photographic prints embedded in concrete. Her work is a marriage of masterful control and surrender to these raw materials. Wilson risks the utter destruction of her photographs when she manipulates them with a fierce hand over hand grip coupled with a scientific expertise. Her imagery of iconic American landscapes morphed by the chemical reactions of setting concrete manifest the failure of a photo to fully transport one to another site while simultaneously noting the sites’ potential demise.
A.E. Benenson has also written an essay for GUTS, referencing the New Museum’s Chris Burden retrospective, on view only some blocks away. His essay will wrap around the exhibition catalogue as a new book jacket, outlining Benenson’s appropriation and all the attendant intellectual risks that such a form of plagiarism entails. The catalogue and essay-jacket will be on display accompanied by a working photocopier, and he invites viewers to make copies of anything they wish, explaining how in doing so they themselves risk copyright infringement.