Bryan Zanisnik: Every Inch a Man

Performances Weekly: Thursday-Sunday, 1-6 pm

The Abrons Arts Center is pleased to present Every Inch a Man, a five-week, site-specific performance and installation by Bryan Zanisnik in the Upper Main Gallery. From Thursday through Sunday each week (1-6 p.m.) Zanisnik will read Philip Roth’s The Great American Novel within a life-size Plexiglas container specially designed to fan baseball cards and outdated currency. Taking intermittent breaks to eat lunch with his parents, Bob and Carol Zanisnik, the artist will also tinker with an expansively cluttered installation of junk sourced from both Abrons storage spaces and his own childhood home; police costumes, hardware shelving, and cardboard share strange proximity with his childhood comic books, toys, baseball cards, and other icons of boyhood.

Zanisnik humorously contrasts with such representations of manliness. For Every Inch a Man, he performs this incongruity day in and day out as an absurdly Freudian compulsion to relive adolescent, familial trauma. Taking a cue from Mike Kelley, whose regressive, infantile characters questioned prescribed social conventions, Zanisnik’s performance and anti-archive of historical material brings into sharp relief how gender roles are both consumer-constructed and pervasive “givens” of American culture.

An accompanying, fully illustrated catalog will feature essays by curator David Everitt Howe and critic Wendy Vogel, a comic by Eric Winkler, and an artist portfolio by Zanisnik. Designed by Alex Lesy, the catalog will have a limited edition run of 350 copies, each containing a unique Polaroid insert.

Bryan Zanisnik received a MFA from Hunter College and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has recently exhibited in New York at MoMA PS1 and Horton Gallery; in Miami at the De La Cruz Collection; in Philadelphia at the Fabric Workshop and Museum; and internationally at the Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna and the Guangdong Times Museum in Guangzhou, China. In June his solo exhibition, Weekend Warrior, will open at the Futura Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague.

Every Inch a Man is curated by David Everitt Howe, 2011-2012 AIRspace curator-in-residence.

This performance work was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation; the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support was provided by the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Daniel J. & Edith A. Ehrlich Family Foundation, and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust.