fish mystery in the shift horizon
Opening Wednesday, May 22 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 23.
The natural world is so vast and multifaceted it can seem like an impossible task to quantify it all. In fact, sometimes it is, and the scientific inability to identify a species’s baseline population size (known as “shifting baseline syndrome”) is one of the driving factors behind Catalina Ouyang’s latest show of sculptures and videos, which also draws from notions of diaspora and mistranslation. Huge, curious, jade-colored creatures populate the gallery space, looking simultaneously like cows, humans, fish, and some other fantastical creation entirely. They’re based off the Chinese paddlefish and baiji, creatures that are now extinct but once had a shifting baseline. The opening reception on Wednesday will not only feature Ouyang’s sculptures and videos, but also a durational performance among the aquatic creatures.
Opening Wednesday, May 22 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 21.
Fridman Gallery is often showcasing interesting creations having to do with audio and sound, but their latest exhibition, by Tajh Rust, is very much visual. Rust creates painted portraits, as many artists do, but rather than drawing from the canon of art history, he takes cues from the conventions and perspectives typically employed in film and photography. He paints black subjects using jarringly vibrant colors, seeking to “[challenge] the historical invisibility of black bodies” by representing the people he paints as they want to be seen. If you can’t make the opening but still want to see the paintings amidst some sort of gathering, mark your calendars for June 19, when there’ll be a musical performance by the Lopez Trio at 8 pm in the gallery.
Seven Games / Sometimes to Deal With the Difficulty of Being Alive I Need to Believe There is a Possibility That Life Is Not Real
Opening Thursday, May 23 at Denny Dimin Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 30.
The line between art and video games was blurred a long time ago, but the two shows opening at Denny Dimin Gallery this Thursday cast an even wider net, dealing with both digital gaming experiences and more analog, nostalgic board games. Jeremy Couillard’s very lengthily-named Sometimes to Deal With the Difficulty of Being Alive I Need to Believe There is a Possibility That Life Is Not Real is far from a standard exhibition; it’s an interactive simulation (playable both in the gallery and on PCs via Steam) that takes place in a future where humans have gone extinct and AI has started to rule. Meanwhile, Brent Birnbaum has collected over 200 board games and proceeded to disassemble and repurpose them into something new, but still familiar.