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.
Destruction and Transformation: Vernacular Photography and the Built Environment Opening Thursday, February 7 at The Walther Collection, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 25.
No geographic location ever looks exactly the same over time, but if there’s one type of place that has the most potential for rapid transformation, it’s cities. This photo show at Chelsea’s The Walther Collection seeks to spotlight photographs taken throughout history that reveal the ways buildings and land have been knocked down and built upon, and not always in beneficial ways. Taken between 1876 and 2000, this “vernacular photography” (defined as “utilitarian imagery made primarily for commercial or personal purposes”) illustrates how urban expansion has been historically valued more than preserving the natural world, from mining towns in rural Kentucky and West Virginia to the sprawling metropolises of NYC and Los Angeles.More →
Joel Osteen (Jessie Pierrot) part 1, 2018 Single Channel Video 00:31:28
Holy Fools Opening Wednesday, January 9 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 3.
Clowns are perhaps one of the most polarizing figures on this green earth. Some people have a literal phobia of them, some find them distasteful, some chuckle at them, some employ them, some become them, and some make art about them. One of the art world’s more notable clown-based endeavors is Bruce Nauman’s 1987 piece Clown Torture, featuring a slew of video displays portraying “an absurd misadventure of a clown” that’s both morbid and humorous. Over three decades later, artist Ondine Viñao is putting her own spin on this work in an exhibition at Rubber Factory, recruiting four all-female clownish performers to stage their own mishaps, mixing both trauma and folly.More →
In the Name of the Hypersurface of the Present Opening Wednesday, October 17 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 11.
Presented in conjunction with Lower East Side Art Week, which spotlights women artists in the neighborhood, this solo show by Pakistani artist Umber Majeed may have a sci-fi-sounding name, but the work on view more closely resembles Word Art, trippy memes, or old Geocities web pages than any high-tech, augmented reality creation. That’s not to diminish its appeal; the distorted text, flattened graphics, and occasional use of Comic Sans creates a world of online intrigue that feels half in the past, half far in some weird corner of the future. Through this, Majeed seeks to explore a “feminist re-historicization of Pakistan as the first ‘Muslim nuclear state,’” bringing it out of the patriarchy and into a more radical framing.More →
Dawn of the Looney Tune Opening Thursday, November 16 at Derek Eller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 23.
Not all sculptures involve components like carrots and bread, but Michelle Segre’s sculptures certainly do. You can see them this Thursday at LES space Derek Eller Gallery, when her latest exhibition opens. As these works often involve organic matter such as the aforementioned carrots and bread, and gallery shows are often on view for quite some time, it is almost guaranteed that Segre’s work will subtly change as time goes by. More specifically, that organic matter is probably going to get mushy. Or grow fur. Or change colors. Either way, it will shift. And you will get a healthy reminder that like it or not, we are all slowly but surely decaying. Happy Monday! More →
Tom Butler, analog photography (image via Foley Gallery)
Analog v. Digital Opening Wednesday, August 16 at Foley Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 26.
Nowadays, it’s common to hear that film photography is dead and that anyone can be a photographer who has enough money to get the iPhone with that fancy Portrait Mode built-in. Nothing like automated depth of field to convey the illusion of skill and craft! However, this group show at Foley Gallery seeks to uplift both analog and digital forms of photographic art.
The gallery defines “analog” as “the photographer using light sensitive paper or film in the process” and “digital” as “using hardware requiring a digital component (point and shoot, cell phone or dSLR cameras) regardless of how it was printed.” Fifty artists in total, approximately 25 in each category, will demonstrate the wide range of photography that’s still out there. It’s one of the rare times that focusing on the merits of “both sides” isn’t a totally useless thing to do.