Curated by Marisa Jahn for Rev- with projects by Tom Bogaert, Cui Fei, J. Blachly & Lytle Shaw, Pablo Helguera, Sarah Oppenheimer with Edward Stanley, Karina Skvirsky, Yuken Teruya, Saya Woolfalk with Rachel Lears, plus special screening of Bathing Babies in Three Cultures (1951) by Margaret Mead & Gregory Bateson
Companion is an exhibition of artworks contextualized with the source that influenced their creation. Using the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program as a curatorial foundation, Companion culls together cultural projects that draw inspiration from references mined from history, culture, and science.
Making its debut, Pablo Helguera’s video What in the World is a clever reinterpretation of a popular 1950’s television program where artifacts were deciphered by a team of archaeologists, artists, and other aficionados. Adapting the show’s theatrical conventions for a YouTube generation, Helguera departs from the objects to focus on the museum staff.
Karina Skvirsky’s series of photographs of domestic settings in Ecuador depict a story about self-presentation and class distinction, referring to Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s 1966 cinematic masterpiece Memories of Underdevelopment (Memorias del subdesarrollo),
Tom Bogaert’s installation centrally features a photograph he took while working as a human rights worker in Burundi, Africa. An illuminated window inside a dark room belies a story of horror: as the room was a former site of Tutsi genocide.
Cui Fei’s grand installation of thorns resembles the hash marks used to mark time. The hundreds of thorns methodically reference the daily passage of time during the second Sino-Japanese war (1937-1945).
An ongoing collaboration between anthropologist Rachel Lears and artist Saya Woolfalk, Ethnography of No Place is a series of drawings, photography, and video that conflate ritual with exuberant décor, playfully referring to Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson’s Bathing Babies in Three Cultures (1951). Screened throughout the duration of the exhibition, Bathing Babies compares the interplay during bathing between mother and child in three different settings..
Yuken Teruya’s Dawn (Maybach) 2008 is a rosewood panel that artist outfitted for the Maybach luxury line of automobiles with standard function buttons plus a button shaped like a butterfly whose function or consequence is not stated. Continuing with the butterfly metaphor, the artist has included a set of knives, each subtly adorned with chrysalis.
Sarah Oppenheimer, whose installations involve the extraction of familiar architectural elements in order to alter the perception of space, collaborates with structural engineer Edward Stanley.
J. Blachly and Lytle Shaw present The Temporary Museum of Vaseline in Perth Amboy, the latest iteration of their research into the artist and poet’s cast of mysterious characters known as the ‘Chadwick family.’