Real Nonfiction brings together work by damali abrams, Becca Albee, Alisa Baremboym, Ben Coonley & Dr. Jonathan Zizmor, Jesse Hamerman, Mike Hein, Tatiana Kronberg, Sheldon Sean Moyer, Carrie Pollack, and Amy Yao. These Brooklyn-based artists express unusually perceptive views of the world around them and an equally insightful articulation of lived experience. Their art practices engage the tangible and intangible ephemera of their daily lives. In this sense, Real Nonfiction asks the viewer to inhabit the artists’ perspectives, forget categorical pre-conceptions, and spend some time looking to this body of work as one looks at a document—observing and absorbing factual information that helps us comprehend reality anew. In grounding this exhibition in the “real” and in “nonfiction,” the issues of truth and authenticity come to the fore. In sum, these artists present a varied picture of twenty-first century reality as we experience it: complex, unquantifiable, and subjective.
All of these artists offer up their own histories and backgrounds as they infuse and reuse popular and consumer culture. Though some artists reveal their sources and documentation in a direct manner, others apply this methodology in an ancillary form. Their works represent a synthesis of things seen, heard, consumed, collected, and absorbed, whether drawn from a television commercial, abstract painting, wall sculpture, or recorded Internet conversation. Overall, Real Nonfiction is dictated by the artists’ perspective and accounts, leaving the spectator with few answers, yet many questions. Ben Coonley & Jonathan Zizmor, Becca Albee, and damali abrams interrogate the boundary between art and its practical uses in the marketplace. Carrie Pollack, Sheldon Sean Moyer, and Mike Hein utilize materials with varied symbolic resonance and recall art historical precedents. Jesse Hamerman, Alisa Baremboym, Tatiana Kronberg, and Amy Yao investigate the signs and symbols of our time.