AMO studios is proud to present Debasement, an installation by Robert Hickerson. For the exhibition the artist has created an immersive environment comprised of a large scale installation with video components. The piece explores the change in relationship between child and parent immediately following a divorce.
Through the re-creation of the childhood bedroom of the artist, the piece explores the isolation felt during a period of adolescence which was subject to great change. The exhibition also explores the current relationship of the artist to his parents, through their direct collaboration. By directly including his father, his mother and his stepmother in the creation of the work, Hickerson hopes to show the growth that comes from collaboration, even when the subject is that of separation.
Debasement includes a large installation of the basement bedroom of the artist, which comprised of a mattress, a rug and a television console beneath the basement stairs. By extending the stairs to the ceiling of the gallery, and merging person and mattress, the space borders between reality and memory.
The video within the installation depicts the act of separation. Using actress Nicole Keller as a surrogate for his mother, the artist contemplates this action through the use of spandex harness. This type of harness has been used by Hickerson in previous works to act as a materialization of interpersonal relationships. Within Debasement the harness is severed for the first time.
The videos at the entrance to the installation depict two performances done by the artist, one with his mother and one with his father. These performances, done in front of the Yale University Art Gallery, both welcome the viewer into the installation and serve as a contemplation on the emotional result of making the installation. Creating Debasement with both of his parents has allowed each participant to contemplate the actions resulting from the divorce and come together again to create something magnificent.
Debasement is the continued exploration into the relationship the artist has with his parents, resulting from a previous performance entitled These Are My Parents, which served also as document of the longest interaction between the artist’s mother and father since their divorce.
Robert Hickerson is a Brooklyn based artist who specializes in video, performance, and installation. Hickerson has shown at Columbia University, Berkeley College, and in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently a senior at Parsons School of Design, and has studied at New York Film Academy.