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Mixed Emotions

Brooklyn Fire Proof (Richardson)
101 Richardson Street, between Leonard St. and Meeker Ave., 718-302-4702
February 1 - March 23, 2008
Reception: Friday, February 1, 7 - 10 PM
Web Site

Brooklyn Fire Proof is pleased to present Mixed Emotions, a group show curated by Sophia Dixon.

Muffy Brandt Arrington de Dionyso Antonia Dixon Max Eisenberg Andrea Lilienthal Haley O’Connor Rob Rhee Erika Somogyi Quinn Taylor Alice Valenti Jacques Vidal

Mixed Emotions is a gathering of drawing, sculpture, installation, video and collage concentrating on the complicated nature of desire and the nebulousness of artistic communication.

Arrington de Dionyso’s ink drawings present an erotic narrative that becomesecstatic yet seems to stutter as the same sex acts appear over and over. Max Eisenberg’s paper maché bust of a snake-cowboy suggests a compromised and bruised masculinity; Andrea Lilienthal’s wood sculptures and geometric collage call to mind an ordered, restrained blaze. Rob Rhee’s abstract sculptures are both obscure and human: their origin is mysterious but their existence is absolute. Haley O’Connor’s floor installation of sheepskin and orchids offers viewers an area for private engagement in the center of the gallery; the privacy within this space resembles a ‘magic circle’. The performative reality that makes private out of public space takes place whenever an art object is imbued with the precarious power to become a vessel of communication.

The phrase mixed emotions signals an impetus to act that is divided and not wholly rational. Reference to mixed emotions acknowledges a feeling of inevitability and momentum towards the unknown as much as an ambivalence about how to act. At the core of mixed emotions is the gamble we take by communicating about ourselves something that we neither have, nor want, full clarity about. In revealing their subjectivity, artists seek connection and intimacy, but risk compromising the ideas and sensations that they need to communicate for the sake of that very communication.

By proceeding with mixed emotions and calling objects to life, we expose ourselves to the possibility of non-existence. Like an infatuated lover, we create a world around our desired object. Within this world, we tell ourselves stories and experiment with outcomes, unable to imagine that our fate could be something that we could not anticipate. When the desired intimacy finally is realized and the fantasy object becomes flesh, the moment of arrival may be one of disappointment or transcendence. When it happens, if it happens, we have no control; we wait while it is revealed.

—Sophia Dixon and Rob Rhee
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