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Fear Gear

Roebling Hall (Chelsea)
606 West 26th Street, 212-929-8180
June 23 - July 30, 2005
Reception: Thursday, June 23, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Featuring: 2×4 Mark Borthwick Boudicca Patty Chang Elizabeth Demaray Via Lewandowsky Maria Marshall Libby McInnis Ivan Navarro Lucy Orta Jean Shin Sissel Tolaas Roberto Visani Cheryl Yun

Curated by Euridice Arratia and Elizabeth Beer.

This exhibit points to the pervasiveness of fear in our culture and its richness for metaphorical play, while engaging with issues of refuge and protection. In works that range in media from photography, textiles, and sculpture, to performance and video, these artists explore the intersection of fashion, architecture, performance and social activism.

The exhibition features Jean Shin’s site-specific mural made of military uniforms; Elizabeth Demaray’s photographs and video of her installation “The Nike Missile Cozy Project,” where she upholstered a Nike–Hercules nuclear warhead with eighty-eight yards of quilted satin, thus creating a “cozy” style for the warhead; Lucy Orta’s “Refuge Wear,” a portable habitat catering for minimum personal comfort and mobility for the inhabitant; and Maria Marshall’s “The Emperor and his Clothes,” a video that takes as a point of departure George Bush’s speech giving Sadaam Hussein, ‘48 Hours to leave Iraq’. Ivan Navarro presents his radiant “White Electric Chair,” a sculpture of both formal beauty and frightening overtones, while Patty Chang premieres “Fan Dance,” a mesmerizing video performance where the artist’s body is violently transformed into a colorful canvas.

Sissel Tolaas continues his investigation of the relationship between smell and language with three fragrances reminiscent of human fear. Libby McInnis and Cheryl Yun have created works that simultaneously mirror and subvert fashion and consumer culture. Geared for the fashion conscious wearer who is politically astute and prepared for high alert states of emergency, Libby McInnis has designed a series of glass pendants enclosing employments of survival. The “Cheryl Yun Collection: Lingerie and Bathingsuits” is delicately crafted out of Japanese tissue and intricately patterned with nails, nuts, and bolts. The beauty and fragile nature of the object contrasts with the volatility and aggressiveness of the “shrapnel.”

Fear Gear also features the works of artists Mark Borthwick, Via Lewandowsky, Roberto Visani and the fashion collective Boudicca.

Highlighting the multidisciplinary spirit of the exhibition, the curators have invited the graphic design collective 2×4 to make a contribution to the show. 2×4 produced a new kind of symbolic shield. In the words of the design collective, “our special ‘New World Order Wallpaper’ draws on all the power of familiar devices: the national flag, the Coat of Arms, the Heraldic Shield. But our protective device draws so widely and displays such a chaotic array of symbols, icons and references, it confuses even the most determined aggressor. Are you with us or against us? Who can say?”
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