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Broken Thorn Sweet Blackberry

Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
530 West 22nd Street, 212-929-2262
February 28 - March 28, 2009
Reception: Saturday, February 28, 6 - 8 PM
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Curated by Sima Familant Artists: Kelly Barrie, William Cordova, Maria Nazor, William Pope.L, Wilfredo Prieto, Kay Rosen, Erin Shirreff

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to announce the exhibition Broken Thorn Sweet Blackberry curated by Sima Familant with works by Kelly Barrie, William Cordova, Maria Nazor, William Pope.L, Wilfredo Prieto, Kay Rosen, and Erin Shirreff, on view from February 28th thru March 28th, 2009.

In 1988, Brigit Pegeen Kelly wrote her seminal prose poem titled Song. Pegeen Kelly’s Song is a proclamation of strength, perseverance and remembrance in light of personal struggle and social oppression. The poem describes the story of a young girl and her goat named Broken Thorn Sweet Blackberry, which was callously decapitated by a group of young boys. Despite its victimization, the goat kept singing, forcing the boys to remember their act.

Broken Thorn Sweet Blackberry is a group exhibition that presents diverse artworks focusing on autonomy and transformation. The included seven artists propose conversations between the opaque and the diaphanous; the locatable and the anonymous; the redistribution of the margin towards a new center; and the permanent versus the ephemeral. The exhibition considers new modes of artistic encounters. It is here that the collective imaginary can (re)connect within one’s self and between each other.

The works included in Broken Thorn Sweet Blackberry extend the poem throughout the exhibition, proposing a conversation between the interiority of dreams and the exterior forces of reality, allowing us to see how we strive in life to connect the two. Here, Song can perhaps be read as a metaphor for a collective spirit rising beyond the limitations of the body or other hierarchical structures. The collective spirit is also felt in the energy and direction of the artists’ visions, which maintain notions of hybridity, simplicity, the personal, hope, and potential.

Sima Familant holds an MA in Postwar and Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute in London and currently works as a private curator and art advisor in New York City. Familant has previously curated shows such as A Place Called Lovely and Deliberate Living at Greene Naftali Gallery and puddle-wonderful at Greenberg Van Doren Gallery. Familant sits on the board of LAX ART, a non profit space in Los Angeles that offers a space for provocation, dialogue and confrontation by practices on the ground in Los Angeles and abroad. She is also a member of the board of Steep Rock Arts, a non profit foundation committed to providing emerging visual artists with time and space to develop their work in a creative environment.
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