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A Momentary Fantasy

52 Orchard Street, 212-228-2229
East Village / Lower East Side
April 25 - May 24, 2009
Reception: Saturday, April 25, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Natalie Beall Jonathan Van Dyke Carla Edwards Jessica Segall Jeremy Wagner

Curated by David Everitt Howe

“There are also, probably in every culture, in every civilization, real places – places that do exist and that are formed in the very founding of society – which are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted.”

-Michel Foucault, Of Other Spaces

Expanding on Daniel Defert’s observation that philosopher Michel Foucault “evoked the parent’s bed as the first figure of heterotopia, the place that children love to penetrate for the pleasure of transgression and the reverie of origins,” “A Momentary Fantasy” considers the home as a network of counter-sites: spaces for crises and transitions. Through site-specific installation, performance, and interdisciplinary work, the artists Natalie Beall, Jonathan Van Dyke, Carla Edwards, Jessica Segall, and Jeremy Wagner abstract the home—Beall industrializes domestic decoration by turning escutcheons into a ceiling trim of non-functioning vents; Van Dyke constructs a small closet with a translucent door dribbling paint from its absent doorknob; Edwards coils branches with pink string, and stacks them in a transparent wood grate as if in a fireplace, and she further plays with tropes of “home” by quilting a cross of American flags died black; Segall composes live and projected narrative songs, duets, and scenes enacted in the rooms of a house; with rust, Wagner etches the imagery of an elaborate chandelier into a metal sheet.

Described as an effective utopic space, a place reformatting social conventions, Foucault defined a heterotopia as “elsewhere” and “other”—marginalized, peripheral, isolated yet also open. Adopting domestic crafts, objects, symbols, and spaces to orient them as mythological constructs, “A Momentary Fantasy” presents a psychological scenario, a liminal space between decoration and utility, real and surreal, placed and placeless. It considers the home a heterotopic fantasy—a momentary one, disillusioning.
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