August 11, 2014

Home is where the exhibition is

Last week, curator of 1992 show Home Judy Byron shared that “home is something we all have in common, across lines of race, class, age and gender.” Byron is back (again) at AAC as a collaborating curator for Home (again), one of four micro-exhibitions in REPRISE: 40 to the Fore.

For this remix, original 1992 artists Craig Pleasants and Luis Flores are joined by Janell Olah and Anna Tsouhlarakis for another look at what is home.

(Above: A video presented by the New York Rescue Mission that carries the same question posed by Pleasants, asking the public to take a second look at people who are experiencing homelessness.)

Pleasants focuses on those without a home in Si Tu Vois Ma Mère (If you See My Mother). He invited three young artists born around the time the 1992 exhibition to create portraits of their mothers imagining they were homeless. The backdrop of these portraits is repurposed wallpaper from Pleasants’ original exhibition- a collage of 500,000 faces of documented people who are homeless in the United States. The installation personalizes the issue of homelessness by asking the audience to imagine their own mothers homeless.

Janell Olah installing her piece 'go to where you can breathe'
Janell Olah installing her piece ‘go to where you can breathe’

Paired with Pleasants’ investigation of homelessness is Olah’s functional installation go to where you can breathe. Olah imagines the home as a domestic system, where the ultimate goal of “family calm” is created by establishing a place “for assistance, companionship, or solitude from those closest to you.”

She created a seating arrangement that can transition between a shared bench and three separate seating units and looks out at an inflatable sunset.

Even though the installation is in a gallery, it reminds participants of home and aims to reach the goal of family calm.

The adjoining gallery features two works by Flores: a series of small paper collages and a sculptural assemblage using roofing felt, bamboo, a gourd fragment, and pieces of wooden objects.

Flores was an artist in the 1992 show and a previous resident artist. In fact, the series of collages featured in Home (again) are made from materials he used as research in preparation for Home.

Featured alongside Flores, Tsouhlarakis investigates how one can long for an imagined home. Using video imagery, text, and voice, Tsouhlarakis constructs a biography of her homes in different locales, places that play an important role in her life. As a Native American artist, she uses her art to start a new conversation in art that challenges preconceived perceptions about Native art.

Anna Tsouhlarakis, Still from 'Portrait of a Kiowa Woman'
Anna Tsouhlarakis, Still from ‘Portrait of a Kiowa Woman’

Save the date! Saturday, September 6, from 1 pm to 4 pm we will host a gallery talk featuring the artists and curators for Home (again) and AIDS Unanswered. Come to hear from the artists and curators, stay to mingle with them over wine and cheese.

written by AAC Summer Intern Shelley O’Conor

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