On view for twenty-four hours at 156 Freeman Street, July 30th-31st 2015.
Featuring the work of: Katherine Akey, Bobby Davidson, Magali Duzant, Laura A Gonzalez, Kasia Gumpert, Karolina Gumpert, Alexander Harrington, Xavier Lujan, Emilie Lundstrøm, Nina Méndez-Martí, Marie-Louise Omme, Juana Romero, Jahi Sabater, Aline Shkurovich, Daniel Terna, Cary Tijerina, Kkory Trolio, and Kim Weston. Curated by Laura A Gonzalez and Kasia Gumpert.
WE GOT DIVORCED took place one year after the symbolic marriage of Kasia Gumpert and Laura A Gonzalez's meta-characters Karl Marx and Moira Harrison, respectively. In their second installment after WE GOT MARRIED, they brought together artists to take over an empty New York City apartment, the night before it changed hands to its new tenants.
WE GOT DIVORCED divides the space into three rooms: black, white, and color. The Black Room opened with Harrington’s rendition of a fake full Moon, accompanied by Romero’s digital collage casually depicting a manicure. Davidson photographs a stranger in Times Square taking a seemingly inconspicuous cell phone pic. There are two allegorical detectives behind each camera: “it’s you we’re after” said the latter, omnipresent one; ostensibly revealing the dynamics of the breakup-er and breakup-ee. With Sabater we return to the wistful: each piece of his six-part collage becomes a drawer-within-a-drawer of a memory: he re-photographs silver-gelatins of reproductions of Aaron Siskind’s jumping men, while they develop in chemistry on trays, resting on a shimmering black surface. Gonzalez’s mock “Private Eye” door euphorically announces “Opportunities!” just like promises for new homes! new lives!
When entering the White Room, Omme’s four-leaf clover suggests a vestige of luck, it is -whilst pinned upside-down- the sign that it ran out. The room’s fireplace is used by Kasia Gumpert to project a static wave of water, too cool and in-supply. She questions the serenity of the room with her artificially colored green and blue cauliflowers next to Lundstrom’s all-white tabletop installation –glazed ceramic orbs and spheres. Next to them, Karolina Gumpert serves one last snack: black squid-ink breadsticks, fingerfood ready for a funeral. Akey’s battlefront woodprint stands next to them, preemptively signaling an anonymous death. Mendez-Marti’s sensitive and tragic performance paraded a strong-abled and willing body to hold on to pressure as much as it could. It’s the struggle that our eyes steer away from only to be met -finally- by Trolio’s words, white on white, carved on a piece of dry-wall cut from some other room: “…it’s not the overlap making things messy/ you, lying atop yourself/ it’s the skirting of solitude.”
The Color Room plays witness to Tijerina’s video performance of cleansing, and repetitive idiosyncratic routines. The artists in this room contort reality in whichever way they want: Terna’s selectively saturated photograph of woman in a Geisha attire fixated on a smart phone screen; Lujan’s raucous, hermetic, abstractions want to both lure us in, and keep us away, like a broken T.V., endlessly distracting and electrifying. Weston’s intimate snapshots of her own family inflict a sting: a funeral, 12:00 pm; a body; an orange twilight. Duzant’s cyanotype, a watery and blue Moon, rests out of reach above them all. Reality gets twisted again with Gonzalez’s pink skies, gemstones, and monuments to a by-gone (or future) time and Kasia Gumpert’s North Korean sidewalk reveries, of an electric-neon Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
Duzant’s last cyanotype, hazy and blue, and Shkurovich’s photograph (“no me pasa por la mente regresar”/ “it doesn’t even cross my mind to go back”) frame the entrance to the apartment’s bathroom. Trolio’s silver-gelatin paper negatives: flower beds and soft-breezes, a single leg on a mattress; Akey’s dead soldier, resting face down; and Davidson’s almost indiscernible subject -one forlorn hot-dog cart, covered in dust- all bid one single see you later, cooed away by Lundstrom’s voice as her sound poem repeats: “a new planet/ a world/ like us/ found us/new travels/ light years away.”
WE GOT DIVORCED. 156 Freeman Street. July 30th-31st 2015.