Three Acts, Three Scenes: Your Care, My Care, Careful Care
Kyla Kegler, selections from Feel Me, 2018.
Curated by Natalie Fleming and Conor Moynihan
Opening: Sunday, June 24, 4-6 PM
Workshop with Kathleen Marie McDermott: Saturday, July 21, 2-4 PM
Artists: Avye Alexandres, Miguel Bonneville, Kathy High, Kyla Kegler, Kathleen Marie McDermott, Dominic Quagliozzi, Joshua Rains, Stephanie Rothenberg, Michelle Temple, and Sharif Waked.
Expanding notions of care through three curatorial “acts” composed of three artistic “scenes,” the group exhibition Three Acts, Three Scenes: Your Care, My Care, Careful Care features time-based works by Avye Alexandres, Miguel Bonneville, Kathy High, Kyla Kegler, Kathleen Marie McDermott, Dominic Quagliozzi, Joshua Rains, Stephanie Rothenberg, Michelle Temple, and Sharif Waked. Three Acts, Three Scenes asks us to consider how we extend care to others, take ownership of our own care, and navigate the precariousness of the world, remaining conscious of our own interconnectedness to others across multiple landscapes and within larger webs of relations.
Building from the micro to the macro, this exhibition pivots from a focus on the care of others to the care of the self before finally reflecting on systems of care and precarity. Each of these “acts” comprises three projects, or “scenes”—one object-based, one video-based, and one interactive installation— formats which reflect the situational and dynamic nature of care itself.
Act One: Your Care starts with Joshua Rains’ series of illustrations If You Need Me, that he produced based on a series of posts made by a Facebook “friend” publicly detailing his experience with sexual violence and his attempts at healing through appropriated sources. Kathy High & Michelle Temple’s video project Rat Laughter amplifies the subject of and care for rats in laboratory testing, attending to the emotional needs of nonhuman animals subjected to scientific tests for the benefit of humans. In her participatory installation, Avye Alexandres exposes the manipulative tactics used in predatory Real Estate classes, used to convince attendees that investment is in their best interests, no matter the economic and social costs.
In Act Two: My Care, Dominic Quagliozzi captures himself in large, bright paintings going through routine acts of medical self-care in the hospital after a lung transplant. In his ongoing video project, The Importance of Being, Miguel Bonneville uses his body to visually express his indebtedness to select artists, writers, and scholars, such as Simone de Beauvoir. Struck by her work on autobiography, feminism, and existentialism after reading her 1943 novel She Came to Stay, Bonneville has found Beauvoir to be an important source of creative sustenance, helping him to advance his own practice that similarly aims to deconstruct and reconstruct social configurations of identity. In her Urban Armor series, Kathleen McDermott creates wearable technology that provides the wearer with fashionable, albeit purposely absurd, protections. The Personal Space Dress, for example, physically expands in a ring around the wearer to create private space and distance from others.
In Act Three: Careful Care, Stephanie Rothenberg’s Planthropy ties physical care to the charitable intentions of our online community. Plants suspended from the ceiling are watered only if people tweet about their reasons for donation. Viewers note the collective power of global micro donations as the dependent plants wither or thrive. Sharif Waked’s video Chic Point shifts from men on a runway modeling fashions to a series of archival military photographs of Palestinian men as they similarly bare their bodies at Israeli border checkpoints. Finally, Kyla Kegler’s Feel Me helps viewers arrive in the present through instruction manuals, video guides, and tactile objects. Kegler provides her audience with witty alternatives to commodified and addictive time-passing activities that otherwise tune us out.
This exhibition was supported in part by the University at Buffalo Department of Art.