Brennan and Griffin is excited to present Mortal Sequence, an exhibition curated by New York based artist, Heather Guertin with work by Whitney Claflin, Rebecca Gilbert, Steffani Jemison, Bradley Kronz, and Kayode Ojo. The sculptures, paintings and video featured in this exhibition are made with found materials, objects, images and text orphaned from their original context. Arranged and manipulated in the artist’s hands they become highly personal artifacts. The resulting artworks communicate a lived and alternative history.
These histories are not always taken from the biography of the artist. They can be precisely imagined subjectivities, as in the work of Kayode Ojo. His sculptural installations are leisurely posed like seductive bodies in a consumerist culture. They question the notions of social reputation and the power dynamics of status codes.
The fragile detritus of the urban environment combined with the handmade permeate Bradley Kronz’s objects with personal meaning, satisfying our human propensity to fill in gaps of visual information with narrative. His work continues in the surrealist technique of poetic juxtaposition of objects. Here, Kronz discovers a cool new form of sentimentality and a clever symbolism. This surrealist method of collage and boxed assemblages can also be seen in the work of Rebecca Gilbert who experiments with materiality and authorship. Gilbert uses components appropriated from both her personal life and popular culture to grapple with her connection and dissolution with the mass produced and the burden of nostalgia.
Whitney Claflin explicitly removes words from a textual context and puts them into a painterly one. Text and paint are also combined with scraps of fabric, beads, paper and string. Here image and language compete for the attention of each side of the brain simultaneously. This overuse of the visual system for the viewer creates an upside- down and sometimes backward poem that is both sick and sweet.
Steffani Jemison presents a video, The Meaning of Various Photographs to Tyrand Needham from 2009. Jemison often works in time-based mediums on location. She questions archetypal figures in black history and vernacular culture. In this film found images are narrated with improvised descriptions. A misalignment occurs when the descriptions avoid historical specificity. The political urgency of this work underscores the potential for histories to be rewritten, forgotten or understood in the eye of the beholder.
Brennan and Griffin
Whitney Claflin, Rebecca Gilbert, Steffani Jemison, Bradley Kronz, Kayode Ojo
Curated by Heather Guertin
December 9th – January 20th, 2017
122 Norfolk Street, NY. NY 10002