Ox Gallery–now you see it, now you don’t

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Subject to Change, a juried group show in an unheated squat of a loft space in Kensington, is certainly subject to change, given its location and its history. But it’s well worth seeing. The one-week show is up to Dec. 11 by appointment only (see below for more on getting in).

Nicole Wilson and Sheila Whitsett, who kindly let me in, described the serendipity of finding the space when they attended a party in the same building–the part of the building that has heat! They labored mightily to turn the raw space into someplace that can show art. It may be cold but it looks pretty good and there’s electricity by some sleight of hand they explained that involved stringing wires great distances.

Conor Fields, Launch Pad
Conor Fields, Launch Pad

Making use of the roof of the untraditional space, Conor Fields staged an event under the stars on opening night–a faux rocket launch. The moment is captured in the remains now on exhibit–a video of flint being struck; the burnt traces of the fuse, which spells out Here goes nothing; and the unlaunched rocket. Fields has a personal love affair going with the limits of technology. He habitually undercuts the slick moderne vocabulary of space exploration and uses DIY everyday mechanics to bring earnest humor to cool high tech.

Matt Kalasky, Vision (After Gauguin), video installation
Matt Kalasky, Vision (After Gauguin), video installation

Several of the pieces are about nomadism, and that seems like the perfect fit for a show that’s here today, gone tomorrow. Vision (After Gauguin), a video installation by Matt Kalasky, involves a cartoon space-suited man walking across a spotlit blank space. But the monitor rests on the floor, the image is small, and the hero is a cartoon man crossing nowhere. A painting by Fred Frederick, with juicy colors and confident gestures, features a motorcycle rider among horseback riders dressed in flowing Arab robes amid medieval tents, an airplane swooping. It looks festive and out of time. And a photo by David Soffa, Mother and Child, captures a pair inside the back of a U-Haul.

Mindy Lu, Untitled (with a piece of Untitled (painting for Hannah) in the background); the painting is one of three related works
Mindy Lu, Untitled (with a piece of Untitled (painting for Hannah) in the background); the painting is one of three related works

Mindy Lu’s three monotone 3-D wall objects will be finished only when buried in situ. Meanwhile, they are wallscapes.

Cecelia Post, You Made Me, Cotton, video
Cecelia Post, You Made Me, Cotton, video

Cecelia Post’s video You Made Me, Cotton of a woman struggling to throw up (at first I thought she was swallowing hard) made me laugh out loud as it delivers its punch line, and Mike Treffehn printed his punchline on a brass plaque, giving permanence and gravitas to an ephemeral conversation about Charley, whoever he is. Both of these works raise questions of just what’s happening here, and when and why.

Mike Treffehn, Untitled (Willy:)
Mike Treffehn, Untitled (Willy:)

Several interactive installations are in the show, including Scott Rinehart’s Sprawl, with rules that didn’t quite bring the desired urban landscape–or maybe it did, since it is falling down, just like Philadelphia–and a lot like the gallery’s home.

Scott Rinehart, Sprawl, interactive installation
Scott Rinehart, Sprawl, interactive installation

Whitsett and Wilson are part of a group of 16 students who made the show happen, supported by three bake sales and a party, which together brought in $900. It was organized and juried for an assignment that Ron D’Amico gave his Sculpture, Materials and Techniques Class at Tyler School of Art to create a show, beginnning to end.  The class posted the call on NYFA and at the grad schools. So Penn and Yale MFAs are among those represented here.

Sky Kim, Untitled
Sky Kim, Untitled

Others in the show are Jong Kim, Sky Kim, Elizabeth Hoy, Jennifer Grimyser, Max Doyle (protesting knee-jerk political assumptions), Melanie Fisher, Ben Nelson and Brittany Binler.

Ox Gallery is a few blocks north of the Crane Arts Center. The show is up until Sunday, by appointment only, but Whisett and Wilson say they can spare the time this week. Contact is via email, NotThisArtistCollective@gmail.com

Tags

cecilia post, conor fields, matt kalasky, mike treffehn, mindy lu, ox gallery, scott rinehart, sky kim, tyler school of art

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