Curated by Tunie Betesh, Nicole Economides and Natalia Almonte
New York, USA
May 9, 2021 – June 13, 2021
Situated in Prospect Park South, Brooklyn, sits a half-empty, melancholic, Victorian home we call The Real House. Thirty six artists, both local and international, were invited to participate in its debut exhibition, What Is Real? The cacophony of works embrace, mourn and expose the incongruence of contemporary reality. Often elusive and endorsed by the imagination, reality is rarely neutral. It is both exhilarating and debilitating to unravel its rationale. Misshapen and frenetic, our Orwellian existence is constantly manipulated by the powerful and the greedy, leading us to wonder what, in fact, is real.
From the basement to the attic, artists play with optical illusions, reflections, scale distortions and disorientations to reveal that what is visible and physical is actually a brilliant con. Meditative and exhaustive practices use laborious gestures to prove that repetition can be blurred into abstraction that gains or loses meaning along the way. This abstraction is shared with memory and time, two concepts that prove reality’s reliance on perception and relativity. Identity and disassociation with the self are interpreted through the use of or reference to the body as a site of transition, care, and the abject.
Due to Singularity, our bodies and the identity we attach to them have to navigate the inevitable conflation of the private and the public. The more algorithms program social constructs that create a universal grammar, the more satire and humor serve as a release to the sociopolitical dead-ends that are faced everyday. Artists discuss our increasingly surveilled condition and how those vigilant capitalize on the false hope for the American Dream.
The Real House serves a palpable reflection of the present, one that has been irreversibly shaped by the ongoing pandemic. Rather than seeking to decode, the exhibition acknowledges the impossibility to provide a conclusion for the new norm. Instead, what we take with us is the gratification of trying and trying again.
Alex Dolores Salerno, Alexander Stevens, Anna Parisi, Camille K. Rouzaud, Claire Breidenbach, Daphne Monastirioti, Eleanna Balesi, Elliot Avis, Elyse Johnson, Ernesto Rivera, Francisco “Echo” Eraso, Fred Schmidt-Arenales, Gabriel Torres, Iván Sikic, Jesse Egner, Josephine Lee, Julianne Nash, Justin Sterling, Katie Levinson, Kerry Lessard, Layla Kovacevic, Leticia Zica, Lydia Nobles, Natalia Manta, Nora Maité Nieves, Norma Vilá Rivero, Orfeo Tagiuri, Rachael Surrell, Robert Good, Rochelle Voyles, Sebastián Meltz-Collazo, Serafeim Sakellariou, Stefanie Schwarzwimmer, Steven Luna, Thanos Fountas, Thomas Valianatos.
Artists featured in the shop
Alonso Cartú, Christine Sloan Stoddard, Howard Reyes, Kathryn Shiber, K. Haskell, Neil Horsky, Paloma Jímenez, Remy Knopf, Shane Coffey.
Performance artists in residence