Of Fictive Intentions
James Bouché, Amy Brener, Arielle Falk, Brook Hsu, Lucy Kim, Sheida Soleimani, Eric Yahnker
4 Feb - 3 Mar 2018
See Exhibition Preview Here
VACATION is thrilled to announce Of Fictive Intentions, the inaugural exhibition at its new brick and mortar space in the Lower East Side of NYC. After launching with a group show, the space will go on to host 10 galleries from around the world on a rotating monthly basis, paving a new hybrid model for collaborative exhibition and exchange. VACATION will proudly partner with Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL) in March; Et al. (San Francisco, CA) in April; ltd los angeles (Los Angeles, CA) in May; WAAP (Vancouver, Canada) in June; Clima Gallery (Milan, Italy) in July; MOBIUS Gallery (Bucharest, Romania) in August; R/SF projects (San Francisco, CA) in September; Ochi Projects (Los Angeles, CA) in October; and Gildar Gallery (Denver, CO) in November.
Throughout Of Fictive Intentions, various forms of unreality expose the ways fiction manifests in our day-to-day, from alt facts and fake news to persona, Photoshop trickery, and Sci-Fi. Between the collective fictions we unknowingly perpetuate, the imagined futures we prevailingly uphold, and the illusory notions we retool as psychic agency, (self-)invention becomes a tool at our disposal that is ultimately up for grabs.
A multidisciplinary grouping of seven artists collectively tease out the spectrum of fictive intentions, in all its incarnations. One intricate pastel drawing by Eric Yahnker serves to deconstruct the falsehoods lurking within our socio-political ethos, from the fictions propagated by state powers to the promises put forth by consumerism. In Star-Spangled Cancer (2017), ten tapered cigarettes in various states of ash are superimposed across both Francis Scott Key’s infamous composition and a utopic sunset, juxtaposing American values of freedom with its at-times rampant capitalism. Iranian-American artist Sheida Soleimani's soft sculptures reveal falsehoods related to political persecution, visually divulging human rights violations. Two new works (Shabnab and Shahla, each 2018) depict the striking visage of individual women killed under Sharia law, whose deaths are widely believed to be political cover-ups—and whose arresting, corporeal presence provides evidence and memory to their names. A suspended flesh-like armor by Amy Brener(Invisibler (breeze), 2017) embodies the role of artifact, with silicone-embedded material goods (decontextualized paperclips, spark plugs, carabiners) that seemingly catalogue human existence while personifying a distinctively futuristic tone. Via ‘excavating’ the technological present, these coagulated composites straddle a liminal temporality, allowing the ambiguously archival to catalyze abstract prognostications.
In two oval-shaped acrylic mirrors (Sign of the Nail andSign of the Needle, each 2018), James Bouché mines his past in the Mormon church for conceptual fodder as much as kink and bondage, etching imagery of handshake gestures, chains, and curtains beneath metal claw accoutrements. Referencing LDS marriage ceremonies, the works investigate the ways in which ideology is codified and disseminated, perhaps in stark contrast to the covenants of BDSM. Two new paradisiacal wall works by Arielle Falk examine the polarity between fantasy and reality, refashioning generic stock images of lush palm trees and idyllic sunsets into disintegrated formations that recall tattered ship sails (Anse Severe and Todos Santos, each 2018). Retailoring imagery intended to adorn office cubicles and corporate conference rooms, each oasis begins to read as more of a mirage, signaling the fine line between reverie and nightmare. Installed a full ten feet off the ground and trailing toward the viewer, a felted wool coat by Brook Hsu (Breeder Coat, 2016) serves to scrutinize gender roles by deconstructing a woman’s presumed entrance to motherhood, somewhat irreverently tackling her own relationship to procreation. Also by Hsu, a fantastical framed drawing portrays the fabled Pan as a surrogate for herself (Study for Antique, 2017), fusing personal trauma with myth to fabricate cognitive strength and even resilience. And finally, three side-by-side wall works by Lucy Kim (Geneticist (Dr. Eric Lander) #4, Plastic Surgeon (Dr. Melissa Doft) #6, and Fitness Trainer (Stephen Marino) #2, all 2017) depict portraits of a fitness trainer, geneticist, and plastic surgeon, each professions that manipulate the human body by trade. As indexical but abstracted impressions of three named individuals, Kim incorporates fiction not only conceptually, but within her materiality as well—utilizing the intrinsically flawed nature of mold-making to further this objective.
Not coincidentally, a large portion of the exhibition is figurative or even sartorial in nature, mapping projections of the self as meditations on our place in world. In others, the picture plane becomes a space for myth-making, paradoxically serving to represent the imaginary, as artifacts or harbingers of fiction. Ultimately, from each fictitious sleight of hand certain truths emerge, penning an alarming truth about the nature of reality and its impact on lived experience.
James Bouché (b. 1990) is an artist living and working in Baltimore, MD. His work explores the overlap between post-minimalist aesthetic and contemporary subcultures. Inspiration is drawn from fictional realities and the works are presented as props, turning the gallery into a minimal stage. The viewer becomes a passive participant, like a ghost moving through space. Bouché's recent work represents the connection between sexuality and religious upbringing. He has exhibited at American Medium (New York, NY); LVL3 (Chicago, IL); ALT ESC (Brooklyn, NY); Current Space (Baltimore, MD); and Rose Arcade (Italy).
Amy Brener (b. 1982, Victoria, Canada) lives and works in New York. She was included in Greater New York 2015 at MoMA PS1. Her work has exhibited internationally at institutions and galleries such as Galerie Pact in Paris, Wentrup Gallery in Berlin, Derek Eller Gallery and the Katonah Museum of Art in New York, Julius Caesar in Chicago, Susan Hobbs Gallery in Toronto and the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario. Brener received the NYFA Fellowship for Crafts/Sculpture in 2015, attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011, and graduated with an MFA in Sculpture from Hunter College in 2010.
Arielle Falk (b. 1983, Washington DC) is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist. She received her BA from Eugene Lang College (NYC) in 2007 and has since exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Venues include Halsey McKay Gallery (East Hampton, NY), Pablo's Birthday (New York, NY), Ronchini Gallery (London, UK), Annaruma Gallery (Naples, IT), and Interstate Projects (Brooklyn, NY). Falk also performed at Art Untitled Fair 2013 (Miami, FL) as part of their Special Project series and is a 2011 recipient of the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art. Most recently, Arielle was included in a two-person show with Robbie McDonald at Safe Gallery (Brooklyn, NY). Her work has been noted by such publications as The NY Observer, The Village Voice, Time Out NY, The Huffington Post, and NY Magazine, as well as featured on WNYC Radio.
Brook Hsu (b. 1987) grew up in Oklahoma. Hsu received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2010 and her MFA from Yale University, New Haven in 2016. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including Carrie Secrist Gallery (IL), GRIN Contemporary (RI), Vernon Gardens (CA), BBQLA (CA), Tomorrow Gallery (NY), Page Gallery (NY), Vacant Farm (MO), Double Double Land (Toronto, Canada), and Galleri CC (Malmo, Sweden).
Lucy Kim (b. 1978, Seoul, South Korea) lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Recent solo exhibitions include Stubborn Doubles, Galerie Pact, Paris; Lucy Kim: Rejuvenate and Repeat, Institute of Fine Arts - New York University; and A Parrot in a Bell, Lisa Cooley, New York. Selected group exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston; Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Samson, Boston; Fused, San Francisco; and Lundgren Gallery, Majorca. Kim is a 2017 recipient of the James and Audrey Foster Prize from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.
Sheida Soleimani is an Iranian-American artist, currently residing in Providence, Rhode Island. The daughter of political refugees that were persecuted by the Iranian government in the early 1980’s, Soleimani inserts her own critical perspectives on historical and contemporary socio-political occurrences in Iran. Her works meld sculpture, collage, and photography to create collisions in reference to Iranian politics throughout the past century. By focusing on media trends and the dissemination of societal occurrences through the news, source images from popular press and social media leaks are adapted to exist within alternate scenarios. Soleimani has participated in exhibitions in institutions including the Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH.
Eric Yahnker (b. 1976 Torrance, CA) - After studying journalism at USC, Eric Yahnker went on to the CalArts where he received his BFA in animation. He then worked on animation for TV, including Seinfeld, South Park, and MADtv, before switching to a career in the contemporary art world. Since 2008, Yahnker has had solo exhibitions at The Hole in New York, Ambach & Rice and Zevitas Marcus in Los Angeles, Paradise Row in London, and Jeanroch Dard in Paris. Recent group exhibitions include Brand New Gallery in Milan, M+B in Los Angeles, the Torrance Art Museum in Torrance, TX and Galerie Ampersand in Cologne. His first museum solo exhibition The Long Goodbye took place at CAM Raleigh in North Carolina this year. Yahnker lives and works in Los Angeles, California.