Monday, August 3, 2009

Space 414 presents: You are Standing into Danger

Space 414's newest exhibition is one of twenty-two artists working or living in Red Hook, a Brooklyn neighborhood with a functioning waterfront and a complicated history of isolation, violence and corruption.

“You are standing into danger” is a communiqué of the international maritime signal code, denoted by flying alone the flag “U” (pronounced uniform), which appears as a four-square of checkered red and white.

The artists who contribute work to You Are Standing into Danger deliver analogous communiqués, each one built from its own visual language. More than two dozen works of painting, sculpture, photography, video, printmaking, illustration and embroidery mediate the instability that persists between the contents of artwork and the honest and oftentimes horrific confrontations with contemporary life. A nausea emerges from this instability, as the viewer is held in a tenuous balance between beauty and terror.

Shanti Grumbine’s The Unsayable, for example, is a life-size plaster of a nude crouching in prayer. In place of the torso and head, the figure’s innards spill forth in a sensual mess on the floor. The horror of this depiction is sanitized by a logic of the unreal, giving Grumbine's object a macabre beauty.

Astrid Craven's At Sea, on the other hand, is an oil seascape in the moody spirit of J. M. Turner. The residue of a violent confrontation lingers on the horizon, as a plume of black smoke rises from the sea, offsetting an enigmatic swath of deep red in the water.

Curated by Walker Waugh, You Are Standing Into Danger is the third exhibition this summer at Space 414, following Vintage Violence and Disaster Kit, to address the persistence of threat, disaster, survival and the role of the artist as a purveyor of hope against harbingers of fear.

Featuring work by Audrey Anastasi, Joseph Anastasi, Rafael Bueno, Marie-Helene Carleton, Matthew Cox, Astrid Cravens, Layla Delridge, Karni Dorell, Emily Driscoll, Patrick Dunaway, Sean Eno, Micah Garen, Mollie Goldstrom, Shanti Grumbine, Cathrin Hockinson, Joetta Maue, Siobhan McBride, Stuart Nicholson, Susu Pianchupattana, Ryan Russo, J.T. Theodoracopulos, and Harriet Zucker.

Please join the artists for an opening reception and garden party on Friday, August 7 at 7pm. Exhibition runs through September 11, 2009.

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