More About You & Me

An Exhibition of Performances / March 16, 2012 / Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, NY

The notion of presence—whether of the hand of the artist or via the object itself—in a work is ideologically and poetically dense, layered, and, since the advent of postmodernism, a specious notion at best. However, if we examine the aesthetic ground broken by feminism and female artists in the last century—think Eva Hesse’s Accession II or the bulk of Janine Antoni’s oeuvre—a different understanding of hand and presence emerges.

 Both artists prove that tactility is a sensory quality as well as a state of mind. To touch something is to draw close to it. To touch something is also to make oneself vulnerable, to connect, to puncture, to transmit, and to feel. In this sense, presence is less about cold, hard phenomenology or modernist notions about the presence of the artist-genius. But rather, presence is social; it is an ethos of intimacy. Presence becomes less about it and more about you and me.

 Some of the artists in More About You and Me invoke this sense closeness by requiring the audience to physically draw near an object, each other, or the artist herself, while others create an intimate moment by making themselves vulnerable to the audience. For some of the artists, it is simply a sort of intangible quality present in their work—an invisible touch that exists not in the facture of an art object but in a feeling that spreads via performance, the umbilical

 More About You and Me was produced by Katie Waddell in conjunction with the Performance Exchange, a program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and features emerging Chicago and New York-based artists Kitty HuffmanHope EsserAundrea Frahm, Heeran LeeErica Gressman, Shao Chun,  Autumn Hays, and Katya Grokhovsky.

 About Grace Exhibition Space:

Grace Exhibition Space, opened in 2006, is the only gallery in New York City devoted exclusively to Contemporary Visual Performance. We offer an opportunity to experience visceral and challenging performance works by the current generation of international performance artists, whether emerging, mid career or established.