Alix Pearlstein: Harem ROOM-1

8 Sep 2016 – 16 Oct 2016

Event times

Wed-Sat 10am-6pm
Sun 12pm-6pm

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On Stellar Rays is pleased to announce Harem ROOM-1, Alix Pearlstein’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, presenting sculpture and video. Taken together, Pearlstein’s new work, located within the unstable present, arouses the disquiet felt moving through an anxious populace.


Harem, meaning a group of women perceived as centering around a particular male.

- A group of female animals sharing a single mate.

- A prohibited, or forbidden place.

- Separate quarters.

- Kept safe, or ‘sanctuary.’


Room, meaning a space that can be occupied or where something can be done, especially viewed in terms of whether there is enough. Enough room.

- Room for contemplation, play, transgression.

- Capacity, scope, leeway, latitude, freedom, opportunity and chance.


Harem ROOM-1 is the title of a figurative installation central to Pearlstein’s exhibition, which utilizes a little-known meaning of the term harem to refer to a collection of like, fetishized elements. Here, applied as a framework, the harem presumes an act of subjugation and objectification, forcing parallels to social orders and hierarchies, as well as personal relationships and desires.


Two videos will be presented in adjoining galleries.


New City (People on Sunday) is set in Canal Street Park and on an adjacent rooftop in downtown New York City on a very windy day; a group of five actors occupy these locations through shifting relationships with the urban landscapes,  each other and a restless gaze.  Two stacked channels juxtapose simultaneous viewpoints, collapsing and restructuring time. This work posits a point of view on a specific place, in an anxious time through insistent presence.


The Weather tracks the shifting mood of a group of nine people, as they are pushed, pulled or stuck between two positions. They pass back and forth from side to side in a blank white space, following in the direction of or against a laterally tracking camera. A rubber plant occupies one side of the space, serving as a gathering, resting, hiding place, obstruction or refuge.*


The pace slows, as the group seems to become afflicted by a malaise. A reckoning follows as they brace for what comes next.


Alix Pearlstein's work in video, installation, sculpture, photography and performance has been widely exhibited. Select solo exhibitions include de Cordova Museum, Boston, MA; Samsøn Projects, Boston, MA; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX; Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA; Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; The Kitchen, New York; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. Recent performances include Art Public at Art Basel, Miami, FL; The Park Avenue Armory, New York; and Esopus Space, New York. Group exhibitions include Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; ParaSite, Hong Kong; INOVA, Milwaukee, WI;  MoBY-Museums of Bat Yam, Israel; Internationale d’Art de Quebéc, Canada; Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel; Annual Exhibition of Visual Art, Limerick, Ireland; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; SMAK, Ghent, Belgium; ICA Philadelphia, PA; Biennale de Lyon, France; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Pearlstein is a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts 2011 Grants to Artists award. She is on the faculty of the SVA MFA Program, and the Board of Governors of the Skowhegan School, and lives and works in New York City and Orient, New York.


* The Weather will be on view at the gallery opening, and Saturdays and Sundays, in the gallery’s basement space.



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