Exhibition

I Am Standing Here Surrounded By So Much Beauty

30 May 2024 – 14 Jul 2024

Regular hours

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
Closed
Wednesday
Closed
Thursday
Closed
Friday
Closed
Saturday
12:00 – 18:00
Sunday
12:00 – 18:00

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OCDChinatown’s current group show is a screening of video works curated by E. Jane, featuring Chelsea A. Flowers, Kearra Amaya Gopee, Shala Miller, Elle Pérez and the artist.

About

The works in this show interrogate or evoke site. The settings they question or conjure are not indeterminate per se—you could visit them, or could you?

Well, you can take the subway like Elle does in SHAPER (2023), but I’ve never thought about waves crashing against rocks in relation to the metro before. And although I know you can take the D, F, N, or Q to Coney Island, my brain still doesn’t process the cut between that seaside site and train cars—are they really the same place? You can visit one or several beaches and associate them with the Carribean beaches that Kearra tells us we’ve all seen in Terra Nullius (2018-2019). You could possibly visit the woods they shot in. But without the acts of ritual, would it be the same site? In Skowhegan 4th of July Performance.mp4 (2022), Chelsea’s experience of a clearing in the woods in Maine, surrounded by trees, and doing stand-up for a crowd is very specific. You can see what Chelsea is seeing through the Go-Pro, but can you ever experience that location as she did, filled with the awkward laughter of the crowd, standing in her body?

Some of the sites in these works are imagined places or several settings stitched together into one place. Shala’s monologue for Mrs. Lovely (2022) begins the narrative in a fictional suburban neighborhood, inspired by the suburban neighborhoods they grew up seeing in Ohio.2The character Shala plays is frustrated with a neighbor’s nearby garden. “If you’re going to have the weeds there, for the love of god, at least protect them from the lilies!”, says Mrs. Lovely, and suddenly I am on a porch, staring at a badly kept garden in my mind. In MHYSA-TogetherAgain.mp4 (2024), I play off the fantastical Afro-paradise in Janet Jackson’s “Together Again” video. I mainly chose to key my alter-ego MHYSA’s body into the Maldives. I’ve never been to the Maldives, but was Janet truly engaging with the space she performs in?
 

Whether or not you can visit these spaces, the garden in Shala’s mind is probably not the garden in my mind or yours. - E. Jane

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