315 Gallery is pleased to present a two-person exhibition featuring new work by Vanessa Gully-Santiago and Cindy Hinant. The show is comprised of one large-scale painting and five drawings by Gully-Santiago, and a video piece coupled with a floor based sculpture by Hinant.
In the middle of the gallery is Hinant’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians (2018), a sculpture made from Ikea’s version of the Ziploc filled with water and arranged in a grid on the floor. The clear and turquoise bags, part of a stylish disposable home goods series by the brand, are printed with a grid pattern as well as the Ikea logo. The grid represents a utopic space where no point has more value than another. Infinitely expandable (the sculpture has no fixed dimensions), the work fetishizes consumer content, even celebrating the fact that the bags will eventually leak onto the floor and need to be replaced.
The banality of corporate culture also features prominently throughout Gully-Santiago’s black-humored works. A Day’s Work (2018) depicts a scene of an office worker breastfeeding a man in a suit. The photocopy machine behind her in the sparse anonymous cubicle points to the ubiquity of transgressive workplace interactions. The woman stares up at the grid of the drop-ceiling, apparently accustomed to office breast-suckling, waiting for the moment to pass so she can return to having her labor exploited rather than her body.
In Gully-Santiago’s oeuvre, power and submission are sometimes ambiguous and often flipped from one work to the next. The graphite drawing Reckoning (2018) imagines a mass of men cowering in fear of the confident posture of a woman, while Bitch (2018) depicts a man with a muzzled naked woman, threatening to unleash her against a tall woman wearing a pantsuit. The only painting in the exhibition, Positions (2018), features the image of a smiling man waving at the viewer as he stands on top of a woman. The bleak, gray background inhabited by the figures offers little optimism to the downtrodden woman who seems to be detached from the situation. Gully-Santiago’s works are frustrated; they poke fun at the stylized career woman, while reminding us of the consequences of structuralized violence.
Hinant’s It Is What It Is, (2018) is a surveillance video of the artist’s fish tank filmed with a digital microscope. The stationary camera is zoomed in on a bead of air in the center of the screen, and consequently everything else is blurry, and further distorted by the mirroring effect of the angled glass of the aquarium. Through the aquarium the artist can be seen observing the fish with her black cat, puttering around the studio, taking selfies, and cleaning the house. Mixed with the ambient sounds of the artist’s live/work space is an excerpt from an episode of the Wendy Williams talk show in which she discusses Kim Kardashians 2016 robbery in Paris, and the short-lived Keeping Up With the Kardashians spin-off show Rob & Chyna. This work considers the way we consume and participate with representations of violence in a post-digital environment. The sound of Williams describing the terrifying robbery is background noise, it’s celebrity gossip, it’s as mundane as a Ziploc bag. The work considers the impossibility of processing information, banal or traumatic, because of constant distractions. At the end of the video Hinant takes a red guppy out of the fish tank which had been dying slowly in the blurred periphery of the microscope.
Vanessa Gully-Santiago (b. 1984, Boston) lives and works in New York. She holds an MFA from Rutgers University, where she was the recipient of the Paul Robeson Emerging Young Artist Award, and a BFA from The Cooper Union. Recent solo shows include No Touch at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York (2017) and Private Accounts at American Medium, Brooklyn (2016). Her work has also been exhibited at Marinaro, New York; Foxy Production, New York; Rosenwald Wolf Gallery, Philadelphia; C. Grimaldis Projects, Baltimore; 247365, New York; Smart Objects, Los Angeles; and Peninsula Art Space, Brooklyn. Gully-Santiago has participated in residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, and her work has been featured in ArtNews, Artspace and Hyperallergic.
Cindy Hinant (b. 1984, Indianapolis) lives and works in New York. She received a BFA from the Herron School of Art and Design and holds a MFA from the School of Visual Arts. She has been the recipient of the Robert D. Beckman Jr. Emerging Artist Fellowship and the Edward Albee Visual Artist-in-Residence Fellowship. Recent solo shows include Celebrity Sex Tapes / Aquarium Videos at Lit Gallery, New York (2017), and Exercise Videos at MuseumofAmericabooks, Brooklyn (2017). Her work has also been exhibit- ed at Mass MoCA, North Adams; the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art, Cairo, the Lenbachhaus Munich; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles; Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; and yours mine & ours, New York. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Dazed. Hyperallergic, and Wallpaper.