The Changes Wrought
Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish
July 12th - August 18th, 2018
“Is it not odd, is it not incongruous, is it not, in the highest sense of human speech, incredible, that we should think so highly of the ginger-beer, and regard so little the devouring earthquake?”
- Robert Louis Stevenson
A boy kneels down in the grass, his new blue jeans immediately stained. Scrabbling at the dirt in front of him he rips up a few blades, ties them into small knots and lays them on the ground behind him. Then, more violently, the boy jams his fingers into the ground, his nails digging, pushing, creating a small trough. Pushing a stick down and in, he uses it as a lever, removing a clod of dirt. The soil is cold to the touch as he reaches down into the hole.
The end of a worm has been uncovered. The boy stops, quieted by the sudden presence. He grabs at it, gently pulling the worm from its hiding spot. In a practiced gesture, the boy holds the worm from either end and ties it into a knot. Holding the wriggling knot up to his eye, the boy smiles. Then, happy with his work, he tosses it over his left shoulder.
The worm feels alive for the first time. The tree above grows closer and closer, the leaves beginning to glow yellow from the sunshine behind. It did not know there was so much space in the world. Its knotted body stretches, but cannot reach the low limb approaching. The worm gets close enough to see the caterpillars perched on a leaf, chewing softly, and then it falls.
american medium is proud to present The Changes Wrought, a group exhibition of sculpture and painting with new work by Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish, Bea Fremderman, Erika Hickle, Dana Lok, Tanya Merrill, and Sydney Shen.
The works in The Changes Wrought focus on how perspectival shifts, outward and inward, amend how we view the context, makeup, and ideation of a moment. The objects act as metaphorical pivots, acting between potential futures and an examined past. There is a hope that by cementing something in time, by explicating the nature of it, we can broaden its history and expand our knowledge of the future. There is a fallacy to this notion, of course, but an optimism as well. A coin mid-toss, frozen in time, will never land head or tails. It just stays there, suspended, spinning. The works in The Changes Wrought focus on that moment, before the fall and after the ascent.
Loney Abrams (b. 1986, Boston, MA) & Johnny Stanish (b. 1983, Great Falls, MT) are Brooklyn-based artists who work collaboratively together. Informed by research surrounding synthetic biology, medical reproductive technology, and biotech, Stanish and Abrams call into question the future of the human body from a feminist perspective. How might breakthroughs in reproductive technology change our understanding of gender? How might technologies like CRISPR and synthetic biology point us towards a trans-species society? As our bodies become increasingly inseparable from technology and artificial intelligence, how will the boundaries between “natural” and “artificial” become complicated?
Recent solo shows include Bass Fisher Invitational in Miami curated by Anna Frost and Pretty Days, Sadie Halie Projects in Minneapolis, and Knock Down Center in New York. Recent group shows include Alyssa Davis Gallery, 315 Gallery, and Regina Rex in New York; Et. Al. in San Francisco; Ashes/Ashes in Los Angeles; Naughton Gallery at Queens University in Belfast; Prarie in Chicago; and Material Art Fair in Mexico City. Abrams and Stanish are both visiting instructors at Pratt Institute. Abrams and Stanish also co-direct Hotel Art Pavilion, a project space they founded in 2012.
Bea Fremderman (b. 1988, Kishinov, Moldova) finished her studies at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Her current research interests are the economic impacts of climate change, apocalyptic survival tactics, feelings of global dread and false notions of freedom. Fremderman's work combines parts and segments of a Capitalist reality as a reflection of daily life that has slipped away from society’s consciousness. Exhibition highlights include How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself at Shoot The Lobster in New York, Solastalgia at Born Nude Gallery in Chicago, Office Space at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Younger Than Jesus at the New Museum in New York and WAVELENGTH at Powerlong Museum in Shanghai. She currently lives and produces in New York City.
Erika Hickle (b. 1985, San Diego, CA) is an artist living and working in New York City. She was born and raised in San Diego, California. She received her BFA from California State University, Long Beach and her MFA from Rutgers University. She has shown at 321 Gallery in Brooklyn, Kimberly Klark in Queens, and most recently at Resort in Baltimore.
Dana Lok (b. 1988, Berwyn, PA) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA from Columbia University (2015), her BFA from Carnegie Mellon (2011), and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2016). She recently had two solo exhibitions: Soft Fact, Clima, Milan (2017), and The Set of all Sets, Chewday's, London (2016). Her work has been included in the group exhibitions Dana Lok, Laure Prouvost, Mia Goyette at Bianca D’Alessandro, Copenhagen, Double Take at Agency, Brooklyn, and In Place Of at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York. Dana's work has been featured in Frieze magazine, Cura, and New American Paintings.
Tanya Merrill (b. 1987, New York, NY) lives and works in New York City. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from Columbia University. She has most recently exhibited at Almine Rech Gallery in New York and Unclebrother/Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in Hancock, New York.
Sydney Shen (b. 1989, New Jersey) lives and works in New York and studied at The Cooper Union. Solo exhibitions include Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Motel, Brooklyn; Holy Motors, Hong Kong; Roberta Pelan, Toronto. Select recent group exhibitions include Shimmer, Rotterdam; Aike-Dellarco, Shanghai; Minibar, Stockholm; Weekends, London; Hester, New York; Springsteen, Baltimore; Fused Space, San Francisco; Derek Eller Gallery, New York; Et Al, San Francisco. Forthcoming projects include Hotel Art Pavilion and Gesualda. Shen is co-author of Perfume Area, a book of prose published by Ambient Works, New York.