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The Thing That’s There But Isn’t The Longest Show Title of the Universe is Here with an introduction by Kim Smith
From February 15 to March 16, 2014 by: Opening reception: Friday, FebruaryCurated 15, 7-9 PM Franklin Delano and NURTUREart Gallery Eric Sutherland 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn, NY 11206 From April 26 to May 28, 2012 Opening Reception: Friday, May 28, 7-9 PM NURTUREart Gallery 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn, NY 11206
by Kim Smith
They Sit Together on the Porch They sit together on the porch, the dark Almost fallen, the house behind them dark. Their supper done with, they have washed and dried The dishesâ€“only two plates now, two glasses, Two knives, two forks, two spoonsâ€“small work for two. She sits with her hands folded in her lap, At rest. He smokes his pipe. They do not speak, And when they speak at last it is to say What each one knows the other knows. They have One mind between them, now, that finally For all its knowing will not exactly know Which one goes first through the dark doorway, bidding Goodnight, and which sits on a while alone. __Wendell Berry
As Robert Edmond Jones states in his book, The Dramatic Imagination, “The loveliest and most poignant of all stage pictures are those that are seen in the mind’s eye.” He continues: “The theater we know occupies itself with creating stage ‘illusion.’ What we are now interested in, however, is not illusion, but allusion, and allusion to the most magical beauty.” So then, we can consider scenic design in theater as a marker, a prop, and signifier of the content that is implied and further projected as a rich visual display within the viewer’s mind. This setting is often a place filled with memory and truth, lies and misconceptions, the formulated and the experienced. In the mind’s eye, rife with nostalgia, perhaps the porch is a setting of relaxation, conversation, and reverie. Opening to the outside world, the porch frames the horizon and the sky. The taste of sweet summer air. Dancing fireflies. A mint julep or evening smoke. Cuddled in an old rocking chair with a book, or swaying on a porch swing. This is a place that embodies leisure and the summer ideal: the ability to take comfort in idly watching the day pass by. An architectural trope, that porch has a rich history and place in our culture. The porch functions as an in-between space. This place, not entirely private though still nestled by
the safety of home, is the space between the outside world and the domestic interior. It is a place of viewing and a place to be viewed, both a stage and a seating area. While on the porch, you are both a spectator and an actor.
(Enter JENNY SANTOS: the director, creator). SETTING: Art gallery. Enclosed. Trapped. Unnatural. Indoor. Artificial. A simply constructed front porch, presumably an extension of a home, opens up to face a solid, white wall.
As an installation artist, Jenny Santos utilizes context to reimagine the content of such a space. Santos is a builder, both literally and figuratively. She assembles her materials to fabricate metaphor. Her connection with the literal world is one of suggestion and symbol. There is hollowness to this construction that subtlety reminds us that it is just that—a construction. In this, it is also a gesture of failure. The obvious inability to recreate what we hold dear about this sacred space leaves us with only an idea of such an experience. After
all, is that not what art is, a modifier for another experience? The Thing That’s There But Isn’t offers a hollow shell of an experience. Based on an idea embedded with memories so rich and vast, this installation diminishes this understanding through the enclosure of the gallery and the stage-like scenic flats. In denying us the full physical experience we associate with the porch, Santos enunciates this lack and asks us to consider our failed ideals. As viewers, perhaps this juxtaposition reminds us of our entrapment: enclosed in the gallery and confined to the city. The urban grit, the claustrophobic surroundings, and the obstructed horizon encroach upon our ability to experience the natural world. We are denied the luxury of space, of gazing out unto an untouched landscape, and the quiet peace that a rural or suburban (or anywhere but here) kind of place can offer. As we perch ourselves on this porch, we are reminded of our place and the physical nature of all that we are missing. We are left on this porch, a place of reminiscence and contemplation, to gaze out at the vast whiteness of the gallery wall and consider all that we have and all that is lacking.
Jenny Santos The Thing That’s There But Isn’t 2014, Mixed Media Dimensions Variable
NURTUREart NURTUREart Non-Profit, Inc is a 501(c)3 New York State licensed federally tax-exempt charitable organization founded in 1997 by George J. Robinson. NURTUREart receives support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, including member item funding from City Council Members Sara Gonzales, Stephen Levin, and Diana Reyna, the New York City Department of Education, and the New York State Council on the Arts. NURTUREart is also supported by the Harold and Colene Brown Foundation, Edelman, the Golden Rule Foundation, the Greenwich Collection, Ltd., the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Walentas Family Foundation, and the Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation. We receive in-kind support from Brooklyn Brewery, Societe Perrier, Tekserve, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. NURTUREart is grateful for significant past support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Liebovitz Foundation, and the Greenwall Foundation, and to the many generous individuals and businesses whose contributions have supported us throughout our history. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the artists who have contributed works of art to past benefitsâ€”our continued success would be impossible without your generosity.
Jenny Santos was born in Windsor, Ontario. She received her BFA from Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2007 and her MFA in Fine Arts at School of Visual Arts in 2012. Santos works predominantly in sculpture and installation. She has participated in group exhibitions, including shows at Visual Arts Gallery, Allegra LaViola Gallery, Art in Odd Places Festival: Ritual, and Cuchifritos Gallery in New York, and Project 165 in Toronto. Kim Smith is an artist working in Cambridge, MA. Trained as a painter, Smith creates processbased artwork that dwells in the in-between spaces of painting, sculpture, and installation. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1983. She completed her BFA in Fine Art and Art History from Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. She holds an MFA in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Presently, Smith is a research affiliate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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56 Bogart Street Brooklyn, NY 11206 L train to Morgan Avenue T 718 782 7755 F 718 569 2086 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.nurtureart.org Directions: By Subway: L train to the Morgan Avenue stop. Exit the station via Bogart Street. Look for the NURTUREart entrance on Bogart Street, close to the intersection with Harrison Place. By Car: Driving From Manhattan: Take the Williamsburg Bridge, stay in the outside lane, and take the Broadway / S. 5 St. exit. Turn left at light onto Havemeyer St. Turn right next light onto Borinquen Place, continue straight, street will change name to Grand Street. Turn right onto Bushwick Ave, left onto Johnson Ave, then right onto Bogart Street. Look for our entrance at the corner of Bogart Street and Harrison Place.
Published on Mar 1, 2014
eBook catalog published in the occasion of Jenny Santos' solo exhibition: The Thing That's There But Isn't, presented from February 15 to Ma...