Lintel, Mantel, Module, Shelf
January 7 - February 4, 2017
Lauren Bakst & Yuri Masnyj
Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.
Curated by Samuel Draxler for La MaMa Galleria
The sites we inhabit on a day-to-day basis are structured by methods of design and construction that increasingly involve modular architecture, flat-pack furniture, and a constellation of pre-fab, standardized, and replaceable components. Within the context of sites structured by these functional, cost-saving practices, Lintel, Mantel, Module, Shelf focuses on works in which artists co-opt materials and motifs to evade or undermine the conventions of the domestic, industrial, and aesthetic spaces they inhabit.
Some of the included works play with the reusability of parts, and the exhibition's title performs this same slipperiness, enumerating four possible roles that a horizontal board might take: as a lintel, a load-bearing building component that spans two vertical supports; as a mantel, the decorative finish above a fireplace; as a module, a standardized part designed to be produced in mass; or as a shelf, furniture onto which personal effects are stored or displayed.
In Mary-Ann Monforton's work, materials including architectural drafting paper, glassine, and Tyvek are assembled into forms that recall modular sculptures of the 1960s, but these wire structures are complicated by their campy accents – ruffle and fringe. Lauren Bakst & Yuri Masnyj's shared practice uses sculpture, drawing, and dance to explore our relationships – with objects, spaces, and each other – considered in this context through video. The works exhibited by Isaac Pool are assembled from found objects and hardware store materials, producing sly, humorous narratives. GaHee Park's paintings depict home interiors as intimately charged sites, in which erotic relationships are humorously navigated within the detritus of everyday living. And in his photographs and videos, Elliott Jerome Brown Jr. engages with the social perception of Blackness and queer identity, with the exhibited works focusing largely on the play of spaces connected to his father and grandparents.
Lintel, Mantel, Module, Shelf considers how the structuring of a space can be understood as metaphor, and how sterilized sites can be reclaimed for alternative, intimate, or symbolic purposes.