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"please reply"

Janie Korn and Emily Sussman are enthusiastic to present, “Please Reply: A Conversation on Sculpture and Movement” at the SLEEPCENTER Gallery. The exhibition opening will be celebrated Thursday 7.27 from 7pm - 10pm with screenings and performances at 8pm. Please join us for this lively evening. All are welcome!


Please Reply brings together eight artists well versed in the dialogue among performance, installation, sculpture, painting, and animation bound together by the use of and paradoxically-, lack of movement.  While not every work has a corollary video piece to accompany it, subtle gestural moments in the pieces speak to a chaotic rebellion against stillness. Breaking away from the stativity often found in figural sculpture and painting, the works in Please Reply present a playful anecdote for the confines of the still image.

Kate Klingbeil ruminates on the female body’s power in movement.  Her sculpture, “Downward Facing Doggie” depicts a nude woman on all fours with a wisp of foliage emerging out of her bottom. She is at once caught in two worlds - a human engaged in a simple stretch or mother nature preparing a more carnal physicality.  A pendant to this piece is her animation “Cherry Flip”, in which several water colored nude ladies wink, smile, and dance.  Klingbeil’s women are self-aware and in control of their bodies, subverting viewer’s gaze with glee.

Much like Klingbeil’s women, Kyle Vu-Dunn’s men are unashamed and aware of their nudity, however obscured by dreamy, haze like colors and swirling vines and plants.  His lovers in “Canaries” are caught in a cacophonous drunken domestic bliss, in which the objects of their room become personified, his plants growing monstrous, the blinds hiding a phallus, a hidden lover. While Klingbeil’s work engages and subsequently dismisses the voyeur, Vu- Dunn’s work sweeps the viewer into this tender dizzying scene without remand.

Janie Korn’s work follows two practices, both reflecting on another in their separate forms. Her stop motion animations consists of hundreds of still frames of sculpture, giving the pieces context within a fantastical, surrealist world, of monsters and spirits, yet grounded in the framework of dating, Instagram, and millennial. Her sculptural pieces in this exhibition attempt to challenge the dimension in which they are existing - insinuating movement and interaction, but performing otherwise.

Carolyn Figel’s work is defined by its dry wit and humor. Evoking the experience of a late night nostalgia k-hole, Figel’s piece “‘Why were the Beach Boys Always on Full House?’ and Other Thoughts” samples a range of high and low entertainment sources, with audio clips from Terry Gross to television psychic doling out romantic advice. The lively texture leaps from the computer screen, twitching and gyrating to Beyonce’s lemonade, though remains self contained in frame. This life force is represented in the collaborative installation “A Twinkie and a Sweet n’ Low.”

Adding further intricacy to this study, Mur brings  to the exhibition his piece “Starling,” a series of illustrations, preserved in video, reanimated in performance into an interactive meditation on letting go. In “Starling” a forlorn Mur looks to a bird for a remedy to his heartache. This passage of time, the stillness in each frame, but the movement propelling the story forward. The result feels like a ceremony towards recovery. Each step at once performative and meaningful.

Lewie and Noah Kloster’s animation takes a documentary approach to the life of Academy Award nominated filmmaker Christine Choy.  Their fun, patch-work like animations weave together her narration with a colorful rendering of the city as Choy scavenges from airport to airport to find her preferred brand of cigarettes at a duty-free. Here, their drawings expertly represent Choy’s vivid energy, referenced in their poster made for the promotion of the film

“I Am Come Back to You” is a child’s play thing, a mousetrap game, and a contraption in which each compartment is lusting to be pulled, released, and jostled.  Banal objects like eggs, and grapes are confined, meticulously placed within five separate cages while nets and pulleys gesture to both a way out of this entrapment as well as the prospect that these objects and figures will be released from their confinements.  In this game, there is no easy solution pointing at the relative freedom of the viewer, who is just as helpless as the bottom cage.

Finally, Melissa Brown is presenting three new paintings for the first time. Brown implements graphic elements in her animation “Game Changer”, using bright patterns, 80’s and 90’s cultural references and game motifs such as dominos and cards, “Game Changer” moves with a vibrant, frenetic energy.  Touring through death valley and exploring mysticism - complete with dancing skeletons, tarot cards, and an interlude by the TV “psychic” Miss Cleo, the viewer is taken along a cartoon-like ride through several realities where our relationship to fate and destiny is ultimately challenged.  “Man With Pencil” and “Girl With Pearl” are quieter portraits however, they channel the same eclectic and graphic style, melding a gestural hand with sharp jagged line work.  “Nocturne” harkens back to the bleeding landscapes seen in “Game Changer”, however here the mood is subdued creating an ambiguous still referencing the nature of fate and fatality seen in “Changer”.  

Please Reply will be open by appointment through August 1st.

Earlier Event: July 25
Inclusive Disjunction
Later Event: August 2
Here For The Right Reasons