Focus on the Flatfiles: Ritual

March 9 – April 29, 2018
Curated By
Jarrod Beck
Florence Neal, Golnar Adili, Roberta Allen, David Ambrose, Ernst Benkert, Derek Bernstein, Phillip Chen, Anne Gilman, Chris Gonyea, Andy Ness, Morgan O’Hara, Sherae Rimpsey, Teri Slotkin, Josette Urso, Hugh Williams, Kazuhiro Nishijima , Juan Carlos
Related exhibition
Jarrod Beck, Temple

exhibition Images

Press and Promotion

About the exhibition

Curated by Jarrod Beck

The fifth in our Focus on the Flatfiles series, featuring selections from the Flatfiles in connection with Jarrod Beck's solo exhibition, Temple.

Curator's Statement:
Architecture is the energy created by the frisson between a person and the environment. Ritual is a way to reinvest our energy into space. Solemn and methodic, this endeavor can be ecstatic and catastrophic. Ritual is a way for one person to reach many, it can be taught, performed in multiple places at once, shared through history. Its the thing that fills the temple and at Kentler you see it first and last. These drawings are stored here and were here before Temple was made and will be here afterwards. The Kentler flatfile is an archive of elements, special because they were chosen and full of potential. The drawings are available for sale, very reasonably priced for a star from this constellation.
Many artists speak of ritual in their practice and we think a bit about ritual everyday, even if we don’t say the word. Or perhaps we don’t think about it, its the thing we know, a set of processes that we have absorbed into our being, a handshake, the slight deflection of our gaze when we are uncomfortable, the route we take when the city feels hinge-less. We make rituals with strangers, but more often with our friends and companions: I’ve included works by three of mine. Golnar, Andy and I lived for a winter on a spit of land quite separate from the world and I know something of how they construct their days when left to themselves and a studio full of materials. Anne and I know less of one another but we sense a kinship through text and structure in our work. Consider the entire group a tribe, that you can take with you into the next world. They can be your guide and you’re encouraged to ask them questions, although they may request your silence in return.
Exhibition making is good practice for the world. As organizers we follow our imagination and trust an intuition that a space should be made for voices to argue or take solace in their proximities. The works in this exhibition demonstrate the wide variety of what drawing can be and I mean it to underline the point that to see, to see carefully, to follow what’s in front of you and to imagine whats now, is to draw. In my own practice, the line is ultimate, the leader, because lines are certain while they embrace the possibilities of themselves once extruded. Ritual includes works made between 1990 and 2015 and I invite you to think about those years, 1990 in Red Hook, 1993 in Manhattan, 1994 in Havana, 2002 wherever you were. These artists marked their time with something so important that they could not resist making it. Hear it. The staccato of David’s punches. Listen to Anne’s narrator, breathe in as you straddle the line between before and after.
Each of these works is a membrane between presence and unmitigated chaos. Juan’s tormented sea busting with the pressure of printing press. Imagine Sherae pulverizing mineola peelings and pushing them into papyrus relentlessly. Derek drew the portrait of his wife in bed, protected in blankets, uncertain of her remaining days, her vulnerability captured and his own fear. Teri’s photos, under the guise of a straight forward community project seethe with sensuality, the competitiveness of mother and daughter, the intimacy of two men achieved through labor. Take a look at the whole series when you have the time, the Flatfiles are generally available to peruse but its a good idea to use the digital archive up front to begin and focus your search.
Go forward with Hugh’s abandon, the impetus to gather up and compose and save it, no matter what its called and no matter how long it will last.
–Jarrod Beck