Narcissister “Studies for Participatory Sculptures”

Participant Inc.

poster for Narcissister “Studies for Participatory Sculptures”

This event has ended.

PARTICIPANT INC presents Narcissister, Studies for Participatory Sculptures, a solo exhibition of sculpture and collage. Known for working with the live body, Narcissister has created over two hundred collages that constitute research for unrealized (or unrealizable) sculptures. Central to the exhibition is a totemic sculpture. In it, a multitude of orifices serve both to embrace and refuse historical representations of the feminine in art and pornography. The artist pays homage to porn performers, Martha Rosler’s photomontage series, House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home, the early sculptures of Charles Ray, and Louise Bourgeois’ Totems, and cites references ranging from Kembra Pfahler’s Wall of Vagina to Pope.L’s Sweet Desire, among others. Amplifying and playing with the classical monolithic form with performers both real and artificial, the sculpture evokes objects of museum collections and historical archives. Please note that special gallery hours Friday-Sunday, 7-9pm will conform to the labor of performers inhabiting the work.

Elements of collage, cut-up, and scavenging are part of Narcissister’s DIY process of designing and constructing costumes and props. These designs have migrated into photographic and sculptural collage works that grapple with hybridity and ambivalence of race, gender, and sexuality. As the artist has noted: “As many women in the art world are obliged to do, the women in my collages have found a way to insert themselves into the dominant art world narrative. You see the path they have cut to enter, the gooey glue like a bodily fluid that holds them in place. Now they are there, they now literally have a platform, however the struggle to arrive is present.”

With Narcissister, Studies for Participatory Sculptures, the artist casts multiple others in a collective, durational action, expanding upon a generative process of unmooring roles and identities, and, in doing so, shifting visual and kinesthetic experience with changing perspectives. Narcissister’s current work is as intrepid as it is humorous, challenging assumptions of feminism and the art world at every turn. This exhibition follows Narcissister’s short-form performances with PARTICIPANT INC (2013 and 2015), and an evening-length event for PERFORMA17 in which live works were interspersed with performances made for camera.
Narcissister is a Brooklyn-based artist and performer. Masked and merkin-ed, she works at the intersection of dance, art, and activism in a range of media including film, collage, video art, and experimental music.

She actively integrates her prior experience as a professional dancer and commercial artist with her art practice. She has presented work in New York at The New Museum, MoMA PS1, The Kitchen, Abrons Art Center, and at many nightclubs, galleries, and alternative art spaces. Narcissister has presented her work internationally at the Music Biennale in Zagreb, Croatia; Chicks on Speed’s Girl Monster Festival; The City of Women Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia; Warehouse 9, Copenhagen’s first live art festival; and the Camp/Anti-Camp festival in Berlin, among many others. Her videos have been included in exhibitions and film festivals worldwide, including on MoCATV. Her film The Self-Gratifier won an award for “Best Use of a Sex Toy” at The 2008 Good Vibrations Erotic Film Festival and her film Vaseline won the main prize of this festival in 2013. Interested in troubling the divide between popular entertainment and experimental art, Narcissister appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2011. Narcissister was in FORE at The Studio Museum, Harlem and had her first solo gallery exhibition “Narcissister is You” at envoy enterprises in February 2013. She was nominated for a 2013 Bessie Award for her evening-length piece “Organ Player” which debuted at Abrons Art Center in March 2013. Narcissister is a 2015 Creative Capital Fellow, a 2015 Theo Westernberger Grantee, and a 2015 United States Artists Fellow. Her first feature film “Narcissister Organ Player” premiered at Sundance 2018. In collaboration with playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, she is a Sundance Theatre Lab 2018 Fellow for the development of a new evening length performance commissioned by the Soho Rep in New York.



from April 20, 2018 to May 06, 2018

Opening Reception on 2018-04-20 from 19:00 to 21:00



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