Brian Zegeer “A Sphinx: On the Hwang-Zegeer Biome”

Trestle Gallery

poster for Brian Zegeer “A Sphinx: On the Hwang-Zegeer Biome”

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Trestle Gallery presents Brian Zegeer’s A Sphinx: On the Hwang-Zegeer Biome, the first project as part of the 2020 Wall series at Trestle, where four artists are invited to consider a site specific drawing, painting, or installation for the entrance wall at our 3rd Ave. location.

Statement from the artist:

A Sphinx is a wall installation of photographic pigment prints on light wooden armatures mounted to the wall.

Fragmented images of my partner, my daughter, myself, and our domestic space are arranged upon the wall to evoke a 6th century B.C. carving of a Sphinx from modern-day Lebanon.

The work imagines our family as one large, single organism; a unified consumer, producer of waste, enactor of an inscrutable agency.

Over recent years, Science has shed new light on the role of the human microbiome (our resident bacteria and viruses) in collaborating with our native systems on every level, effectively becoming shared partners in achieving homeostasis. To a large extent, the ecosystem bounded by our flesh is the consolidation of many individuals, not “I” but “we”.

I see family as a fitting extension of this body ecology motif, and have noticed a decided sublimation of respective individual aims for the sake of greater familial goals in my own experience of family. The Hwang-Zegeer ‘biome’ effects its own will.

Our biome coheres to the shape of a Sphinx as a nod to the heterogenous nature of this organism, but also points to tendencies in families to harden around traditional structures of belief and behavior. The sphinx is a reference to my own Lebanese-American heritage, and to the forces that bind us to genealogical patterns, encourage precipitous growth in our carbon footprints, twist our bodies into better compliance with a monolithic will.

About Brian Zegeer:
Brian Zegeer was born in Lexington, Kentucky. His works encounter the Appalachian and Lebanese landscapes of his upbringing as highly-charged networks of belonging and collective hallucination. Interventions into the visual archives, and stop-motion animations conducted in-the-field, are meant to challenge conventional narratives and enter into a more speculative relationship to history.

Zegeer worked with archivists and community groups to recover the story of the Manhattan’s ‘Little Syria’ and the early 20th Century literary movement that blossomed there. He recently completed a 2-year residency at the Queens Museum, examining this history against the backdrop of Robert Moses’ transformative vision for the city, and his role in the Little Syria community’s displacement.

Zegeer received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, attended Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in 2010, and has recently shown at The Queens Museum, The Bronx Museum of Art, The Delaware Art Museum, The Jersey City Museum, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Danese/Corey Gallery, and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts.



from January 17, 2020 to March 08, 2020

Opening Reception on 2020-01-17 from 18:00 to 20:00


Brian Zegeer

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