Robert Hickerson “The Mother of Sighs”

Ortega y Gasset Projects @ The Old American Can Factory

poster for Robert Hickerson “The Mother of Sighs”
[Image: Robert Hickerson "Perfection Solidifies in the Darkness of Night" (2021) unframed Digital C-Print on Archival Paper, Signed, Ed of 3 + 2 AP. 16 x 20 in.]
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Ortega y Gasset Projects presents The Mother of Sighs, a solo exhibition of new work by Brooklyn-based artist Robert Hickerson. Hickerson is the recipient of OyG Projects 2021 Open Call in the Skirt Space for site-specific works. This exhibition is curated by OyG Co-director Adam Liam Rose.

“Once you’ve seen it, you will never again feel safe in the dark.”

Horror has always been a queer safe haven. Outside of the more salacious aspects, queer folk are often drawn to the genre because of the reconfiguration of a heteronormative narrative that dominates societal, and especially American, ideals. From a production standpoint, it’s always been easier to sneak queer storylines into major blockbusters if the queer individual was also a monster. Horror is a genre that prioritizes the lives of monsters, for while they may be vanquished when the credits roll, it is the monsters we remember more than their adversaries.

The Mother of Sighs is a sight-specific photo based installation created by Hickerson, and made in collaboration with his two moms, who have been working on projects together over the last decade. Despite the fact that their work delights in the monstrous queer, Hickerson’s parents are scared of horror movies. The Mother of Sighs was a way to come together and investigate the history surrounding an early and foundational film, Suspiria (1977).

Upon its release, Suspiria jettisoned Argento into international stardom, quickly amassing a cult following and becoming the work for which Argento is most known for. It’s story vastly differed from the previous films Argento made, focusing on a coven of witches masquerading as a dance school. To this day, Suspiria is consistently ranked as one of the best horror films of all time. And while Suspiria and Dario Argento have become practically synonymous, the film and its sequel was written primarily by his wife Daria Nicolodi.

How do you own your inner demons? Through play, prosthetics, and the harsh artificial lighting evocative of late 70’s Italian horror, The Mother of Sighs constructs a narrative around what it means to have your demons escape you, and become something deeply unfamiliar. Through the installation of this body of work, and an embrace of horror tropes, The Skirt is transformed into a cavernous hallway where something is lurking around the corner.

Robert Hickerson is an artist and photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Through photography, video, and installation, he makes use of the neon colored aesthetics of horror b-movies to distill and delight in the notion of the monsterous queer. He has been shown in numerous venues including Synesthesia Art Space, Brooklyn, NY, The Hollows Art Space, Brooklyn, NY, Fleurotica, New York, NY, and the Spring/Break Art Fair, New York, NY. He has published internationally including in Museé Magazine, VICE Magazine,, Humble Arts Foundation, and Gameboy Magazine. Since 2017 he has also created various album artworks and music videos for bands such as Sun Abduction, Fever Joy, Plague Vendor, guccihighwaters, and has worked extensively with Epitaph Records. He is an Aquarius, Rising Leo, Moon Gemini.



from September 11, 2021 to October 16, 2021

Website (venue's website)



Venue Hours

From 13:00 To 18:00
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays


Address: 363 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, New York 11215

Corner of 3rd Ave. Subway: R to Union Street.

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