“In Support” Exhibition

The Kitchen

poster for “In Support” Exhibition

This event has ended.

The Kitchen presents In Support, a group exhibition that examines how support operates as an offering, practice, and position within and beyond institutional contexts. Featuring new commissions by Fia Backström, Francisca Benítez, Papo Colo, and Clynton Lowry, the exhibition will be on display across the three floors and mezzanine levels of The Kitchen’s building at 512 West 19th Street, sited in many areas that have never before been open to the public. ​​The artists’ works respond specifically to interstitial architectural sites that both hold up the building and hold artists, staff, and audience members as they enact, exchange, or negotiate support in its manifold forms.

The exhibition’s title alludes to a stance that mission-driven, nonprofit institutions like The Kitchen commonly articulate in language describing their aims, activities, and ways of engaging publics. In Support invites participating artists to reflect on the meaning and implications of such expressions, asking: Who and/or what do institutions like The Kitchen support? Who and/or what supports them? In what ways do institutions position themselves in support of people, projects, or causes? How do institutions rely on cycles of providing and receiving support? What hierarchies of support exist within and among institutions? Is support inherently good?

The phrase “in support” additionally serves as a statement of intent for how the artists, curator, production manager, and staff have engaged with the given subject while realizing the exhibition. Here the exhibition’s process and format take up a call voiced by artist Céline Condorelli in the book Support Structures to “not think about support, but—tautologically perhaps—be supportive to it, and think ‘in support’.” In this spirit, the open-ended prompt for artists to create new work encourages them not only to consider support as an abstract concept, but also to challenge, embed into, or expand on frameworks for support that exist within and beyond institutions.

As a whole, the process of realizing In Support has been a collaborative exercise in negotiating the opportunities—and grappling with the limitations—of the types of structural, fiscal, interpersonal, and ideological support that are present inside and outside The Kitchen. The exhibition’s artists spent time developing their ideas by exploring every corner of 512 West 19th Street, talking with staff about current and historical institutional protocols, and/or poring over the institution’s archive and internal documents. The resulting works ground their explorations in The Kitchen’s physical space in locations ranging from the lobby, stairwells, and elevator to the administrative offices, dressing room, production workshop, storage areas, and roof. Certain pieces will unfold or evolve over the course of the exhibition. What unifies these works is a keen attention to how networks of support interlock across varied times, scales, and contexts, from the local to the global and the personal to the institutional.

In Support is organized by Alison Burstein, Curator, Media and Engagement, with project management by Zack Tinkelman, Production Manager.



from November 18, 2021 to March 12, 2022

Opening Reception on 2021-11-18 from 16:00 to 20:00

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