Earlier this week, we got a note from our friends at The Company in Chinatown that they have a new show. The message we got noted the show was kind of a mix between magic, pseudo-science and enigmatic visual arts. We were very intrigued by the sound and stopped in yesterday, discovering that the show is a collection of colliding ideologies that definitely evoke that of school subjects.
The exhibit is a sharing of works by childhood friends Elias Hansen and The Reader, entitled We Barely Made It. Elias is an upstate New Yorker who is a trained artist who has had several shows around the nation. The Reader is a street artist from the Northwest who goes under multiple pseudonyms surrounding reading, books, and bibliophilia. Together, the two artists create an interdisciplinary show that juxtaposes an emphasis for investigating and investigating and investigating and experimenting and experimenting and experimenting.
Hansen’s work consists of various beakers, lights, glass, and liquids placed amongst wooden objects, putting scientific experimentation and nature together. His work plays with our understandings of what science is and enters into magical realism, imitating science but are they really even remotely scientific? Only Hansen really knows (and maybe the ladies of The Company, too). The Reader takes a literary, decidedly more demanding approach to his art, using words and letters and book culture to encourage and demand viewers to educate themselves and read.
The juxtaposition of the two is kind of funny, Hansen’s work being incredibly passive while The Reader’s is very asserting of your attention, trying to force you into the work of consuming literature while Hansen wants you to just take it in, at your rate. The show is a nice education in (fantasy) subjects that come out of self-made educations into art. The show is open through end of February (the 25th to be exact) and is really great. Be sure to check it out (and also catch some of the literary treats we will have to share next week…).