Disputed Borders

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Disputed Borders

Michael McKeown
Corbett Fogue
and Christopher Brace

March 25 – April 17, 2016
Opening Reception: March 25 | 6-9 PM

curated by Wilson Duggan

ArtHelix is pleased to present Disputed Borders, a group exhibition curated by Wilson Duggan that examines the boundaries and conflicts between places, people, memory, and time.

Disputed Borders features work by Michael McKeown, Corbett Fogue, and Christopher Brace. Please join us March 25th from 6-9PM for an opening reception at the gallery.

Michael McKeown constructs large-scale missile sculptures out of found materials and trashcans, designed as parodies of weapons built and maintained to cause destruction on a massive scale. McKeown’s work presents a socio-political critique of global militarization, particularly drawing on his memories of the Cold War and the effects of global nuclear armament. The choice of materials addresses with tongue in cheek the artist’s understanding of the “colossal waste of resources” that the global arms race perpetuates. A number of ink drawings composed on old military maps complement McKeown’s sculpture. Here, McKeown’s imagined missiles float atop the contours of the maps’ charted geography, employing bright colors and playful designs that contrast with the subject matter to an effect both somber and darkly humorous.

Corbett Fogue’s multi-disciplinary practice as an artist addresses his memories of his late father, and the circumstances of his untimely death from an incurable lung condition. On view in the exhibition is a wall drawing from his series of Ark Studies, which draw from his memories visiting his father’s architecture studio as a child. The drawing is an invented and fantastic schematic of an ark or vessel that travel the boundary between life and death, transporting Fogue to reunite with his father. Fogue’s series of Breath Studies, represented here in an installation of drawings titled Drawing Breath, explore the act of breathing as a bodily function so fundamentally vital for all life, but so constant and basic that it is easily taken for granted.

Christopher Brace’s photographs capture the boundaries of time that constantly press us forward. Brace’s work deals in the aesthetics of nostalgia, depicting decaying signs and advertisements leftover from a different era, yet still present around the city. His eye for composition captures the grittiness of urban landscape with clear and direct focus, and in a style that exudes contemporary vibrance despite a subject that is fixed in a different time.

The artworks on view challenge other boundaries within the gallery itself. McKeown’s missile, initially proposed and realized as an outdoor installation, physically dominates the gallery space, stretching all the way to the ceiling and scrunched into a corner. Fogue’s Ark Study is composed directly on the gallery wall, bound to the physical limit of the space, and Drawing Breath flanks the gallery entrance, creating a portal that delineates the exhibition. Brace’s photographs of old city façades are framed and presented against the bricks of exactly that, an old Bushwick warehouse façade, now contained inside a gallery space built adjacent to the original structure. Exhibited together and with exposed tensions, the work of these three artists communes along a common perimeter.

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