The Kitchen presents an expansive new project from ANOHNI, beginning with LOVE, an exhibition of new works in painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and video revolving in part around the figure of The Johnsons’ late member Dr. Julia Yasuda.
Throughout her career, ANOHNI has worked across many mediums in a manner that is more legible today within an increasingly interdisciplinary contemporary artistic context. This very proximity and distance from images and objects—as well as their reanimation—is a premise for the exhibition. As ANOHNI observes, “The pieces in this exhibition use different applications to express a single point of view, including an embrace of performance that for many years was married to my musical output. So much of this work is animist and dealing with ghosts, the living and the dead, with different presences ricocheting among the moments and objects, offering an opportunity to make more intuitive connections between histories, gestures, colors, cataclysms, and ideas.”
Opening Reception: April 3, 6–8pm
April 3–May 11
Gallery hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 11–6pm
In part a memorial dedicated to Yasuda—a longtime collaborator and frequent protagonist in ANOHNI’s plays with The Johnsons—the project summons influences from Kazuo Ohno and Jack Smith to Marsha P. Johnson (after whom The Johnsons were named). More broadly, however, this constellation of artwork underscores correlations between crises past and present, inhaling the AIDS epidemic and exhaling the ecological disaster currently unfolding. “We face grave uncertainty about the existence of a future,” ANOHNI says. “Can we reorganize our compulsion to cut the throat of nature? I keep asking myself, ‘What Is Really Happening?’ The same illness infecting the biosphere has grown around the systems that support my own contemporary life, and a bloom of hopelessness opened up in me. I think about holding space for vanishing, of people, of communities, of biodiversity, in a way that opens into spectral time, leaking all points at once.”
Curated by Tim Griffin, Matthew Lyons, and Nicole Kaack.
Also premiering April 19–22 will be an ambitious new theater piece SHE WHO SAW BEAUTIFUL THINGS which builds on the work of The Johnsons and Blacklips Performance Cult, two performance groups that ANOHNI co-founded in the 1990s. As in the exhibition, these performances will be composed of new work in addition to material from previous decades, featuring an incredible cast of artists, actors, and performers both familiar with and new to these writings: Laurie Anderson, Charles Atlas, Matteah Baim, Michael Cavadias, Tom Cole, Johanna Constantine, Eliza Douglas, Connie Fleming, Scott Jackson, Lola Naisse, Lorraine O’Grady, Kembra Pfahler, and Marti Wilkerson.
Yasuda is again at the very heart of SHE WHO SAW BEAUTIFUL THINGS which pays homage to her influence in a book of portraiture photography by Yasuda’s wife, Erika Yasuda (1946-1986), which ANOHNI has reprinted and expanded, interlayering the images with transparencies of ANOHNI’S delicate drawings, culminating in a beautiful, hardcover, limited-edition volume that functions as much as an artifact. Each audience member in attendance at SHE WHO SAW BEAUTIFUL THINGS will receive one of these artist’s books, signed by ANOHNI, as part of their ticket purchase.
A limited number of this signed, hardcover artist book are also available for purchase independent of performance tickets. More information on The Kitchen's store .
ANOHNI: LOVE is made possible with support from Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Shelley Fox Aarons & Philip E. Aarons, Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, and The Cowles Charitable Trust; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Image: ANOHNI and Julia Yasuda in Our Dreams Are Yoar Dreams.
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