Group exhibition featuring works by Fia Backström, Francisca Benítez, Papo Colo, and Clynton Lowry
Opening November 2021
512 West 19th Street
The opening and closing dates of the exhibition will be determined in collaboration with the participating artists. More information and updates on public visiting hours will be released later in the fall
The word support commonly appears in language describing the aims and activities of mission-driven, nonprofit institutions like The Kitchen. This exhibition invites artists Fia Backström, Francisca Benítez, Papo Colo, and Clynton Lowry to reflect on what this term means in practice within institutional contexts, asking: How do institutions rely on cycles of providing and receiving support? In what ways do institutions position themselves in support of people, projects, or causes? Is support inherently good? Participating artists will create new works that animate the interlocking structural, fiscal, interpersonal, and ideological systems underpinning institutions. Highlighting interstitial spaces in which artists, staff, and audience members commonly enact or accept support in its manifold forms, these works will be installed in sites such as The Kitchen’s lobby, production workshop, administrative offices, and roof. While realizing In Support, the artists and the institution’s staff members will work collaboratively to negotiate the opportunities—and grapple with the limitations—of how support functions within and beyond The Kitchen. Organized by Alison Burstein, Curator, Media and Engagement.
Fia Backström (b. 1970, Sweden) is an interdisciplinary artist and writer, whose work ranges from projects including institutional frameworks and participants to text-based performances, photography, and installation-based exhibitions. Backström’s works have been shown at Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2019, 2010); MUSAC, Léon (2014); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010); Serpentine Gallery (2007); and The Kitchen (2007), among others. She represented Sweden at the Venice Biennial in 2011 and participated in the Whitney Biennial in 2008. Her work was the subject of the Artist's Institute fall season 2015. Her books include COOP a-script, Primary Information (2016) and Fia Backström, Sternberg press (2011).
Francisca Benítez (b.1974) is an artist born and raised in Chile, living and working in New York since 1998. Her practice explores relations between space, politics, and language, using different mediums including video, photography, performance, and drawing. Interested in systems of collective living, her work usually begins in the places where she lives and is linked to the communities she is part of and interacts with. Her work has been exhibited at venues including Storefront for Art and Architecture, Exit Art, El Museo del Barrio, and The High Line in New York; Museo de Artes Visuales, Santiago, Chile; Museu de Arte Contemporánea da USP, São Paulo; SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM; and Jeu de Paume, Paris. She is the recipient of several awards including a Lambent Fellowship from the TIDES Foundation. Benítez holds an MFA from Hunter College, New York and an MA in Architecture from Universidad de Chile, Santiago. She is an alto singer in the Stop Shopping Choir, an anti-capitalist direct action performance group based in New York.
Papo Colo (b. 1946, Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico) is a performance artist, painter, writer, and curator who lives and works in New York City and the El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico. In 1982 he co-founded Exit Art with Jeanette Ingberman, which became one of New York’s most important alternate art spaces. Colo’s work has been exhibited at numerous venues, including at MoMA PS1 in 2016 and as part of the exhibition Radical Presence, organized at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, and which traveled to the Walker Art Center, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and the Studio Museum in Harlem (2013–2015). His work has also been shown at The Clocktower (2013); Galeria de la Raza, San Francisco and MoMA PS1, New York (both 2009); El Museo del Barrio, New York (2008); National Gallery of Puerto Rico (2007); Grey Art Gallery, New York (2006); Art in General, New York (2006); RISD Museum, Providence (2005); and the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach (2001).
Clynton Lowry (b. 1984) is an artist based in New York and Los Angeles. He is the creator and editor-in-chief of Art Handler, the first publication to make the behind-the-scenes of the art world its focus. The magazine celebrates the day-to-day grind that makes possible art’s rarefied and glamorous scene. Art Handler’s goal is to uncover the inner workings of labor and logistics in the art world—conversations that are too often buried and ignored. More than just a magazine, Art Handler is building a platform for an expanded consideration of art culture—and the work of producing it. Lowry received his MFA in Painting from Yale School of Art and his BA in English from UC Berkeley. He is also the founder of Jobs.art, an international listings website for the art community.
In Support is made possible with support from Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, Cowles Charitable Trust, Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts; 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 Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.
Image: Francisca Benítez, research photograph of the roof of 512 West 19th Street, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.
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