September 24–November 6
The Dissolution caus’d by Fire is in all Bodies
at Smack Mellon
Smack Mellon presents a group exhibition featuring works by Leah Beeferman (with soundtracks by Byron Westbrook, Olli Aarni, and Bryce Hackford), Mimi Park, and Charisse Pearlina Weston, in addition to a photographic print by Paul Strand. This exhibition accompanies a large-scale commission by Luba Drozd in Smack Mellon’s main gallery, The Tenacity of a Fluid Trace. Both exhibitions take their titles from a historical text written in 1743 by Francesco Serao detailing his observations of Mount Vesuvius shortly after a devastating eruption. It was in this text that Serao coined the term “lava” and pushed for an understanding of volcanic eruptions as a living function of the earth as opposed to fire and brimstone.
This exhibition takes cues from the resonant and material transformations that are present within the sonic, architectural, and abstract forms of Drozd’s installation—specifically, how these elements impact bodily experience. Beeferman, Park, and Weston expand on these resonances, asking: what are the physical conditions necessary to establish what we understand to be “alive”? By what means can these conditions be perceived and communicated? And what are the tactile connections between experience and representation? Together they propose nuanced perspectives of physical bodies without explicit representation. Using discarded materials and robotics, representations of palm fronds, landscapes, bodies of water, and architecture, the works are activated by subtle movements and language to become surrogates for bodily empathy. The exhibition’s title unites these materialities, serving as a reminder that all things physical, sentient or not, have the capacity to vibrate at a frequency so high that they will, in fact, burn.
The Dissolution caus’d by Fire is in all Bodies is part of the newly launched Close Readings series, and is curated in conjunction with Luba Drozd, The Tenacity of a Fluid Trace. Once per year, Smack Mellon will present a new commission by one under-recognized, early to mid-career artist in Gallery One along with an accompanying exhibition in Gallery Two that uses the central commission as a curatorial framework. This program extends our support for interdisciplinary artists by building conversations around their practices in addition to facilitating the realization of ambitious, site-specific projects.
Screening, Special Event
Pearl Street TriangleOctober 6, 7:00 PM–October 6, 10:00 PM
Higher Pictures GenerationOctober 1–November 26
Platform Project SpaceSeptember 30–October 29
Main WindowSeptember 29–December 1