I Hope This Finds You Well
I Hope This Finds You Well is a group show curated by Eve Leibe Gallery at Gallery 46. Exploring the relationship between technology and detachment, the title is a romantic response to the opening of a conversation, one in which you are willing to engage with again after a long period of detachment. Commenting on sexuality and politics, the exhibition is a timely contribution to the art landscape during an era that has seen the introduction of a more gender-fluid society, and also during a period of global political upheaval. The cautionary phrase “I Hope This Finds You Well” then, could relate to several changes within our surroundings, both in our private lives and in public society as a whole.
Christopher Hartmann’s ambivalent and ambiguous scenes of interpersonal relationships take place in non-descript places or times. Visually estranged bodies long for intimacy that remains unanswered, a reaction to the changes we are seeing within society. Alienated from their surroundings, his subjects are inward-facing, caught between hiding and exposing their vulnerability. Illustrating abjection, violence, intimacy and isolation, Eleni Odysseos’s works reflect on the current reality of political instability and division that is widespread across the globe. Her paintings deconstruct the complexities of personal companionship, and also of hierarchical power systems. Meanwhile, Ian Caleb Molina Zoller draws biomorphic, zoomorphic and sexual symbols to explore the revolution attacking boundaries around gender and sexuality within society. A bridge between the abstract consciousness and the physical world that we live in, his work sheds light on carnal experiences and earthly necessities. Within Jaime Welsh’s photographic series Blood male characters are reflected and doubled through mirrors and screens. There is a charged psychological mirroring that is contained within Welsh’s intimate still scenarios, shot within the artist’s own room. Alluding to the passing of time, the mirror reproduces a reflective social commentary of both human life and death, multiplying dimensions of time and space. Jans Muskee’s work depicts love, passion and gender. In careful reproductions of visual reality, he uses nudity as a way to protest and to celebrate the power of bodies – of all genders – equally. Meanwhile, Maurizio Bongiovanni’s oil painting is a reflection on our readings of mythology. Nude, it comments on the sexualised heroes have been portrayed throughout history. Arms tied back, with an arrow in the torso with bloody lips. Make-up or the remnants of a passionate kiss? It is for the viewer to decide. In Pouyan Jafarizadeh’s video installation in collaboration with the sound composer Jilliene Sellner, gives a meditative reflection on the isolation of antidepressants and sexual experience, something that feels timely given the fact that society is now afflicted with rising levels of mental illness. Sarah Thibault’s work meanwhile is inspired by Instagram selfies – the social media of choice that is dominating most of our lives. Including iconography from historically religious paintings that have traditionally been deemed feminine, she acts as both artist and muse, consumer and creator of imagery and culture.