Quizotic opening at 1717 Troutman. — Photos by Deborah Hilert
Saturday was a gem of a sunny fall day. After a bike ride to South Brooklyn (incidentally — the Crown Heights coffee/dining/retail scene has really picked up since my last visit) I happily returned to our side of town, stopped for one last cup at my all-time favorite coffee shop and met up with Deborah to check out the big Quizotic opening at 1717 Troutman. I was very curious about the show and hadn’t been to the warehouse building since before the great "booting of ’07."
Curators Andrew Graham and Cassie Raihl gathered a "group exhibition of over forty artists all connected by several degrees of social separation," and hung and placed the works based on artists’ answers to a short quiz. "Quiz questions were found and were chosen to isolate and honor authorial concerns and create useful subtexts within this eclectic mix, as well as obviate the need for curatorial input." The temporary exhibition space (several lofts on the 3rd floor) was a partial donation and will be open 12-5 daily until Friday 9/25.
What we found on the 3rd floor after we grabbed cold-ish Budweisers at the door, was a mishmash of work featuring something for everyone. It had the feel of a graduate open studio show — an overwhelming array ranging from extremely high-quality photo prints to gorgeous, perfectly executed figure paintings to, well, a sculpture of poop on a chair. There was quite a crowd, seemingly made up of friends and fans of the artists as well as curious culture vultures.
The building offered a few unplanned additions to the exhibition. The view of the city at sunset was spectacular, and we got a peek at a chandelier production operation as well as an absolutely gorgeous art studio down the hall. (The artist, Angel, was super friendly and obviously talented but I mistakenly neglected to get his full name and info).
I talked to third-year Hunter MFA candidate Alix Winsby after the opening about her work and the show. We both agreed that the reception to the exhibit was very positive, and Alix was glad to show with such "lovely and talented company." I was curious about the quiz methodology, and Alix described it as, "really funny and random," including questions such as "Do you like to wear a cape (No/ Yes)" and "End corporate welfare, no handouts to businesses (Agree/ Disagree)."
Alix showed 2 pieces, a beautiful panoramic photo and a photographic sculpture, of sorts.
Untitled (Sandyhook, New Jersey), 2008 "is a panorama comprised of many images to show a 180-degree view,"she said. "I was trying to capture a sense of a disorienting space and produce an impossible perspective. Photographing in this fashion allows me to create an impossible yet familiar environment."
Her other piece was a boat praxinoscope: "…a variation on a series of praxinoscopes I am making. It can be spun (and was being spun by many) and the images reflected in the mirrors generate a contained world. This praxinoscope is flawed and off-kilter like a boat in a storm, with the water inside where my hand skims the water of a tub."
Try and check it out in the remaining couple of days. To close out our Saturday night, Deborah and I stopped at a lovely Bushwick garden BBQ then headed to Tandem, where it was smiles all around. We ran into the glitterati of our dearly missed Pocket Utopia (including Austin Thomas, Adam Simon, Ben Godward and Kevin Regan). Speaking of Kevin, a little birdie told me that he and fellow Bushwick-based artist Ellen Letcher will soon be opening a gallery space in Ridgewood. We’ll keep you posted.