JUNE 18 - JULY 9, 2016
OPENING RECEPTION: JUNE 18 5:30 TO 9:30 PM REGULAR HOURS: FRI/SAT 3:00 - 7:30 PM AND BY APPT
SERVICE is an exhibition of works by established artists featuring sculpture, multimedia installation, and performance. Each piece addresses a part of the service industry, exposing dangerous cultural narratives and the subjective realities of service employees.
Art and service are both the products of emotional and manual labor. The value of art, like the value of emotion and experience, is based on a historical series of abstractions and subjective reactions. It is ironic that the root of each lies in an unquantifiable immaterial realm, and yet the average salary of a service industry employee is an infinitesimal fraction of market value of so many artworks. The two realms—service and art, are inexorably linked as many artists, including some of those featured in SERVICE, support their creative lives with service jobs.
The service sector makes up more than 75% of jobs in the United States. It encompasses many professions, but is in essence defined by abstraction. Here, emotion, intellect, and experience are indispensable, and the exchange of material becomes secondary from the consumer’s perspective.
The word SERVICE carries connotations of inferiority and servitude. In many fields, the repression of the self is required for survival. Constant interfacing with the public necessitates disassociation and the creation of an external visage—a smiling automaton who has mastered the art of the superficial relationship. Beyond the individual realities of service employees, there is often a structural veneer that allows for the fetishizing of certain professions. In a service economy, the roles of the bartender/barista, the brawny mover, and the flight attendant are glorified: Professions that are composed of physical and emotional work once relegated to the realm of menial labor are now given an aesthetic of luxury and regarded as crafts and trades in the popular narrative.
SERVICE is curated by Allison Remy Hall and features sculptural works by Jessi Li, Zachary Pritchard, Sam Pullin, Allison Remy Hall, and Laura Quattrocchi; video by Sylvestre Gobart, Stéphane Garin, and Shua Group; and performance by Andrew Emmet.