Saturday, September 17, 2016 4-6pm
Drive-By Projects, 81 Spring Street, Watertown, MA
Thursdays 12-4pm and by appointment.
Drive-By Projects is pleased to open its Fall 2016 season with For The Saturday Evening Girls,* an exhibition of work by five women artists who address the timely topic of immigration as seen through their personal immigrant histories.
"I am a domestic archeologist in pursuit of good taste". Seeking out antiquated symbols of femininity, domesticity and class, Elizabeth Alexander deconstructs and reconstructs selected objects to tell of misplaced values and the tragi-comic quest for status in a self-conscious society. A descendent of English grandparents on both sides of her family, she addresses her British heritage when she hand-cuts the painted decorations out of porcelain and bone china teacups to create hollowed vessels with titles such as Queen's Garden II and III.
Larrisa Bates's small, intricately detailed paintings honor the memory of the mother, from whom she was separated at a young age. Yet, her mother's family was deeply involved with United Fruit Company in Costa Rica, a neo-imperialist exploiter of the native population. Bates's conflicted feelings about her heritage are reflected in her interest in the Saturday Evening Girls. The underlying implication that the new system of values being offered to these young immigrants was superior to those of their native culture touches on the same issues of identity and acculturation that Bates explores in all her work.
Sheila Gallagher's ancestors include a colorful cast of characters on both sides of her Irish family, though the Gallagher, Sheehan, McMahon, Macguire story is not an entirely happy one. Among the tales of daring deeds are tragic accounts of family members suffering from what Gallagher terms "transgenerational trauma."
"Some believe that people of the Irish diaspora on some deep level harbor the losses of a colonized people who were forbidden to speak their language, practice their religion, and own property. Or is it an unspoken shame in the DNA of the survivors who fled the Great Hunger and lived while the others died at home."
For the Saturday Evening Girls will include a scheduled animated talk with passages from Twinsome Minds, Gallagher's collaborative work with philosopher Richard Kearney. The event will integrate Lily Poppy Flow, a video commissioned by the Abbey Theater, Dublin in commemoration of the centenary of World War I and the 1916 Easter Uprising, with an installation of the ink drawings from the animation.
Jeanne Heifetz confesses to a sometimes paralyzing fear of death that began in her youth. This lifelong relationship with death, combined with an interest in her Jewish heritage, has influenced Heifetz's recent work. Just as immigrants from the same village or shtetl in Eastern Europe would settle on the same block in NYC, Jewish cemetery plots were often bought by burial societies whose members had come from the same shtetl. Each image in this series of drawings is based on the map of a Jewish cemetery, starting with the parcel of eight cemetery plots that Heifetz inherited from her grandfather.
Anina Major's video Cultural Topography explores the complexities of identity associated with the immigrant experience. Set on a shoreline, it depicts a conjoined group of shallow ceramic bowls washing in and out with the surf. Major sees each colorful, handmade dish as a representative of a different island and its people from her Bahamian homeland. It is easy to relate to the cycle of remembering and forgetting, coming and going, suggested by the continuous and timeless process of Major's artifact being carried in and out on the lapping waves.
*For more information on the Saturday Evening Girls, see Art and Reform, Sara Galner, the Saturday Evening Girls, and their Paul Revere Pottery by Nonie Gadsden, Carolyn and Peter Lynch Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Also by Nonie Gadsden, The Story of the Saturday Evening Girls and their Paul Revere Pottery, Antiques and Fine Arts.
We are pleased to announce that Fritz Horstman, who will be included in our upcoming drawing exhibition, has been selected to participate in the deCordova New England Biennial.
On View Sep 02, 2016 - Jun 01, 2017.
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