Critics’ Picks

View of “Where The Sun Don’t Shine,” 2013. Center: Elizabeth Jaeger, Reclaimed Milk, 2013, glass, steel, ceramic, Hydrocal, dimensions variable.

New York

“Where The Sun Don’t Shine”

Interstate Projects
66 Knickerbocker Ave
July 5–July 21, 2013

Brooklyn’s Interstate Projects offers an alluring alternative to the Manhattan summer of trotting around Chelsea in a Tennessee Williams–style saturated daze. On view is “6<<<>>>6,” a project consisting of three installments over June and July in which six curators program three different shows. “Where the Sun Don’t Shine,” the current iteration and second wave of the project, is curated by the talented Brooklyn gallery collective 247365 and presents five young female artists––Elizabeth Jaeger, Julia Sherman, Heather Guertin, Brie Ruais, and Meredith James––confronting feminism and self-representation. All steer clear from the reductive trappings that have run alongside decades of identity politics, instead making crisp, individuated self-reflections—unburdened by transgressive posturing and fresh in their personal nature.

For example, Sherman’s video What We Do with the Things We Make and Nobody Else Seems to Want (all worked cited, 2013) features septuagenarian fiber artist Carolyn Potter, a friend of the artist, struggling to drag her large fiber sculpture of a clitoris down the midday streets of Burbank, California. Potter shuffles in a tie-dye muumuu and oversized straw hat and carries a walking stick––her yarn yoni becoming her cross to bare. In the opposite corner, Ruais’s work Inside Folded Out, 128 lbs (Artist’s body weight in clay spread out then folded open from the center) functions as an abstracted self-portrait as well as a mirror that distorts the viewer via the metallic glaze covering the residual topography left by the artist’s fingers pulling clay away from the center to form a lacuna where her body originally stood. The exhibition is anchored by Jaeger’s dark centerpiece Reclaimed Milk, which feels epic in scale. The sculpture consists of a black-painted ceramic woman laid across a large glass table; various isomorphic containers are spread about as if in conversation with the igneous figure; also are two metal-framed chairs adorned with similar vessels. The strategic cold luster, and the matte finish of the deep black glaze on the pots lips and over the folds of the Pygmalion woman’s lean frame, give the whole work a disturbing corporeal quality––caught between human and sculpture.