The New York University Curatorial Collaborative presents Systems Flow, part of the 2017 Senior Honors Studio exhibition series. The series will feature five one-week exhibitions, running from February 7th through March 11th at the 80WSE Gallery Project Space. This is the third year of the student-led initiative, designed to connect graduate students in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts with undergraduates in Steinhardt’s Department of Art and Art Professions.
In Systems Flow, works by Jóa and Kiyomi Taylor suggest that the often-oppositional binaries of the organic and the mechanical may be not only symbiotic, but interdependent. The artists’ invented spaces – man-made ecosystems and fantastical personal narratives – are as detached and independent as they are fundamentally intimate and alive.
Jóa’s fixtures and installations reimagine natural processes through interconnected glass prisms, in which painted designs and delicately arranged dioramas are thrown into flux by external forces, as electronic systems methodically alter their environmental conditions. Taylor’s paintings and stop-motion videos approach issues of identity and belonging; as inert, painted figures are animated both manually by affixed mobile limbs and mechanically through the interventions of a camera, they perform stories that ask whether it is our experiences or our emotions that linger as memories and selves.
Shared themes of circulation, evolution, and change – manifested in the pervasive flow of water – make these works not only about the experiment of living, but also about the inquisitiveness and innovation (whether from analytical study or raw feeling) needed to sustain and make sense of contemporary life. Literalizing this idea, the artists have collaborated on a handmade aquatic habitat, which houses a population of fish on the gallery floor.
Systems Flow is accompanied by a publication featuring a curatorial essay by Julia Bozer and reproduced images of Jóa’s and Taylor’s work.