The New York University Curatorial Collaborative presents Terrace House, the final show of the 2017 Senior Honors Studio exhibition series. The series features five, single-week exhibitions and will run 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 School’s Department of Art and Art Professions.
Terrace House is a meditation on rage. Rage is not necessarily loud or violent or obvious – it churns, brews, and sustains. There is a productivity born from rage, a motivating force necessary to exorcise the hum of anger, like the silent, slow leak of a balloon. Underpinning these works is a hostility not to be taken at face value. Considered together, Wang and Bilor-Wesly’s works reflect on the characterization of their experience as “other”, a taking up of space they have previously been denied. The works convey a frustration with outside attempts at politicization, when more accurately the works are political because they have to be. And yet, perhaps reaching a mutual understanding isn’t the point at all. Even so, the quietness and coded materiality of these works present a choice of engagement; the experience could be one of tranquility or confrontation. Bilor-Wesly and Wang take refuge in this instability.
Bilor-Wesly’s follows an instinctual, tangential working method, and the end result is a manifestation of distance, an objectification of the unattainable. Through their depiction, these objects, places, and individuals are brought into the artist’s space and made to feel the way she does. An identity accused of otherness is reversed into a kind of ownership, a wielding of power within the frame.
Wang’s use of oil and its discarded jugs, a full life cycle of the material, identifies oil as the lifeforce it is – oil as economy, as community, as sustenance, as the subject of conflict and war. In the bowls, the stillness of the oil resembles a wishing well, its smooth surface interrupted by the tremors of its surroundings.
Terrace House is documented in an accompanying publication featuring a curatorial essay by Eva Jensen and reproduced images of additional works by Wang and Bilor-Wesly.