Shabby But Thriving explores the subjugation and agency of various bodies. It consists of a two-channel video, Living Room (2017), staged within a multi-room installation among sculptural objects. The sculptures augment and animate Living Room’s narrative: a stripped and gutted couch outfitted with under-glow, cast bags of dirt embedded with (Felix Gonzalez-Torres-esque) foil candies, and a carpet soiled during the couch demolition. The left channel of Living Room is projected onto an incomplete drywall partition; the right is projected onto a propped up piece of drywall. In the second room, a brightly lit corridor beyond the partition, is a series of works that draw attention to the details and edges of the space using symbolic materials from the video—such as fishing lures, pennies, newspapers and a shirt with the text ‘NO’ printed on it.
The Resource Center—a hybrid exhibition, study, and pedagogical space adjacent to the main gallery—offers a variety of modes for understanding and utilizing energies of the burdened body, taking cues from reading rooms, the gym, a scream room, spaces of respite and listening. A punching bag, installed in the space for visitors’ use, speaks to the ways in which bodies process shock, psychic and physical trauma, grief, and rage in the face of political extremism. The Resource Center also includes theoretical texts and artists writings on these subjects, a listen station of musicians who have use vocals to explore bodily thresholds, tissues (for tears) and free tampons.