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Material Reality III / Heide Hatry

  • 99 Montrose Avenue Brooklyn, NY, 11206 United States (map)

Material Reality III, a brief pop-up exhibition running from June 5th-13th at Spoonbill Studio [99 Montrose Ave] will offer a curated glimpse into the philosophically complex work of German “neo-conceptualist,” Heide Hatry, as well as an opportunity to hear her speak on her unique relationship both to physical material and to the book as primary vehicle fora collaborative conceptual art practice. On Friday, June 8th at 7pm she will discuss the sources of her subjects, the dynamic of collaborative creation, the nature of the aesthetic experience, the effects of knowledge upon our apprehension of beauty, and the meaning and value of presence in art. The event itself will include the collaboration of poets, writers, and musicians: Jane LeCroy, Christine Isherwood, John S. Hall, Naief Yehya, and Addision Parks (in memoriam).

The most obvious distinguishing feature of Hatry’s art is certainly the eccentric-
seeming and perhaps disturbing stuff of which it is made, by means of which she has
conducted an intimate and conscientious fifteen-year- long engagement with
material reality at its most entropic, debased, and taboo-laden. Using dead flesh,
animal offal, the rusted, charred, or desiccated remains of once-pliable and resilient
substances, decaying, rotting, or denatured organic matter, residues of bodily
processes, and, most recently, human ashes, she has insisted on a different picture of
the world than the sanitized, dissembled, and largely impervious façade behind
which we conceal the violence, slaughter, pillage, plunder, and indifference that are
the largely unspoken foundation of our lives will readily admit.

At the same time, Hatry’s work is deeply conceptual, in subject, in structure and,
indeed, in substance. She has described it as an attempt to make art subjects,
instead of art objects, and the strategies by means of which she has embraced the
phenomenal, setting the artwork free from conventional physicality even while
intricately connecting it within complex networks of ultimately unfathomable
communication, have delineated an effort to liberate it, and its makers and viewers,
from its thralldom to a rigid and finally merely grammatical understanding of the
physical. In the large-scale collaborative conceptual art projects whose ultimate
form is always the book, she has insinuated an ontology that, while it gives the
impression of stability, is in fact infinitely variable, that, though it is quiescent, is
alive with teeming potential, that is both solidly physical and fundamentally
ethereal, definitive and unreckonable. Her visual works are part of a vast and
unending dialogue of which their particular incarnation in her books is merely a
single demonstration.

Earlier Event: May 21
In Cold Read
Later Event: June 10
Transformation ~ a poetry reading