Tiffany Smith, "Untitled (The Tourist)", digital c-print, 2016

Tiffany Smith, "Untitled (The Tourist)", digital c-print, 2016

It Just Sort of Happens One Day                                                                                             February 23 - March 11, 2018

 

For immediate release:

PARADICE PALASE is pleased to present its first show of 2018. To begin, a prompt: have you ever felt like a stranger in a familiar place? The familiar is home, and the stranger is you; or reversely, the stranger is home - home as an idea, an entity, a vessel. Often home is a site so intimate (the site of one’s beginnings), but through life’s trials cannot be revisited in the same way. Sometimes we find ourselves clawing at a feeling of home; at what point do we lose it, and can it ever be found again? At some crossroads in our lives, whether physically or evolutionarily, we become estranged from that personal place. It Just Sort of Happens One Day aims to explore the result of that loss and the varied outlets in which we grow from or attempt to reclaim that outcome.

Our sense of home is traditionally accompanied by feelings of warmth, permanence, and potent familiarity. In a globalized, transient world, what does the idea of home mean today? Is it a concrete place, a fixture in the mind, an ephemeral experience, a series of epitomized ideals? By investigating ourselves against such a relationship, we might better understand our place in this contemporary landscape. No longer are we defined by where we came from, but where we are right now. Often these thoughts are anchored around the childhood bedroom. It is a location for emotional attachment; growth and identity formation; security and refuge. Consider your childhood bedroom - is it a distant place, a foggy memory? Perhaps it is a place you carry with you, the original form preserved in your mind despite its physical adjustments. Or perhaps it's a place you’ll never return at all.

In this exhibition works by Nick Alciati, Valery Jung Estabrook, David Nelson, Tiffany Smith, Estefania Velez, and Eleni Zaharopoulos home in on notions of identity exploration, loss, and coping - anchored by a plethora of bright colors, ephemera, and the soft pink of teenage fantasy. It is both comforting and cluttered, familiar and foreign - the disparity waxing and waning between memory and relic. The exhibition title, borrowed from the film Garden State, emphasizes this pendulum-like shift; at some point each of us must lose our youth. Life will however challenge us to rekindle those emotions and we must journey further in order to regain that enveloping familiarity.

For further questions on the exhibition, artists, and artworks please email Lauren or Kat at paradicepalase@gmail.com.

 

 
 

About the artists:

 

Nick Alciati / @nickalciati

Nick Alciati is a video/installation artist whose work deals with thoughts on home, gender, and representation. Much of his work manifests from memories of his childhood growing up in Catholic school, in upstate New York. As a child, Alciati was forced to fit into the binary norms of gender. Using characters, video and installations, Alciati takes back the shame and dysphoria of his youth through drag alter egos, including Darlene. Darlene is a teenage girl as well as a fantastical pop star who acts as a vehicle of empowerment for those moments of shame in Alciati’s life. This character mirrors the artist’s obsession with pop stars - and his connection to the femme - during his adolescence. Installation is a key element in the work, as it is used to set a stage and context for the videos. The installations are meant to evoke a sense of nostalgia but also call into question the non-binary through the slippage and weaving of genders. In xoxo, Darlene Alciati created his dream teenage bedroom from the late 90’s- early 00’s. His work explores and reflects what it means to be our authentic selves, whether the overproduced pop star or the sad little boy on the bench at his middle school football game.

 

Valery Jung Estabrook / @valery_estabrook

Valery Estabrook is a multidisciplinary Korean-American artist whose work explores identity and technology. Her work consists of individual pieces that have the ability to stand alone, while also supporting and contextualizing each other. She seeks to push the boundaries of how we interact with and perceive new media by using unexpected approaches and materials. Often installed as themed tableaus, the work is intended to be experienced through various sensate strategies by asking the audience to not simply “view” but to also touch and feel. These multimedia presentations provide the audience with an immediacy of engagement, making complex narratives personalized and accessible.


David Nelson / @dnelsondesign

David Nelson makes acrylic process-based paintings with an emphasis on unconventional method and pointillistic/optical color mixing. His main concern is a philosophical balance of opposites: control and freedom, order and chaos, mechanical and organic, system and disruption. In his Past Imperfect series, family photographs are deconstructed to coarse four-color separation screens, then reinterpreted as hundreds of puddles of clear acrylic paint on four layers of plexiglass. What happens when the exact and mechanical gets executed inexactly by hand? Does meaning increase or decrease when information is compromised? What happens when a system - like time and memory - obscures and reveals at the same time? These paintings show that in spite of - or maybe because of - loss and disruption, the ‘real’ strangely and firmly asserts itself.
 

Tiffany Smith / @miss_ladyt

Tiffany Smith is an interdisciplinary artist from the Caribbean diaspora who works with photography, video, installation, and design to create photographic portraits, installations, and assemblages focused on identity, representation, cultural ambiguity, and displacement. Using plant matter, design and home decor elements, pattern and costuming, she references an array of multi-cultural influences that examine their subject’s individual narratives. Derived from her upbringing between Miami, Florida, Nassau, Bahamas, and Jamaica the themes and tableaus in these temporary habitats serve to articulate cultural subjectivities that oscillate between the roles of visitor and native, mirroring the ambiguous cultural space that the subjects occupy. Smith’s practice centers on what forms and defines communities of people of color, in particular; how they are identified and represented, and how they endure.


Estefania Velez / @estefaniavelezart

Estefania Velez is a multimedia artist working in painting, performance, and video. She questions and plays with aspects of her identity by using stereotypical objects, color, sounds and symbols mixed with humor to express awkwardness of feeling like an outlier. In some aspects, she assimilates to cultural behavioral structures and in other aspects, she falls short. Painting and drawing become mediums in which to talk about insecurities and perceived failures of categorizing humans and objects within our physical and symbolic world. Borrowing the bright, natural colors of her Puerto Rican and Floridian upbringing, Estefania marries them to the darker, muted colors of New York to represent the spaces that she inhabits.


Eleni Zaharopoulos / @artbaselthriftstore

Eleni draws inspiration through lived experience and creates work informed by her relationships with other people. Currently her practice is focused on trauma, competition, and self worth. For this body of work entitled Graffiti for Mental Wellness Eleni uses performance, poetry, and collage to create installations that embody both sublimated phantom-teenage and impacted psycho-feminine energies. Through this process is the hope of connecting the viewer to a concept of the illumined self, which stands naked and exposed bathed in the light of transgressive self-expression.