The Soothing Center comes to Trestle Gallery with an opening reception on Saturday, July 29, 2017, from 7 to 9PM, running through Sept 15th, 2017. The exhibit is an alternative spa featuring interactive artworks aimed at combating the daily bombardment of negative stimulation embedded in our material and media cultures.
Sensory based therapies stimulate the mind and body at a molecular level while addressing an array of topics including the intersection of capitalism and wellness, body politics, intimacy, and the failures of language. While formally a functioning spa, The Soothing Center is also an "intra-lational" (stimulating introspection and feeling) art exhibition that brings together makers and practitioners to exhibit a unique type of art that actively affects the viewer through chemistry, participation, and biohacking by utilizing wearable architecture, instructional video meditations, and poetic gestures that can incorporated into a daily routine. The Soothing Center is a cleanse where the body can recalibrate its relationship with itself, stimuli, and governing constructs. For its second iteration, The Soothing Center will have three parts including a standing exhibition, rotating interactive therapies, and supplemental programming including workshops, talks, and group sessions. Together, these elements combine to create an exhibition with functional purpose and opportunities to learn while archiving a moment in time where artists of all types are working to break down conditioned tropes and provide alternative spaces for empathy, interconnectivity, and new feelings through interactive and participatory projects.
The Soothing Center at Trestle Gallery in Gowanus, Brooklyn
July 29th – Sept 15th, 2017 Opening Reception: Saturday, July 29th 7–9PM On view: Friday – Sunday 1–4PM
The standing exhibition would consist of wall works including photographs, text, products, and videos that are supplemental or directly related to the rotating artworks and workshops. Artists in the standing show would include The Institute for New Feeling (IfNF), Wiena Lin, Cole Lu, Keren Moscovitch, Devra Freelander, Material Girls, MJ Caselden, and Deric Carner. IfNF would exhibit a series of video meditations, including You May Like. You May Like is a sonic and visual meditation on clickbait culture that guides the viewer through absurd, scary, and hilarious internet articles while repeating mantras like “never diet again”. The video encourages us to find comfort in the infinite and endless contextual nuances of life while reminding us to be true and skeptical. Wiena Lin and Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde will exhibit Juju, a series of wearable talismans that transmit the user's heartbeats and can send distress signals to other talismans. The objects communicate through satellites and were originally intended to create an alternative communication network based off empathy and trust for minority groups and people of color. MJ Caselden will exhibit Ritual, a generative sound sculpture that amplifies magnetic fields to create a soothing listening experience that can induce a hypnagogic state. Visitors will be able encouraged to lead their own soundbath over the course of the exhibition. Cole Lu will exhibit a series of digital prints, a neon sign, and a sculpture that use symbols, words, and imagery to create a language of contingency and presence, based on environment and context, as opposed to a supposed universality or hierarchy. Carner has designed an installation riffing off spa surfance treatments and includes handmade tiles and a touchable belly sculpture. Devra Freelander will exhibit an alabaster ipod that isolates the cyclical gesture of using the device as a calming, repetitive action. Meanwhile, in the gallery’s project space, Material Girls will present No New Forms, an immersive installation that is part sauna, part scent path, and part fun house. Racheal Starbuck's interactive digital artwork, hosted by Tête-à-tête, will be available for use in the gallery and offsite.
The rotating component of the exhibition would include interactive works by Mattia Casalegno, Joe Winograd, PaulaPart, and Whit Forrester. Mattia Casalegno will exhibit The Open, a wearable mask lined with Green leaf volatiles (the “fresh cut grass” chemical) that functions as a self-led holotropic breathing exercise. As users breathe they will hear themselves breathing in or out and are able to create a meditative loop based off their own rhythm. Winograd will exhibit an immersive sculpture inspired by the science behind color therapy. PaulaPart will present an architectural intervention focused on reconnecting the body back to elemental nature. Whit Forrester interactive artwork uses a bioamplifier to create a system of exchange that is normally unseen between humans and plants.
One-night workshops and group events would be led by Keren Moscovitch and Sonya Derman + Maria Stabio (2MF). Keren Moscovitch is earning her PhD in intimacy and psychology and will lead a participatory event where visitors will build structures between their partner’s bodies. These impromptu structures are held in place by the tension between the two bodies and are aimed at connecting people to the subtleties of an other through breathwork, posture, and concentration. Sonya Derman + Maria Stabio (2MF) create discrete situations and participatory events that use social interaction, empathy, and presence as tools to encourage "pro-emotive and ante-academic conversations among artists".
The Soothing Center first debuted at Satellite Art Show during Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 and received accolades from Hyperallergic, ArtNet, ArteFuse, ArtSpace, Playboy, and DigiCult.