Show The People What They've Won
April 7 — July 2, 2017
The Delaware Contemporary
Featuring video and installation by Jenny Drumgoole and Sister Spaceship
In Show The People What They’ve Won, Jenny Drumgoole and Sister Spaceship explore the fringes of reality, virtual reality, and reality television. Each artist has her own approach to peeling back the veneer of our current hyper-media state. Sister Spaceship dresses down the camera-ready, heavily scripted monotony of daytime television and offers a humbled version of our favorite TV formats. Jenny Drumgoole takes to the Internet and turns a fun-for-all Philadelphia Cream Cheese competition into a chance to pull back the curtain and expose the false identities of mass-market ad campaigns.
Sister Spaceship and Jenny Drumgoole explore our obsessive relationship with connectivity and the facades we readily create and accept in life. Their work points to how we might liberate ourselves from buying into the media game, while not selling out our individuality. That balance is hard to find and their artistic process is a means of finding it.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Sister Spaceship is a collaborative duo comprised of Kristen Mills and Angie Melchin. They perform as unassuming characters living in a spacecraft and carry out seemingly innocuous scenarios for live, but sometimes uninvited audiences. The duo equally and eagerly grapple with gender and class issues along with other socio-cultural tendencies. Their sets and locations change, no place is off limits for their camera: they have interviewed live audiences, conducted an “Antiques Road Show” style appraisal of every-day things, Other-People’s-Book-Signing tours, and woman-on-the-street style news segments on the crumbling infrastructure of Philadelphia. Their performances are as much a product of curiosity as they are the impetus of larger conversations, which they moderate with tactful wit.
Jenny Drumgoole is a Philadelphia-based artist who inserts herself into marginal spaces for pseudo-celebrity within popular culture. She recently infiltrated an online marketing campaign by Philadelphia Cream Cheese in which “Paula Deen” would select the best recipe from contestants across the country. Each week, women would upload a video of their cream cheese recipe, and the community would vote, those who were favored moved ahead. Jenny’s initial recipe video was how to sculpt a cream cheese bust of Rambo, naturally she was an instant favorite. She moved from round to round, each time her video recipes getting more bizarre, but the people loved them. Ultimately, she was invited to meet Paula Deen herself, who had been cheering her on from the beginning. In Show The People What They’ve Won, Jenny exhibits the culmination of this artistic journey from participating in an ad campaign to empowering women across the country.
We See The Stars
November 18, 2016 — January 26, 2017
The Delware Contemporary
Featuring video work by Veronica Cianfrano, Hillary Hanak and Kelly Murray, Amy Hicks, Hillerbrand + Magsamen, Edward Ramsay-Morin, Ryan Murray, Quentin Quinn, Qin Tan
Science has been steadily catching up with fiction. Jules Verne wrote about sending humans to the moon in a metal bullet fired from Earth’s surface, and one hundred years later NASA turned his fantasy into reality with Apollo. Star Trek showed us a world of wireless telecommunications and virtual sensory instruments, and merely decades later we carry those tools in our pockets. The rate at which science meets its fictional counterpart is quickening, but so is the rate at which our imaginations can conceive of grander achievements.
The earliest humans must have wondered about the night sky; we are still trying to answer those ancient queries. Their early curiosities were written into our DNA; two million years later we have walked the moon, photographed Pluto, and made early forays to Mars. That instinctual wonder has echoed down the eons and pushed us into space to touch the stars.
The artists in We See The Stars juxtapose traditional narrative structures with non-linear digital video art to explore our relationship with outer space. Some use filmic techniques to create a world in which they explore our relationship with space, some use durational performance reinterpreted through a computer, some create visual, textural experiences to delve into dimensionality. In every case, the artist reaches out to, or into, space, passing celestial curiosity into a new age.
Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury best summed up our hunger to defy our limits when he said, “We see the stars, and we want them.”