Gallery: chashama 461 Gallery, 461 West 126th Street, New York, NY
Chashama 461 Gallery is pleased to present Anatomy of Desire, Sarah Allen Eagen’s debut solo exhibition in New York City. Presenting new mixed media and sculptural work from the artist’s cross-disciplinary practice: This exhibition uses the vocabulary of human anatomy to explore psychological states by focusing on the violent side of the desire to connect and the tensions present within the act of longing. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, September 15 at Chashama 461 Gallery (461 W 126 St., New York, New York) from 6pm to 9pm.
Anatomy of Desire features provocative images of female independence at its most intimate, centering explicitly on the body, and invites us to consider the ways women do and do not own their bodies. For instance, “Her Throat Cut” is a small mixed media work which combines photography and drawn elements. A pair of unshaved legs brandishing metallic high heels protrudes from painted elements which resemble a blood splatter. The figure without a head or hands is poised in the midst of what looks like an act of violence. Similarly, “And then they touch you,” a large scale painting depicting an abstract group of people with outstretched hands. In this painting, it is difficult to discern where one figure ends and another begins. This work interrelates notions of individuality and collectivity: there are traces of the individual contained in the collective, and similarly traces of collective social norms contained within the individual. Anatomy of Desire explores human frailty and mortality and presents a space where contradictory ideas rub up against one and another. This body of work focuses on the tension between the artificial and the real, comfort and discomfort, and the stunning and the grotesque by exploring the moment when these distinctions dissolve.The viewer witnesses a bodily form quivering on the knife’s edge of seduction and repulsion, and must navigate this charged psychological space. Anatomy of Desire is a body of work which possess a disorienting doubleness - forcing the viewer to examine the work with extra care and putting them on intimate terms with one’s own vulnerability.
Tender: Intimacy in the Digital Age
Exhibition Dates: July 9 - August 1, 2015
Gallery: The Beacon Room, Beacon Artists Union (BAU), 506 Main Street, Beacon NY, 12508
Tender: Intimacy in the Digital Age, is an immersive site-specific installation featuring new artwork by Sarah Allen Eagen, marking the artist’s first solo exhibition in Beacon, New York. Tender: Intimacy in the Digital Age explores explores the sensual, vulnerable, and alienating aspects of the digitization of society. This exhibition explores interpersonal relationships in the twenty-first century, where intimacy is often replaced with immediacy. “Tender” is a play on “Tinder,” the name of the ubiquitous dating app whose tag-line is “Tinder is how people meet. It's like real life, but better.” The Internet has an immediate and powerful impact on human relationships, and this exhibition is Inspired by the ways in which the human experience is mediated by digital skins. Eagen’s work highlights the ways in which people communicate and construct their identity in an online world and demonstrates how the desire for connection can be found in the ways in which people use technology to connect with one and another.
In the site-specific mixed media installation, Intimacy in the Digital Age, twelve artworks on Mylar are hung unframed in a grid formation. Each individual 8.5” x 11” mixed media artwork features a portrait of a fragmented photograph which floats inches from the wall on which it is mounted. These provocative images depict fragmented figures that are simultaneously unnerving and alluring: the source image is distanced from its referent creating an elasticity between what is shown and what is understood. This work explores the ways in which individuals create online identities, and relationships. Eagen’s figures defy easy categorization and gender identification and float on empty backgrounds. Each mixed media artwork in hung in close proximity to the next, and appears to be reaching, a futile attempt to cross the border into the figure next to it. Each portrait is not of an individual, but of a persona that is ultimately alone. The virtual world provides a seemingly quick fix in the search for meaningful bonds. When one feels alone, they can send a text, or search for a new connection, and receive immediate feedback. These transient cyber connections can be satisfying in the short term, but are a different experience than as face-to-face, voice-to-ear, skin-to-skin communication. There is a power and fragility underlying this desire for connection and hidden moments of contact as this tenderness is mediated by technology.
Feed Me Diamonds
Exhibition Dates: September 18 - October 4, 2015
Gallery: Vitrina Gallery, 90 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002
Feed Me Diamonds explores the relationship between saturation, material inequality and modern anxiety. The title of the exhibition is an absurd proposition: It reflects an obsession and desperate desire for wealth and instant pleasure so strong, that one begs to be fed diamonds with the hope that the status symbol will merge with the core of one’s being and become a part of their identity. The exhibition reflects an enduring attraction and impossible obsession with glamour as a contemporary preoccupation that is part curse, part pleasure, part impossible fantasy.
Feed Me Diamonds invites viewers to confront notions of narcissism, consumption, and instant gratification. Inspired by the idea of “affluenza,” a portmanteau of affluence and influenza, a term used by critics of consumerism and is a used to describe a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people. The artist interprets the term affluenza literally: Throughout the exhibition, figurative sculptures are pockmarked with rhinestones which obscure their humanity. This body of work co-mingles representations of fashion and decadence with references to illness, trauma and decay: accessories, rhinestones and other symbols of wealth appear to be a contagious infection of the skin and body of the figures in these mixed media works and sculptures. Fashion has always played a leading role in constructing images and meanings during periods of rapid social, economic and technological change: It can act out instability or loss, or it can stake out the territory of new social and sexual identities.
What makes Eagen’s work interesting, is her fierce and contemporary use of the well-worn medium of collage as a metaphor for shifting concepts of global identity. This new body of work work reflects the ways in which societies labels impact identity, and the ways in which identity is always fugitive. The artist’s process mimics amputation, transplant operations and torturous prosthetics. The mixed media collage, “Money to Burn”, that features a photograph of a body without a head or legs; the figure wears a sequined dress and coat, while a single arm holds a glass of wine. The figures is a freakish and erotic hybrid of the contemporary and post-human. These sometimes garish, diseased, ravaged and distorted figures are made from seductive or silly materials like glossy photographs, glitter or rhinestones or fur. The sculpture, “Feed Me Glass”, echoes the form of a human face with a large tumorous silver growth on the side of its head. Made from foam, wax and rhinestones, these accessories resemble tumors, or prosthetic body parts that are competing with or taking over the body
Feed Me Diamonds examines the dark underpinnings of that which has become commonplace, and is an exploration of identity politics and consumer culture. In this exhibition representations of fashion and decadence are co-mingled with references death, trauma and decay. These artworks explore the idea of saturation and suggests that this is a manifestation of modern anxieties about Western-consumer culture.
Exhibition Dates: 2012
Gallery: 25 East Gallery, Parsons The New School for Design, New York, NY,
Exhibition Dates: July 18 - 29, 2012
Gallery: Propeller Centre for the Arts, 984 Queen St West, Toronto, Canada
The Propeller Centre for the Arts is pleased to present Life. Serial. an exhibition inspired by television shows. The recent resurgence in popularity of the sitcom, perhaps suggests a desire to go back to a "simpler time", when all life's problems got neatly resolved in a half-hour. This anecdotal exhibition is a reflection of the sitcoms we grew up with, from the 50s until the present. Featuring artwork by Nicole Bazuin, Ellen Bleiwas, Mel Coleman, DNA Dodds, Sarah Allen Eagen, Philip Hare, Cheryl Hsu, Tai Kim, Gary MacLeod, Wendy MacMillan, Madeline Mathews, Pixel Dreams Team (PDT), Kendra Sartorelli, Andres Vosu, Benjamin Wieler, Ross Winter, and Erin Zimerman.
Nuit Blanche: "Honey I'm Home!"
"Honey I'm Home!" Live at Nuit Blanche, Toronto, 2011
By Nicole Bazuin, Sarah Eagen and Cheryl Hsu In partnership with Wendy Cukier, James Warrack & Madeleine Collective Produced by Ryerson University's Diversity Institute & School of Image Arts
“Honey I’m Home!” - was presented as part of a contemporary art festival in Toronto conceived, produced and evaluated by a team lead by three young female artists with the support of an extensive team of professionals and volunteers. The interactive film installation enabled the audience to co-create episodes of a situational comedy (sit com) by playing the role of “father” regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or age in an effort to disrupt both the genre of sit com as well as the stereotypical notions of “family” (social goals), on a fully cost recovery sustainable basis (economic goals) while engaging the audience and breaking new ground (artistic goals). The production involved more than 50 professional and volunteer artists, screenwriters, writers, musicians, film editors, designers, technicians, stage crew, actors and others and engaged more than 60 audience members in 60 five minute film episodes created during a 12 hour exhibition period which was attended by more than 500 viewers.
The harried mother, two rambunctious kids and the clueless, bumbling father – welcome to the family sitcom. A classic, tried-and-true formula that we all know and love – but does it truly reflect the real experiences of the modern and diverse Canadian family? The exhibitHoney I'm Home! was featured in Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2011 and parodies the familiar sitcoms of the 1990s such as Full House, Everybody Loves Raymond or Home Improvement. You will recognize the popular representation of the archetypal nuclear family, the wacky yet touching plot lines, and of course – the omnipresent laugh tracks. It is a near-perfect classic sitcom except that it is missing only one thing – the "dad".
Nuit Blanche guests of all genders, ages, cultural backgrounds and sexual orientations were invited to fill in this missing father role of this original stereotypical sitcom during the night of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2011. The Nuit Blanche guest was filmed in the partial TV studio set visible behind a glass façade while the live footage was inserted into pre-taped episodes of Honey I'm Home! and projected to the audience outside – confronting the viewers with an unusually cast ‘father' in a traditional sitcom family.