On Stellar Rays is pleased to announce Harem ROOM-1, Alix Pearlstein’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, presenting sculpture and video. Taken together, Pearlstein’s new work, located within the unstable present, arouses the disquiet felt moving through an anxious populace.
Harem, meaning a group of women perceived as centering around a particular male.
– A group of female animals sharing a single mate.
– A prohibited, or forbidden place.
– Separate quarters.
– Kept safe, or ‘sanctuary.’
Room, meaning a space that can be occupied or where something can be done, especially viewed in terms of whether there is enough. Enough room.
– Room for contemplation, play, transgression.
– Capacity, scope, leeway, latitude, freedom, opportunity and chance.
Harem ROOM-1 is the title of a figurative installation central to Pearlstein’s exhibition, which utilizes a little-known meaning of the term harem to refer to a collection of like, fetishized elements. Here, applied as a framework, the harem presumes an act of subjugation and objectification, forcing parallels to social orders and hierarchies, as well as personal relationships and desires.
Two videos will be presented in adjoining galleries.
New City (People on Sunday) is set in Canal Street Park and on an adjacent rooftop in downtown New York City on a very windy day; a group of five actors occupy these locations through shifting relationships with the urban landscapes, each other and a restless gaze. Two stacked channels juxtapose simultaneous viewpoints, collapsing and restructuring time. This work posits a point of view on a specific place, in an anxious time through insistent presence.
The Weather tracks the shifting mood of a group of nine people, as they are pushed, pulled or stuck between two positions. They pass back and forth from side to side in a blank white space, following in the direction of or against a laterally tracking camera. A rubber plant occupies one side of the space, serving as a gathering, resting, hiding place, obstruction or refuge.*
The pace slows, as the group seems to become afflicted by a malaise. A reckoning follows as they brace for what comes next.
* The Weather will be on view at the gallery opening, and Saturdays and Sundays only, in the gallery’s basement space.
On Stellar Rays (press release)