Selections from SInce 1986: Heart to Hand

With Zoe Leonard, Klara Lidén, Adam Pendleton, Oscar Tuazon/Elias Hansen, curated by Pati Hertling

March 7 – April 15, 2012

Continuing our selections from SI’s archive, this week we take a closer look at the presentation of Heart to Hand, a group exhibition at 18 Wooster Street curated by Pati Hertling, now Deputy Director of fellow East Village non-profit Performance Space New York

Conceived in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Republican primaries, Hertling’s exhibition addressed the relationship between aesthetics and social conscience. At first sight, the selected artworks were formally abstract, yet upon further meditation, their conceptual disobedience was revealed: each suggested and provoked political themes yet left the response and action to the public. Liden’s large-scale photograph Untitled (Bierbank) (2011) pictures the graffiti-etched top of a picnic table, and Leonard’s intimate photos feature tree trunks that have grown around or through chainlink fences and barbed wire. Pendleton presented appropriated and then modified Bauhaus photographs screen-printed onto mirrors, and in a more interventionist gesture, Tuazon and Hansen reconfigured the main gallery’s elevated floor, removing a section of the platform and repurposing the wood for a series of sculptures. Taken as a whole, the exhibition questioned the role of art in times of heightened political consciousness, emphasizing the exchange between artist, artwork, and audience.