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Don't Feed the Animals: A Group Exhibition Curated by the FIT Art Market Graduate Studies Program, Class of 2013

Free and Open to the Public
Yolanda Dominguez, Sean Fader, Nate Hill, Richard Jochum,
and Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares

May 2 – 25, 2013
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am-6 pm
Opening reception: Thursday May 2, 6-9 pm

Hosted by Elga Wimmer PCC
526 West 26th Street, #310, New York, NY 10001

The Art Market: Principles and Practices Master of Arts program at the Fashion Institute of  Technology (FIT)  is pleased to present Don’t Feed the Animals, a group exhibition featuring works by contemporary artists who transgress social norms in order to reveal the ways people respond to actions performed out of context. Working in a variety of mediums, the artists shock, amuse, and satirize social behaviors by setting up absurd or outlandish situations. These are intended to provoke viewers into questioning personal standards and the accepted rules of society. While the works in Don’t Feed the Animals incite a range of responses and emotions, all are connected by underlying questions about accepted behavior, human connection, and the effect of context on our actions.

In videos and stills of performances, several of the artists make themselves intimately available to strangers.  Nate Hill – dressed in a dolphin mascot costume – offers to let subway riders bounce on his lap. Sean Fader invites people to make a wish by stroking his chest hair. Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares engage in a prolonged public kissing session while riding up and down a busy escalator, and Yolanda Dominguez films everyday women striking fashion model poses in crowded public spaces.

Viewers visibly confront such emotions as embarrassment, amusement, disapproval, envy, and wonder as they take in the artists’ actions and assess their personal boundaries. Exhibition visitors watching these videos will be a step removed, protected to some degree from the immediacy of their own emotions because the transgression doesn’t threaten their social space.

Some reactions might also depend on the degree to which the act is outside the normal range of behavior. Viewers of Richard Jochum’s “Twenty Angry Dogs” video must don headphones to learn that its participants are barking, a humorous realization in spite of the aggressive nature of the filmed action. On the other hand, Jochum’s video “Mama,” in which he calls out for his mother with growing urgency, will make most viewers uncomfortable as they witness a man showing the weakness and vulnerability of a child.

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the show. For further information please contact fitartmarket@gmail.com.

For more information, visit www.fitnyc.edu/dontfeedtheanimals.

Don’t Feed the Animals is organized by the graduating class of the Art Market: Principles and Practices  Program, FIT School of Graduate Studies. In their second year, students take a two-semester practicum in which they organize, curate, and promote a group exhibition. They graduate from the program with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed for professional careers in the art market. The 2013 curators are Lisbet Krogslund Bertelsen, Rose Frisenda, Elizabeth Landau, Vivian Lee, Anna Matos, Kathleen Mulvey, Marcela Nascimento, and Kara Romano. 

FIT is a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology, with a wide range of programs that are affordable and relevant to today’s rapidly changing industries. A college of the State University of New York, FIT offers more than 45 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees.

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