Cheap Cookie and a Tall Drink of Water
September 9 - November 4, 2017
Mrs. is very proud to announce Cheap Cookie and a Tall Drink of Water, a solo exhibition of new works by Genesis Belanger.
Referencing the tradition of surrealism, airing on the side of a joke, Belanger utilizes tools of literature, and advertising, to create a phantasmagoric setting. In this world her subjects are frozen in a moment, some transforming from human to inanimate object, others shifting through stages of personification. These objectified bodies and the spaces they occupy construct darkly humorous narratives, riddled with utopian delusion, futility, and isolation, an absurdity of reduction.
Within this exhibition, Belanger constructs a stark diorama, offering the mere suggestion of a space. Cement furniture pieces anchor this delusive domesticity, while ceramic objects inject humor and conjure narrative. A Gober-esque porcelain sink, nostalgic of the 80’s, is topped with uncanny ceramic objects such as a banana, an obtuse cigarette and two dismembered fingers holding a cookie. The pallet of these objects are tender at first, then deeply pale and eery. In this world, bodies are objects, and objects become bodies, seamlessly slipping back and forth between the two. Speckled rich, a warm taupe stoneware bust references The Pietà; large manlike manicured fingers caress a bunch of bananas, in jest. The subjects that inhabit this realm, shape-shift between male and female, testing the constructed gender binary.
Some of the sculptures included act as atmospheric props in this curiously constructed environment, where others are bodies which exist inside. A strange narrative; poking at the idealized heteronormative suburban institution.
Belanger received her BFA from SAIC and her MFA from CUNY Hunter College. Belanger is a 2016 recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant and a 2017 Pioneer Works Fall/Winter Fellow. Recent exhibitions include Adams and Ollman, OR; Guest Spot at the ReInstitute, MD; Derek Eller, Pioneer Works and Invisible Exports; NY, NY. This exhibition at Mrs. will be her first solo presentation. Belanger lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
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What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week: Genesis Belanger
Martha Schwendener, The New York Times
Will Heinrich, The New Yorker