— Inspired by a collaborative work between celebrated Cuban artist Félix González-Torres and photographer Michael Jenkins (comprised of an 'endless' stack of offset prints with a come-hither image of a male sailor), JOIN is an investigation into concepts of invitations, gifts and cooperative act.
As the trigger for the show's curatorial core, González-Torres and Jenkins' work was presented as a 'gift' to director Anthony Spinello from the collection of Donald and Mera Rubell; the work was recently exhibited in American Exuberance held at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami. Ironically, the work itself belongs to everyone and no one. According to the wishes of Gonzalez-Torres, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1996, the work is intended to be taken by anyone and everyone. 'Value' or 'price' is rendered mute in this context, while free imagery and unfettered social commentary experiences a release.
Together with the work of González-Torres, a group of rising contemporaries also consider facets of unbounded expression and the turbulent dynamics between sale and gift, positive and negative, artist and audience, object and gesture. Erasure and resurrection play important roles in their practices at large, with the mode of production focused on the replication of the singular image.
Artists Nicholas Arehart, Abby Double, Sinisa Kukec, Federico Nessi, Manny Prieres, George Sánchez-Caldéron and Agustina Woodgate participate in this special presentation, JOIN.