Revelatory Tension: New Assertions on Divine Form

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Our Church is Coming Back, 2007 Silver Gelatin Fiber Print 20 X 24 In © Courtesy of the artist & BRIC Rotunda Gallery
Genealogy of Beliefs #2, 2009 Mixed Media © BRIC Rotunda Gallery
Revelatory Tension: New Assertions on Divine Form
Curated by: Kalia Brooks

647 Fulton Street
11217 Brooklyn
November 5th, 2009 - December 18th, 2009
Opening: November 4th, 2009 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Tue-Sat 10-6; Sun 12-6
photography, installation, sculpture


Revelatory Tension: New Assertions on Divine Form is a proposition for a theological aesthetic in contemporary art. The exhibition highlights the work of six artists who work with a variety of media to abstract the ideology of devotion that often accompanies religious practice. Exhibiting artists – all based in Brooklyn, New York - include Derrick Adams, Lindsay Benedict, Russell Frederick, Jason Irwin, Shane Aslan Selzer, and Jeff Sims. Their work is an exploration into the spatial, lingual, formal, and material qualities that signify a contemplation of the divine.

Through their work, the gallery is emphasized as a site of creative reverence. The title Revelatory Tension comes from an essay by John D. O’Connor who argues that theological aesthetics must contain a more complicated view of beauty: “If beauty is understood as in some way revelatory of the divine,” he states, “it follows that there are tensions inherent on our experience and understanding of beauty as revelatory.” This exhibition seeks to explore the conflicted relationship between art objects and the epistemology of beauty, in so far as it questions the position of truth and goodness in the assessment of the beautiful.

Derrick Adams work fuses fairytale perceptions with a need to search for meaning in fragments and artifacts, using the word "believe" to construct an alternative visual experience. Lindsay Benedict’s slowly conceived films deploy affect and raw emotion to disrupt and destabilize any simple reading of human connections. Russell Frederick’s images portray individuals and urban landscapes that reflect a concern for truth in the world and in art. In his sculptural installations, Jason Irwin utilizes architectural strategies to transform the meaning and function of space. Shane Selzer’s installations combine delicate and industrial materials to manifest an imagined tension between the past and present. Working from the traditional form of still life, Jeff Sims work challenges ideas of the body and morality.

Kalia Brooks is a New York based curator and writer. She is currently a Student in Aesthetics and Art Theory with the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (idsva). Brooks received her M.A. in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts in 2006, and was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program 2007/2008. In conjunction with Revelatory Tension, on Wednesday, November 18 at 7 pm BRIC will host a professional development program for artists. Jackie Battenfield, first director of BRIC Rotunda Gallery and of the Bronx Museum Artist in the Marketplace program will lead a discussion and question-and-answer session based on her recently published book The Artist's Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love.

Revelatory Tension: New Assertions on Divine Form is the second edition of BRIC Contemporary Art’s annual guest-curated exhibition drawn from our Artist Registry, one of the city’s most comprehensive resources on Brooklyn-affiliated visual artists. Increasingly recognized as an international creative capital, Brooklyn is home to numerous neighborhoods with great concentrations of emerging and mid-career visual artists. BRIC’s “From the Registry” exhibitions provide a means of recognizing promising artists and of presenting a fresh look at emerging trends in the visual arts. The BRIC Contemporary Artist Registry is open to anyone who lives, works, or was born in Brooklyn.