Press from Ground Histories at P.S. 122

Ground Histories, the exhibition at Painting Space 122, ran from JULY 19 – AUGUST 25, 2019 and was curated by Will Corwin. The exhibition featured Roberto Visani, David Goodman, Ala Dehghan, Heidi Lau, Will Corwin, and myself (Kris Rac). Here is an excerpt from Will’s excellent PR on the show:

Each of the six artists in Ground Histories utilizes geological strategies to generate meaning in their practices, either by mimicking or portraying these formations, as with the ceramics of Heidi Lau, the repetitive cast enclosures and columns of Will Corwin, and the projections of Ala Dehghan; recreating landscape-based monuments in a gallery setting, like Kris Rac's grave markers and David Goodman's tents or huts; or, by invoking these forces of nature or deities themselves, as in the abstract figurations of Roberto Visani. The spacious renovation of PS122 gallery offers a comfortable setting to wander through a miniature garden of Folies, a virtual park of scenic intrusions and extrusions meant to be read as an encyclopedia of stories, personal narratives, historical references and ritual sites rising from the surrounding environment.

Ground Histories also generated some press attention, with a few of those articles & quotes listed below:

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Ground Histories concludes with Kris Rac’s Teen Bedroom (an ongoing series of material field poems) (2019) where four installations are arranged as graveside memorials, replete with astroturf to suggest the setting of a cemetery lawn . Littered with found objects such as candles, bottles, stuffed animals, and various ephemera, Rac portrays the vestige of cushioned grief. Moreover each head stone bears one word: insignificant, original, ambivalent and satisfaction.
— Jill Conner

“All That’s Left: A review of ‘Ground Histories’ at P.S. 122” by Jill Conner, August 16, 2019 in Medium.

“Ground Histories at PS122” by Etty Yaniv, August 2, 2019 in Art Spiel.

Kris Rac’s “Teen Bedroom” is an elaborate and poetic installation of four imaginary graves with photographs of teenagers sleeping with guns in bed. While the offerings draw upon documentation of graves in cemeteries all over the world, the tomb forms are based on graves from Arlington cemetery in Washington DC. The artist says she was moved there by the masses of replicated tombstones as an “amorphous field of individuals.” In “Insignificant” for instance, the grave is made of a wooden tablet painted in deep brown, an elongated stripe of synthetic green grass, surrounded by old yellowish pieces of bedsheets. The offerings here combine a used teddy bear and large glass votive candles the artist found by a roadside shrine. An entire life summed up by a single formula. Rac’s graveyard offerings readily associate with ancient funerary sites excavated in Ancient Egypt and elsewhere in the ancient world, which in the context of this show ties beautifully with Corwin’s altar and Lau’s gate in the east room.
— Etty Yaniv
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