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"Jennifer Dalton: Getting to Know the Neighbors"
2004-04-23 until 2004-05-24
Plus Ultra Gallery
USA United States of America
Plus Ultra is very pleased to present "Getting to Know the Neighbors," our second solo exhibition by New York artist Jennifer Dalton. Continuing her exploration of the systems that affect artists and the art world, Dalton presents a major new work-over 100-feet in length-that examines the EPA-regulated properties in the adjoining Williamsburg and Greenpoint districts of Brooklyn, New York, reportedly one of the most polluted neighborhoods in New York City and home to more artists per capita than any other neighborhood in the world.
Having been dubbed the "superego" of the art world1 and, more recently, "the art world's private cardiologist"(2) for her installations and multimedia work that catalog and deconstruct the marketing and critiquing systems of contemporary art, Dalton now turns her attention to the living and working environment of some of the most famous young artists in the world (and her own as well). In a handmade, accordion-paged book (inspired by Ed Ruscha's Every Building on the Sunset Strip), Dalton documents the 396 addresses in Williamsburg and Greenpoint listed on the Environmental Protection Agency's website as polluting or potentially hazardous businesses. "Getting to Know the Neighbors" is presented as a long row of deadpan yet beautiful snapshot photographs, with handwritten captions underneath each photo listing which of the five regulatory "polluting" categories each property falls under. This work continues Dalt! on's use of a quasi-scientific presentation of data while it documents a personal approach to investigating questions about pollution, community, and personal choice. After all, the information it reveals is easily accessible to anyone who wants it, and new people are choosing to move into this desirable neighborhood at an unprecedented rate. Displayed on an eye-level platform that snakes through the gallery, the installation reiterates the performative aspects of the making of the work, by mimicking a walk through the neighborhood, and, as is the case with all of Dalton's work, leads us to view the world around us differently.
1 "Jennifer Dalton," by Frances Richard, Artforum, May 2002
2 "Clinical Studies: Artist Jennifer Dalton Casts a Critical Eye on the Systems that Mythologize Artists," by Ana Finel Honigman, Art on Paper, March/April 2004