How to see in the dark

Image: Kerry Downey, How to see in the dark, 2017, video still. Courtesy of the artist

How to see in the dark
Cuchifritos Gallery
Priyanka Dasgupta and Chad Marshall, Kerry Downey, Baseera Khan, and Tuesday Smillie
Curated by Christian Camacho-Light
Opening Reception: Friday, October 26 from 6-8p
On View: October 26 through December 9, 2018
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6pm
Location: 120 Essex Street NY, NY 10002 (inside Essex Street Market)
SCREENING​: Kerry Downey video "How to see in the dark," 
November 26, 7:30pm • 466 Grand Street
Presented in partnership with Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, Curated by 2017-18 AIRspace Curator in Residence, Abrons Arts Center 

How to see in the dark looks to artists who share an interest in the politics of visibility. Toward these concerns, these artists make use of aesthetic and conceptual strategies that privilege the opaque, encrypted, or clandestine. Works in the exhibition negotiate tensions between representation and abstraction, assimilation and interference, action and withdrawal, mastery and unknowing. Folding into darkness, the exhibition invests in improvisational choreographies of refusal and failure, finding respite in the dissolution of figure-ground, near and far, and the thwarting of an easy read.

Queer Tropics

Image: Kerry Downey, Territory I, 2013, graphite rubbing from hot glue on paper, 24x36 in

Queer Tropics
NOVEMBER 16, 2017 - FEBRUARY 25, 2018

Pelican Bomb presents “Queer Tropics,” a group exhibition exploring tropical aesthetics and landscapes as they relate to sexuality, the body, exoticization, and tourism, and the show is particularly interested in how these themes play out between the United States, Europe, and the Global South. Included artists are Ash Arder, Kerry Downey, Madeline Gallucci, Victoria Martinez, Joiri Minaya, Carlos Motta, Pacifico Silano, and Adrienne Elise Tarver.

/what are we but lying single surface?/

Image: Kerry Downey, Nothing but net, 2016, monotype, 11.5 x 17, printed with Marina Ancona / 10 Grand Press

/What are we but lying single surface?/
The Alice, Seattle
Opening reception on October 14, 2017 from 6-9pm

Saturdays, October 14- November 18, 2017 

An exhibition of prints, photography, poetry and video. Artists-writers-activists-teachers abandon the exclusive, disciplinary lies that mark territories of the visual arts and poetry, exploring themes of identity, place, family, language, collaboration, and self-making in their own terms.


Image: Kerry Downey, Nothing but net, 2016, still from single channel video, time: 14:36

Nothing but Net
May, 2017
CAVE, Detroit

Kerry Downey’s first solo show, titled “Nothing but net,” is a multidisciplinary project that explores their relationship between self and other and their movement between interior and exterior landscapes. Consisting of a large video projection and series of monotypes, this process-driven and experimental work contains many other mediums: painting, drawing, collage, performance, and text. This is a project that questions the boundaries of containment, what are the possibilities and limitations of a medium, of the body, and of visual and verbal languages.

Backstage with Kerry Downey and Ellie Krakow


Exposed Suture

Image: Kerry Downey, Nothing but net, still from single channel video; 14:33

Exposed Suture
Rond-Point Projects
Curated by Natasha Marie Llorens
February 16 - March 04, 2017 
Jody Wood, Kambui Olujimi, Kerry Downey, Sable E. Smith

Experimental discussion in the presence of artist Kerry Downey on Tuesday February 28 at 7 pm

You don’t know. You don’t know what she means. You don’t know what response she expects from you nor do you care. For all your previous understandings, suddenly incoherence feels violent. You both experience this cut, which she keeps insisting is a joke, a joke stuck in her throat, and like any other injury, you watch it rupture along its suddenly exposed suture.

Claudia Rankine, Citizen, 42.

Claudia Rankine’s book makes legible the psychological injury racism inflicts. She argues that yes there are fully conscious policies to maintain the invisibility of non-white, non-normative histories and to undermine the dignity of non-white, non-normative bodies — but there are also a thousand injuries to such bodies that fall below the threshold of consciousness. Injuries that would fall out of political discourse altogether were it not for writers like Rankine.

This exhibition is organized around her insight: that the political subject, or the citizen, is as vulnerable to psychological violence as she is to more “direct” or “physical” forms of violence. The work included in this project pictures the moment of injury as one in which the distinction between “political” violence and inchoate “personal” forms of violence—a badly turned joke, a misspoken pronoun, an off-hand gesture, a misrecognition—is destabilized.

In this focus, the exhibition makes an effort to address sexist, homophobic, transphobic and racist structural violence together. This impulse comes from the awareness that we need intersectional frames with some urgency. Hopefully this gesture will not collapse each kind of injury into some neutral, general category of violence, but will maintain their necessary and incommensurable difference. We will see.

The exhibition is co-produced with and takes place at 
Rond-Point Projects, an independent arts space occupying a former pharmacist’s shop in the La Plaine neighborhood of the city of Marseille. A series of videos exhibited at different scales in the same small space — the installation tries to think moments of encounter between the body and the work in a way that mirrors our everyday encounter with representations of violence. To the same effect, the works or excerpts are shown here, on this site, because it also true that today we encounter so much visual material online. One way of watching does not replace another; they each fold out from the same seam. Four cycles, each composed of four artists, are planned over the course of the late winter and early spring 2017. The exhibition is a research project held in common, a threshing floor, with both video and interviews between us. One evening of performance or debate will be planned in conjunction with each cycle of the project.


Image: Kerry Downey and E.E. Ikeler

Kerry Downey and E.E. Ikeler
January 27 - February 19

a viewer views with their whole body
(she had a queer feeling they were being watched)
                                                            an artwork will change if you look at it long enough.
language makes shapes (shapes make language too).
proposal:         let’s consider visuality alongside visibility, and treat pleasure like a value
                        let’s describe the ways an image is ethically entangled
                        let’s use language to defigure, rename, and unknow
~surface is a site of tension and relief
(they weren’t sure where their sameness ended and their difference began)
meaning is ephemeral, and that’s why we grew to love it.


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