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.



Sinister Feminism

Image: Kerry Downey, Phantom Bounce, 2013, monotype, 11x15 in; printed with Marina Ancona/10 Grand Press

Sinister Feminism
Curated with Piper Marshall 
with Lola Kramer

A.I.R. Gallery
January 5 - February 5, 2017

Participating Artists
Lucas Berd, Dora Budor, ceramics club (cc), Kerry Downey, Dolores Furtado, Nicolás Guagnini, Caitlin Keogh, Chelsea Rae Klein, Lizzy Marshall, Whitney Oldenburg, B. Quinn, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Torbjørn Rødland, Karin Schneider and Leigh Ledare, Bailey Scieszka

Sinister Feminism. We fortify veneer into armor. We appropriate from misogynist sources. We exceed the cinematic ideal. We vibrate the sound of the city. We endure. Our physicalizations we know are transgressive. We are a halation of line. We throw shadow across the page. We teach the tongues of the past. We mock the habit of metonymy. We transmit the sense of hysterics. We smell. We hurl what we are required to withstand: our bodies, our selves. We are trying to reach you. 
We wildly grin.

Read the curatorial statement here. 

Age Lines

Image: Kerry Downey, Fishing with Angela, still from single channel video, 2016

Age Lines
Curated by Staci bu Shea

Casco, Utrecht, Netherlands
Nov 20, 2016-Jan 29, 2017

Acknowledging the duality of its referents—as both relational connections and skin wrinkles developed over time—Age Lines examines relations to aging in and across ages.

Experiences associated with age are ubiquitous yet varied and regenerative. Age Lines is the result of thinking about the age-old subject of age and a starting point for considering how relations are born, maintained, and renewed while aging. This exhibition is a humble gesture toward creating a site for and sense of age relations where fragility, dependency, and transmission are foregrounded.

The project presents the work of Kerry Downey, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Ilyana Ritchie, and Mia You, as well as objects contributed by individuals near to the project’s development in Utrecht.

In particular, Age Lines highlights mentor-mentee relationships, the legacy of Black and Third World feminist publishing in the US, and intergenerational collaborative practices. The exhibition includes works of art, commissions, exercises, and anecdotes which pull from lineages, cycles, and different forms of measuring age and the passing of time.

ROT: Compost vs Surgery

Image: Kerry Downey, Fishing with Angela, still from single channel video, 2016

SAT DEC 3 2016

ROT: Compost vs. Surgery is a video and audio screening that links a tradition of visceral painterly physicality to urgent contemporary conversations about bodies, aging, identity and health.

When body time meets linear time, ROT demands progress. Rotten things can be either integrated in a healthy way (compost and renewal) or excised and burned (surgery). To ROT is to inhabit a critical bodily process in the midst of an infinite, unresolvable trajectory. ROT gathers momentum in cycles of attack, sustain, decay and release. ROT implies hope in survival, in coping and in stasis.
In ROT, artists combine video, sound, performance and multimedia poetry to revisit the Abstract Expressionists, Vienna Actionists, post-minimalist artists, and feminist performance artists. Proximity to SAM’s 
Big Picture: Art After 1945 exhibition raises the question: are ROT artists composting the canon, or are these works a surgical redirection of art history?

Indira Allegra (Oakland)Kerry Downey (NYC)C. Davida Ingram (Seattle)On A Clear Day (NYC)Catherine Telford-Keogh (Toronto)tzuriel (San Diego and Seattle)Urban Death Project (Seattle)

Read My Lips

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

Read My Lips
Loren Britton and Kerry Downey
Curated by Ashton Cooper

Opening Reception: November 5, 2016, 6-9pm
Oct 28-Dec 18, 2016
Knockdown Center

Read My Lips brings together recent paintings and sculpture made by Loren Britton and video and prints by Kerry Downey. Although working in different media, both artists tangle with representing marginalized bodies, problems of language, and the complexity of subject formation in a binary world.
Downey’s textured monotypes (printed with Marina Ancona/10 Grand Press), hang alongside Britton’s anthropomorphic plush sculpture and large four-by-five foot paintings, which sit on blocks. Downey’s projected video piece is paired with several more of Britton’s sculptures — these made to be used as seating.
Both series of work are grounded in a consideration of embodiment. The exhibition title takes the mouth specifically as a site from which to examine some of the central issues of this show: It is a source of language, an entrance to the interior, and a site of desire.

These artists also explore a politic of non-visibility through languages of abstraction. Refusing visibility is an important tenet of the constellation of art practices that have been termed Queer Abstraction, a moniker not without its own limitations.  While many queer and feminist artists — Harmony Hammond, Louise Fishman, Joan Snyder, to name just a few — have worked in abstraction since the 1970s, a new generation of queer, genderqueer, and transgender artists are taking up the style to deal with issues of gender, and in this case, to talk about the body without explicitly signifying it.  In his recent research, art historian David J. Getsy has asked, “What happens when the body is invoked but not imaged?”

In such a mode of image-making, abstract art exceeds binary constraint; the body is posited as a catalog of sensory experiences and a place of flux. In Britton and Downey’s hands, abstraction becomes a space of infinite possibility where multiplicity is the principal feature. The work plunges us into indeterminacy and makes us step outside of prevailing modes of understanding selfhood and language. There is no finality, no fixed meaning, no stability.

Read My Lips is presented with the generous support of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.

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