Fellows Converge: re: gift @ Hamiltonian gallery

Place: Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC
From November 14 - December 19. 2015    
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 14 from 7-9pm

 Featuring new work by Nancy Daly, Lisa Dillin, Dan Perkins,
Will Schneider-White, Allison Spence, Dane Winkler, and Naoko Wowsugi.

Fellows Converge is an annual exercise in which Hamiltonian Fellows create new work around the premise of an invited guest curator. This year, we invited Jennie Carlisle, Program Director at Elsewhere, a living museum inside a three story thrift store in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The exhibition largely examines the multifacetedness of objects; their assigned usages; and how an object’s meaning can shift depending on context, ownership, and history. Hamiltonian’s artists spent a weekend at Elsewhere partaking in activities that allowed them to consider how objects mediate our experiences; function in our daily lives as objects of history, memory, and utility; and contribute to identity. 

Following the visit, Carlisle assigned the seven participating artists with the following directive:
Step 1: Give a gift. Make it meaningful. Wrap it nicely.
Step 2: Receive a gift.
Step 3: Create a new artwork based on the gift.

The result is an exhibition that challenges each artist with the exchange of objects whose meanings emanate from their personal use and existing significance. When gifted to a fellow artist, these earlier meanings take on new associations as personal connections re-define how the thing is subsequently perceived and deployed. Here, a mouse trap, a memoir, a cassette tape, a sonic amplifier, a stamp collection, a souvenir, and a bottle of whiskey all undergo a semantic shift, spurring original paintings, sculptures, and installations that record these re-assigned possibilities.