JULIUS EASTMAN: THAT WHICH IS FUNDAMENTAL, PREDICATED.
THE KITCHEN NYC, FEBRUARY 2018
A key element of “Julius Eastman: That Which is Fundamental” is an exhibition in two interwoven parts. “A Recollection.” approaches a historical exploration and remembrance of Julius Eastman as a master of artifice and features original and rarely seen archival material related to the composer's evolving practice, while “Predicated.” features 14 contemporary artists whose work—steeped in notions of absence, trace presence, duration, and the politics of exhaustion—both illuminates and is illuminated by Eastman's legacy. Curated by Tiona Nekkia McClodden and organized by Katy Dammers and Matthew Lyons of The Kitchen.
Julius Eastman the trickster. Julius Eastman the brother. Julius Eastman the son.
Julius Eastman the composer. Julius Eastman the provocateur. Julius Eastman the pianist.
Julius Eastman the painter. Julius Eastman the dancer. Julius Eastman the vocalist.
Julius Eastman the one who got away.
Did Julius want us to have a hold on his life, or did he want the residue of his life and work to remain as cunning as he was?
“A Recollection.” approaches a historical exploration and remembrance of Julius Eastman as a master of artifice. The audio, artifacts, and ephemera in this exhibition examine the music, literature, and choreography of Eastman’s life through the people who knew him best. The archive of Eastman that emerges after his death is fractured—partially by his own hand. Julius Eastman concentrated on the present, with little regard to the past and especially not the future during his life and often treated his work as ephemeral. The artifacts of his life remain spread among friends, family, lovers, resisting traditional forms of centralization under the roof of a single institution. Using this shape-shifting as a conceptual framework, "A Recollection." maps archival matter as a way of inviting viewers to discover new pieces and forge relationships between ephemera held by different informal archivists. "A Recollection." leans into the breaks and rests there for a moment, considering what is present and said, as well as absent and unsaid. Celebrating Eastman, a master of artifice engaged in a range of improvisation gestures, "A Recollection." explores truth, fact, and the liminal and is ultimately an invitation to look at remains and imagine what remains to be seen.
“Predicated.”—an exhibition in conversation with the work of Julius Eastman—explores notions of absence, trace presence, duration, and the politics of exhaustion. The exhibition examines the interplay between composition and improvisation through video, sculpture, and photography. Featuring the work of fourteen contemporary artists, "Predicated." considers Eastman’s lived experience as an experimental artist during his time as a member of the Creative Associates, during his time living in New York’s Lower East Side and his many performances at The Kitchen. Mapping the relationships between Eastman's practice and the present workings of fourteen contemporary artists, this interdependent installation space articulates narratives about both art objects, and the methods of their production. These works examine absence as a foundational concept highlighting the unavailable body, the missing trace, improvisation, and the evasion of presence within the distanced narrative. Artists presenting work in this exhibition include: Ash Arder, Beau Rhee, Carolyn Lazard, Chloë Bass, Courtney Bryan, James Maurelle, Jonathan Gardenhire, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Raúl Romero, shawné michaelain holloway, Sondra Perry, Texas Isaiah, Wayson Jones, and Yulan Grant.