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Familiar Malaise 


ACRE Projects 1913 W 17th Street

May 3-June 1, 2015


Aritsts: Joe Yorty, Cara Chan and Austen Brown

Curator: Ruslana Lichtzier



We decided to turn towards, or rather, to return home.

It was a conscious decision. We trapped ourselves in it, anticipating for the moment to confront with secret ghosts of the past. Inescapable, it come and it returns.

The domestic environment is contagious; But we had to.

It also happened to be that we are at the point where the question of settling down becomes relevant.


Indeed, it is a well-known, frequently treated “psychologitstic” topic in contemporary art. Only we do not approach it through the sentimental hues or the excess strategies.


Joe Yorty’s work is emotionally vacant. The site-specific wall piece is immediately pleasing; visually satisfying. Only with a longer view can one notice the fundamental fragmenting and multiplying logic that defines it. Then it seems that the wall collage threatens to take over the exhibition space as a cancer-like formation.

Cara Chan’s work is as humorous as it is eerie. The grotesque stillness of “suicide hotline,”accompanied by the MOH (music on hold) tunes touches lightly upon a deep sense of depression. Set in the suburban domestic esthetics, it brings up an insufferable sense of succumbing to the American dream, middle-class life.

Austen Brown outlines the reconstruction of the domestic space, seen in the socio-economic margins, of migrant workers. Being bound to frequent movement and economical constraints, the workers re-imagine and stretch the formation of a “home”. Inspired and yet uncertain regarding the socio-political forces that led to this “re-imagination,” Austen constructed a site-specific installation that echoes these bare formations.

Ruslana Lichtzier, the curator and the author of this text, is very fond of domestic dramas and mental complexities, which both define her subjectivity, and provide fertile metaphors to her practices.In this, her final ACRE project, she echoes, with her departure, Freud’s arrival to the States, where he announced to his fellow traveler and rebelling disciple, Dr. Jung, “We spread the plague.”


Joe Yorty
Austen Brown
Austen Brown
Austen Brown
Austen Brown
Cara Chan and Joe Yorty
Cara Chan
Cara Chan
Cara Chan
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