The Still House Group: +1 #1



Sep 29, 2013–Oct 27, 2013
The Still House Group: +1
New Commissions

The Still House Group: +1 #1

Isaac Brest, Brad Troemel
Curated by Jonathan Rider

Their House: How the Still House Group Turned a Red Hook Studio Into an Art World Success Story, Michael H. Miller, Gallerist, March 4, 2014. View article.
ART, Bill Powers, purple DIARY, November 29, 2013. View article.

For their Art in General New Commission, The Still House Group (an emerging artist-run organization based in Brooklyn) presents 1 a new artist-run space in the heart of Chinatown. Housed in a storefront space under the Manhattan Bridge, +1 will present a series of exhibitions by The Still House Group’s permanent roster of eight artists: Alex Perweiler, Isaac Brest, Zachary Susskind, Louis Eisner, Jack Greer, Brendan Lynch, Dylan Lynch, and Nick Darmstaedter. Each exhibition will be a solo presentation with a plus one – the addition of another artwork, object, or artist to the space. Building on Art in General’s own history as an artist-run alternative space, +1 is a new platform for The Still House Group to present unconventional work and exchange ideas.

The inaugural exhibition of +1 features artists Isaac Brest + Brad Troemel. Presenting a grouping of vacuum-sealed wall works by Troemel and floor installation by Brest, this exhibition discusses forms of currency and exchange, questioning the presumed value of cultural heritage in the grey market.

+1 Openings – Artists
#1: September 29th – Isaac Brest + Brad Troemel / #2: October 27th – Nick Darmstaedter + Grayson Revoir / #3: November 24th – Louis Eisner + Peter Sutherland / #4: December 22nd – Jack Greer + Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe / #5: January 18th – Brendan Lynch + Naomi Larbi / #6: February 15th – Dylan Lynch + Miles Huston / #7: March 9th – Alex Perweiler + Joe Graham-Felsen / #8: April 6th – Zachary Susskind + Allen Xu

From Still House:
David Joselit once remarked that the global art market and digital technology are two of our time’s universal currencies . Blue chip art is now a shared placeholder of values and wealth that crosses national borders as easily as the Dollars, Euros, and Renminbis those countries’ collectors use. Digital technology levels the differences in material scarcity and place of origin, converting all information to ubiquitous text and image, or more fundamentally, to code.

This month’s two person exhibition by Isaac Brest + Brad Troemel – the inaugural project at +1, a collaborative space with Art In General and The Still House Group – features work at the intersection of these two universal currencies. The two artists are temporarily repackaging and contextualizing cultural artifacts through the guise of art in Chinatown, while simultaneously offering said artifacts for sale online through the public marketplaces eBay and Etsy, respectively.

Brest’s This Shit Right Here, N***?! is a reference to comedian Katt Williams’ bit on the habit of drug dealers to find increasingly savvy ways to market the same product through the manipulation of language and sales pitch delivery. This Shit… is comprised of limestone covertly sourced from the base of the Parthenon in Athens, subsequently ground down with a metal file by hand, weighed, and affordably distributed in baggies on eBay according to size. This Shit…’s insidiously inclusive low price and ease of online access belies the historical weight and exclusivity of its source, atomizing the Parthenon’s aura and materiality to a point of anonymity only able to be recouped through the power and trust placed in its marketing’s textual description.

Troemel’s selections from his Etsy store’s tsa no-fly list series features vacuum sealed pairings of slickly designed books released by the radical independent publishing house Semiotext(e) alongside anarchist coins minted by sovereign communities in America looking to opt out of the Federal Reserve’s Dollar. Troemel increases the face-value price of the appropriated objects on Etsy, using the vacuum seal to materially conflate the two parts and strip them of their use value as readable books and spendable coins. These objects embodying political will are thus simplified to reveal the aestheticization of radicality, highlighting the ways both the coins and books are already shrewdly designed objects meant to appeal to their constituencies.

Another comparison Joselit developed was the idea of “image fundamentalism” and “image neoliberalism”, terms used to describe competing visions for how art’s meaning is authentically embodied. For the image fundamentalist, art’s meaning is inseparably tied to its place of origin through historic significance. For the image neoliberal, meaning is created through a work’s ability to reach the widest audience through the free market or cultural stewardship. Brest and Troemel’s projects not only abide by the logic of image neoliberalism – shifting artifacts out of their places of origin to be remade and shown anew – but they also engage the subject through the free market sale of goods online, mapping extended neoliberal flows of consumption. In Chinatown, the projects become networks for competing visions of value, displaying oppositional notions of scarcity, ubiquity, specificity and access that exist paradoxically alongside one another.

+1 is located on the west side of Forsyth between Division and East Broadway. Exhibitions can be seen 24/7 through the window or by appointment. For more information, please contact [email protected]

September 29 – October 25, 2014

Isaac Brest (b. 1987) is an American artist living and working in New York, NY. Brest received his BFA in Film and Television from New York University in 2009. Together with Alex Perweiler, he founded The Still House Group in 2007 to foster “creative sustainability” for future generations of artists seeking non-traditional career progressions. Since then, The Still House Group has built a permanent, multi-faceted arts institution in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and produced numerous exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Brest has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including The Still House Group presented by Jonathan Viner, ReMap 4 Athens, Greece (2013); Honk if you don’t Exsist, The Fireplace Project, East Hampton, NY (2013); Jew York, Untitled Gallery, New York, NY (2013); (BRU)s, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium (2013); amongst others.

Brad Troemel (b. 1987) is an American artist and writer living and working in New York, NY. Troemel received his BA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010 and his MFA from New York University’s Steinhardt’s School in 2012. Troemel is a contributor to the website Jogging and an organizer of online art exhibitions. Troemel has lectured at the Queens Museum of Art, New York, NY); Eyebeam, New York, NY; PS1 MoMA, New York, NY; Royal Academie of Art, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; amongst others. Published essays include ‘Athletic Aesthetics’ in The New Inquiry (May 2013); ‘The Accidental Audience’ in The New Inquiry (March 2013); ‘Why MFA Critiques Are Futile Exercises’ in dis Magazine (2013); ‘The Word “Remix” Is Corny.’ in dis Magazine (October 2012); and ‘Screens on Screens | Ben Schumacher’ in dis Magazine (July 2011). In 2011 Troemel published Peer Pressure, a collection of his writings published by LINK Editions.

For more information about The Still House Group, please visit enterstillhouse.com

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General support of Art in General is provided by General Tools & Instruments LLC; the Lambent Fund of the Tides Foundation; Abraham and Lillian Rosenberg Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; ConEdison; The Greenwich Collection; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; Select Equity Group Foundation; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The New Commissions Program is made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Trust for Mutual Understanding; National Endowment for the Arts; Jerome Foundation; and Affirmation Arts Fund. Support has also been provided by Commissioners’ Circle leaders Jeffery Larsen and Joseph Bolduc; Commissioners’ Circle supporters Sandra Ho and Jang Kim, and Cher Lewis, and Commissioners’ Circle members Roya Khadjavi Heidari, Sean Johnson, Mary Lapides, Richard Massey, Leslie Ruff, Steve Shane, Joyce Siegel, and Jeremy E. Steinke.

Additional special event support provided by Effen Vodka, Old Grand Dad Whiskey, Hornitos Tequila, and ROOT [Drive-In].

Art in General funders