Resort Gallery and guest curator Allie Linn are pleased to present A Gentle Excavation, an exhibition that transforms the gallery into both the subject and site of research, production, and installation for work by seven artists and collectives based in Baltimore, Richmond, and New York: Keenon Brice, A.K. Burns, Janea Kelly, Nicole Ringel, Wickerham & Lomax, agustine zegers, and Lu Zhang.
A Gentle Excavation explores architecture as an indexical archive that captures in its walls and rafters evidence of its previous tenants and functions. When owners Alex Ebstein and Seth Adelsberger renovated the building into a gallery space in 2017, they discovered a surplus of artifacts chronicling its history as a residence, a florist, a taxidermist, a shoe repair store, a uniform company, a tailor, and a printing press. These archival remnants simultaneously document the past, recording the quotidian activity and domestic labor that the building has housed, and mirror the precarity of the gallery’s future in a city facing gentrification and redevelopment.
The participating artists in A Gentle Excavation transform 235 Park Avenue through site-specific interventions that dissect the building’s history, proposing that even a seemingly ordinary site demands close investigation. The archive is, thus, reconsidered as a site for sustained and collaborative exploration. Each of the included works functions as an intimate ode to the space and its history, approaching this prompt from a unique perspective: by examining the gendered implications of domestic architecture, by exploring the distinction between memory and history, and even by inventing speculative archives for other lives the building may have lived. The resulting works fuse a factual past with an imagined future into a temporally compressed and surreal, ethereal site.
agustine zegers’s gallery-wide installation of flowers and scents reimagines the building’s time as a nineteenth-century florist. The building’s history as Franklin Uniform Company recontextualizes A.K. Burns’s cast aluminum work shirts, relief sculptures that speak more broadly to the gender politics of labor and global shifts from manual to immaterial labor practices. Janea Kelly’s poetry, drawing on place-specific narratives and relationships, is realized for the first time on an installation scale. Keenon Brice’s collected images create a visual map of the surrounding city to record the artist’s navigation of space. Lu Zhang’s installation investigates the role of the building’s storefront in engaging passersby. Nicole Ringel employs printmaking and digital media to contemplate the remnants and remainders of surfaces within the urban space. Wickerham & Lomax’s advertisement for their nearby collaborative creative endeavor, Diskobar, blurs fact and fiction, exploring the overlap between art practice and labor and responding to the precarity of the arts district’s future.
A Gentle Excavation is curated by Allie Linn, an MFA candidate in the Curatorial Practice program at Maryland Institute College of Art. The exhibition has been generously supported by MICA’s MFA in Curatorial Practice, Baltimore Heritage, and Resort. For more information and press inquiries, please contact Allie Linn at email@example.com.
Saturday, May 4 at 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Resort 235 Park Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201