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Opening Reception: To tongue-tie curated by alejandro t. acierto

August 15


The Brick presents
To tongue-tie at Brick Aux Gallery – 628 Metropolitan Ave
August 15 – September 1, 2024

Please join us for an Opening Reception on Thursday, August 15, 9:30-11:30PM

A multimedia gallery show Works by Gelsey Bell+Erik Ruin, Mel Carter, Benedicto Figueroa, Raheleh Filsoofi, Jana Harper, Kameron Neal, and Paul Pinto+Erin Rogers

Curated by alejandro t. acierto

Brick Aux Gallery is excited to present works by this brilliant artist collective across assorted media and in multiple spaces! Please check out this incredible show at Brick Aux Gallery and please join us at The Brick Theater, August 15-17, for The Exponential Festival Presents: Natural Studies!

In conjunction with the performances of mouthful included as part of thingNY’s run of Natural Studies for the Exponential FestivalTo tongue-tie is a curatorial exhibition project that shares video and object-based work at the Brick Aux space in Williamsburg, NY that shares work at the edges of language. Highlighting work that speaks to layered forms of ancestry, (food) consumption, and the body, this exhibition brings together pieces and collaborations by Gelsey Bell+Erik Ruin, Mel Carter, Benedicto Figueroa, Raheleh Filsoofi, Jana Harper, Kameron Neal, and Paul Pinto+Erin Rogers. Working across media, artist’s projects explore how the shape and function of the mouth – as an opening, as a crevice, as a portal – can offer productive metaphors for the depths of heritage in the wake of imperialism, settler colonialism, and cultural erasure.

Poetically imagining the openings in the ground, Gelsey Bell’s performative setting of Anne Boyer’s poem “What Resembles the Grave” is energetically animated by Erik Ruin in a video work that contends with the layered implications of a hole as a site of expansive critique. Extending the hole as an opening, Kameron Neal’s silent video work Makeout/Breakout frames a tongue-filled kiss smothering a glass surface to provide the viewer access to an overactive gesture of desire and opening. Navigating a different kind of opening, Mel Carter’s sculptural glass works are filled with what they term “liquid spells” derived from tinctures, teas, and blended herbal concoctions meant to heal the compounding effects of settler colonial violence. Neal’s spit moves from the flat glass into the mouths of Carter’s organic clear containers. Placed at the exteriors of glass and reflecting on the site of the bodega as a consumptive and connective space, Benedicto Figueroa’s LED signage flickers lines of poetry that recall stories of his parents from the grave while Paul Pinto+Erin Roger’s operatic video work recounts a theft at the tienda by “desperate youth” caught in a tension between bad behavior and as subjects of a bad environment. Surrounded by glass and fragile relationships, Figueroa and Pinto+Roger’s works illuminate the cavities that hold the tongue’s desire for taste and the stories these places tell. Alternatively, oscillating between the storefront and the domestic, Raheleh Filsoofi’s lit ceramic work Halal marks surfaces of consumption with the declaration of permission – one that signals a legacy of culture and practice through its textural materiality. Similarly working with markings and inscriptions, Jana Harper’s Memorial for Mackinac uses her written text to illuminate the names of familial descendants from the Mackinac Band of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians, in a gesture that accumulates history through the display of lineage and ancestry.

-Curator alejandro t. acierto

Brick Aux Gallery hours are 12-6PM on weekends, varied hours on weekdays, and by appointment: theresa@bricktheater.com Photo: Raheleh Filsoofi’s lit ceramic work Halal


August 15
9:30 pm - 11:30 pm


Brick Aux
628 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, 11211 United States
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