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"Soft Opening" featuring Adrien Sun Hall, Erica Nix, Peter Clough, and Virginia Lee Montgomery

  • Co-Lab Projects @ Glissman Road 5419 Glissman Road Austin, TX, 78702 United States (map)
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Partial Shade and Co-Lab Projects present:
Soft Opening
Featuring Adrien Sun Hall, Erica Nix, Peter Clough, and Virginia Lee Montgomery
A one-night event and the inaugural exhibition for A Platform, a series of sensitive and site-responsive programming

Event: Sunday, March 10th, 2019, 6-10pm

Soft Opening features four works, all directly positing an idiosyncratic relationship to the environments in which they were created. Made in a field in rural Vermont, inside of a closet in a Brooklyn apartment, in a fitness studio in Austin or directly on a platform, the works deftly navigate these different sites while gesturing towards alternative relationships between bodies and objects. Their temporary convergence outdoors amplify one another, presenting intimate actions here at full volume; out of which a newly synthesized and fluid space is described. Mimicking the verdant landscape with perforated cloth, finding comfort and control in the confinement of a dog cage, animating the inanimate by bathing a stone, inviting an audience to participate in a private moment—the artists in Soft Opening invoke inversions and contradictions to upend expectations of how a body negotiates space.  

A Platform is a series of events and art installations organized by Partial Shade and Co-Lab Projects, centered around a physical platform built in an empty lot in East Austin. A Platform will provide a literal and conceptual space for emerging artists to share work and experiences and will provide artists and visitors an opportunity to experiment with new modes of relating to each other and their surroundings.

The structure for A Platform takes the form of a ramp gradually rising to a flat platform 2ft off the ground; this incline makes the platform more accessible to viewers and acts to undermine the established hierarchical relationship between performer and audience. This blurring of boundaries by an unusual, structural site from which to make and view art will encourage all involved to renegotiate their relationship with the physical and social space they are navigating.

PARTIAL SHADE is a nomadic curatorial project focused on organizing visual art exhibitions in non-traditional spaces, with work that is responsive to, considerate of, and affected by its environment. Untethered to one specific piece of real estate, Partial Shade operates as a model for a sustainable, alternative exhibition platform, and offers artists the opportunity to experiment with work that wouldn’t otherwise fit comfortably in a conventional gallery space. Partial Shade is organized by Rachael Starbuck, Michael Muelhaupt, and Jesse Cline.

ADRIEN SUN HALL works through sculpture, performance, and time-based media to investigate acts of passing between different identities and spaces. Hall’s current work borrows from theatrical and militaristic strategies for the manipulation of visibility and display to pose questions of spectatorship and performer-audience agency. Hall holds a BLA in Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph and an MFA in Visual Art from the University of Pennsylvania. Hall has exhibited and performed at such venues as Vox Populi, Fjord Gallery, and Icebox Project Space in Philadelphia, and David Nolan Gallery in New York. Hall was a resident artist at the Vermont Studio Center and co-curator of A/PUBLIC at the Kelly Writers House. www.adriennehall.ca

ERICA NIX is a certified personal trainer, body-positive ambassador, and owner of Transform, a queer-centric fitness center in Austin, Texas. On a mission to "Make Working Out Fun Again!" by bringing dance aerobics into public spaces and creating space for queers and weirdos, Nix’s performances and videos combine kitschy, sex-positive choreography from a variety of vintage sources to produce a refreshing mix of nostalgic aerobics, raunch, and pop-culture. Nix’s performance art and work as a queer and trans-inclusive, body-positive activist and personal trainer is well-documented: active participation in LGBTQIA activist rallies and demonstrations; being a regularly featured artist at OUTsider Fest, aGLIFF, the Museum of Human Achievement, and MASS Gallery; awarded an Austin Critics Table Award in 2016 for Best Independent Project and Austin Chronicle’s Best Body Positive Ambassador in 2016 and Best Personal Trainer Award in 2017 and 2018.  www.workoutwithericanix.com

PETER CLOUGH is an artist, activist, and curator, working across media to explore queer sexuality and fetish through humor and childhood wonder. Clough's work is insistently vulnerable, celebrating personal narrative as a political tool and queer strategy. Clough’s work is rooted in collage, cutting and manipulating images of his own body to create works that exist on the borders of desire and repulsion, sexiness and silliness, pleasure and suffering. Clough was born in Boston in 1984 and received a BA from Grinnell College in 2006 and an MFA from NYU Steinhardt in 2009. Clough has presented work in New York at MoMA PS1, Printed Matter, Fresh Window Gallery, Microscope Gallery, Southfirst Gallery, Wayfarers Gallery, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, SPRING/BREAK Art Fair, the Center for Performance Research, and Dixon Place Theater, in Pittsburg at the Andy Warhol Museum, in L.A. at Human Resources, in Nashville at Open Lot, in Berlin at Peres Projects and Space/Time at FLUTGRABEN e.V., in Seoul at Konkuk University and The House of Collections, in Antwerp at the Monty, in Ghent at Off/off Cinema and in Oslo at Kunstnernes Hus, Fotogalleriet, and SOPPEN Performance Festival at Ekebergparken. Clough’s work has been featured in the New York Times and Time Out magazine. Clough lives and works in Brooklyn. www.peterclough.net

VIRGINIA LEE MONTGOMERY (b. 1986, Houston) received her BFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and MFA from Yale University in Sculpture in 2016. She is a hybrid artist and works primarily with video, performance, sound, and sculpture. Her artwork is a practice of metaphysics, latently autobiographical, and often with a feminist impulse. The work is paradoxically cryptic and literal, conceptual and hand-built. Her movements interrogate the relationship between physical and psychic structures. VLM also works as a professional mind-map scribe, a Graphic Facilitator.  www.virginialeemontgomery.com