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ART SPIEL /// ADJUSTED for Inflation at Kunstraum - Featured Project with curator Ashley Ouderkirk

By on September 2, 2022 read article

ADJUSTED for Inflation, Part 1 installation image. (Artworks visible by Sandra Zanetti, Taisha Brehaut, Bartho Staalman, and Amir Hariri.) Photo by Jenna London.

ADJUSTED for Inflation, the group show curated by curator-in-residence Ashley Ouderkirk at Kunstraum LLC features eighteen works by fourteen members and artists in residence—Annette Back, Taisha Brehaut, Laura Clark, Aleksy Cisowski, Giacomo Colosi, Amir Hariri, Catherine Lewis, Rita Nannini, Olga Rabetskaya, Bartho Staalman, Sato Sugamoto, Dimana Zaharieva, Cassandra Zampini, and Sandra Zanetti. The title, ADJUSTED for Inflation, is based on the economic term referring to the “real” value of money, after considering how much the price of an average good or service has increased. The curator says that the exhibition, like the economic concept, aims to reveal how our emotions determine the “real” value of any situation—the more complex the hardship, the greater the emotional cost and more distorted the adjustment. It runs through September 10th, 2022.

What will the visitor see in the show and how does it work within your curatorial vision?

When you walk into the gallery space for Part 2 of ADJUSTED for Inflation, you’ll be greeted by nine works of art including: photography, sculpture, painting, mixed media, and an interactive installation. Each piece represents a different perspective, approach, reaction, and way of thinking about the hardships we’ve all endured the last few years.

Collectively, we’ve experienced and are experiencing a tsunami of crises — covid, mass unemployment, erosion of civil liberties, racial injustices, political unrest, gun violence, inflation, mental health deterioration — and the waves just keep crashing upon us. I thought, “how are people processing all this?” From there, I became curious as to how artists were internalizing this new ever-shifting reality into the “visual”: How was their artistic practice changing? What adjustments were being made in their lives to ensure they could still create through all these difficulties and obstacles?

Chaotic Coexistence, 2022 ©️Sato Sugamoto; courtesy of the artist

As visitors move through the space, they will begin to pick up on the pain, hardships or struggles, along with the coping mechanisms, resilience, and solutions that each artist incorporated into their work. The exhibition is arranged to acknowledge the obstacles, while simultaneously granting an opportunity and moment to process these issues and know that there are solutions after adjustments.

When visitors see this show, I want their personal struggles — financial, spiritual, philosophical and mental — to feel seen. I hope that viewers are reminded of their own inner strengths and their uncanny abilities to adjust in the worst of times.

Unnamed, 2018 ©️Olga Rabatskaya; courtesy of the artist

Ashley Ouderkirk is a freelance art writer, emerging artist advisor, and independent curator splitting her time between Queens and Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from Syracuse University and her M.A. in Art History from CUNY Hunter College. Ashley’s work and passion centers around rethinking and expanding the relationship between art and audience, while always grounding her projects in an inclusive history of art. Her published exhibition reviews can be found on Art and Cake and Art[Memo], two Los Angeles-focused contemporary art magazines. Recent projects include a curated booth for the SPRING/BREAK 2022 Art Fair and OuderkirkonArt, a blog and Instagram dedicated to “acknowledge, examine, and value frequently overlooked artists and art venues,” which compliments her emerging artist advisory work. She is currently the Curator-in-Residence 2022-23 for KUNSTRAUM in Brooklyn.

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