A Gathering at Comfort Station presents works by Kittisak Chontong, Jason Friedes, Jaclyn Jacunski, and Celeste Neuhaus. The show is framed by the curator as “a gathering”; the exhibition writing suggests this holds the group of works together not as an applied theme, but rather as an invitation to the visitor to gather with these artists and artworks. The exhibition press release claims the gathering framework allows visitors to weave their own series of connections and disconnections. Unfortunately, the disconnections are far more apparent than connections. The work by the four artists is not tied together by style, subject matter, or medium.
At best the work is tied together by the way the viewer approaches each work—their ability to gather around it physically for viewing and as a central point of conversation. The artist whose work demonstrates this the best is Kittisak Chontong. His pieces are presented on pedestals as riddles. They are a series of interactions, what-ifs, and mis-haps yet to be happened. One of his pieces is a large donation box asking for knowledge, which creates chitchat among visitors and reason to gather around the box. His hot-dog guillotine piece produces fear and humor. The small wooden piece with the tac is a puzzle ready to solve, allowing the viewer to insert something in the space from their imagination—a balloon or a tomato perhaps. One piece falls flat however—the set of two fans oscillating with a thin string tied between the two. As the fans move from side to side in apposing rhythms, the string is loosened and then tightened. It seems like the intent is to suggest the “almost” snapping of the string, but this affect is not achieved. It remains just a string tied between two fans without any anticipation or confusion created. The other pieces in the show do little to create connections.
The sculpture by Jaclyn Jacunski, although formally interesting, really has nothing to do with a gathering or creating a gathering. Other than perhaps it is hung in a window where people could gather outside to see it. Although the artists have pieces that might be interesting in themselves, the curating led to confusion on why the works were being presented together. It is the artists connection to ACRE Residency is the only real thing that ties the work together.