December 14 - January 15, 2020
Insect presents Celebration, a group show featuring Theodora Allen, Carrie Cook , Caroline David , Zoe Koke, Liz Lee,
and Lila de Magalhaes.
Celebration unfolds within the world of the interior to approach themes of fantasy, femininity, pleasure, nature, nostalgia,
The show takes its name from Marc Camille Chaimowicz's 1972 installation Celebration? Realife at Gallery House in London.
A sensory overload of celebration and decay unfolded there, with trash and cheap lights and a disco ball signaling the aftermath
of a party. The artist slept there each night throughout the exhibition, shifting the space psychologically from the extroverted
into the personal world of a bedroom interior.
In Theodora Allen's Pollinator, 2019, oil on linen, a nocturnal glow reveals two flowering plants and an insect, framed
within a window. It's small scale intimacy expands, trance-like, into a symbolic realm, a mental landscape as earthly as it
is mystical. Allen's technique, wherein paint is applied and slowly removed, reveals imagery in hushed tones that can appear
embossed, or alternately, barely brushing the surface, as a pollinator brushes a flower. The softness of touch however, is
deceptive, for without the pollinator's action, reproduction, and thus, recreation, would be rendered an impossibility.
Carrie Cook's Kiss of Life, 2019, is a site-specific multi-media installation. In Cook's practice she accumulates and
assembles personal photographs, foil, and gravel, layering and reconstructing the materials to reimagine narratives and memories
into quasi- architectural forms: passageways, columns, and portals. These forms follow and break away from the gallery architecture,
like memory aligns and misaligns, moving between nostalgia, longing, and raw experience.
Caroline David's Sheela Na Gig, 2019, re-imagines an enigmatic ancient goddess and fertility figure popularized as an
architectural adornment found in Europe and elsewhere.Though scholars disagree on the origins and meaning of these figures,
alternately interpreted as goddesses or grotesques, David's treatment of the symbolic femme is self-possessed and whimsical,
tough and soft in green and gray.
Zoe Koke's video, Events In Nature, 2019, shot between Marseille, Las Vegas, and Germany, is an accumulation of scenes
from public life, witnessed through the camera's lens as a voyeur onto unfamiliar cities. Like a daydream on loop, the handheld
camera oscillates at the threshold of wonder and banality, studying its subjects, beachgoers and robots and tourists alike,
with soft precision.
In Liz Lee's Escaping the mantle of social coercion boy creating a new mantle to coerce on, winter wolderglam eye, pleasure
should be reason enough, hot sand/ orgasm blush palette, nothing can be uncritically divorced, tattoo liner, ~Charts~, I love
you because I love you: the glorious end of logical operation, 2019, an impression of the artist's face sits like mist upon
the glittering fabric that hangs tentatively from the surface; a dress? A curtain? All bedroom glam in a smoky haze. The face,
a specter of lipstick and a traces of a portrait, emerges slowly, and then all at once, glistening like mascara tears damp
on a pillow, sparkling away into a dark sky full of stars.
Lila de Magalhaes's Milk and Honey, 2019, embroiders her subject, an insect, in thread onto a dyed fabric. Its delicately
embroidered form vibrates and quivers, the eyes comically wide and searching. The insect's kinetic movement seems to harness
the materiality of creation, the awe of feelings that arise when deeply engaged in creating. A picture, a feeling, a world
taking shape, no longer invisible and, at last, spellbinding in its hyper-real presence.