Fresh Window is pleased to present Wood, Flesh, an exhibition of new photographs and sculptures by Peter Clough and Jennifer Gustavson. Clough and Gustavson are long-time friends and collaborators whose styles and practices influence each other often. Wood, Flesh brings together a body of self-portraits in which each artist disassembles and reconstitutes their own queer body in arrangements that are at once intimate, political and humorous. The physical materiality of the body is rendered in a plurality of forms: chiseled pine, cast plaster, glossy acrylic and blinking video. As a whole, Wood, Flesh is an investigation of the limits of the queer body, frayed at the edges, impaled, penetrated, expelling and ingesting.
In Clough's photograph Peter (#notmypresident), an image created just after the election of Donald J. Trump, Clough's body is spread spider-like on the floor of a dark basement, a scuffed surface that resembles a celestial star chart. Clough is laughing goofily, eyes crossed, and yet his fingers are clenched tight, betraying pain. His legs are pulled up over his head, and protruding from his asshole is the raw pole of the American flag, flapping gently. In Clough's large sculptural wall work Peter (you are what you eat), a laser-cut photograph depicts Clough bent at the waist, mouth open. An intricate kinetic sculpture surrounds the photograph in which the wooden balls, resembling feces, are recycled through holes in the asshole and mouth of the image. Here, Clough becomes the butt of his own joke, his own "locker room talk", taking on an image of extreme degradation as a gesture of both self-effacing humor and political desperation.
Gustavson's Skewer, a towering totem of carved and cast body parts, found objects, and the detritus of daily life, dominates the center of the gallery. At its heart is an eight-foot carved wooden spike that both punctures and supports other objects. Two faces are crudely hewn from laminated Styrofoam; two more are carefully cast from concrete. A hanger, with the iconic "We (heart) our customers" slogan, is impaled through the heart. A roll of toilet paper hangs from a raw oak branch, standing in for an artm. Hair from Gustavson's dog Kevin peppers the work, a reminder of both deep intimacy and fragility. Six plaster hands extend, perhaps reaching outward, perhaps pulling in. In Skewer, Gustavson punctuates violent gestures with dark puns and moments of poetic intimacy.
Peter Clough was born in Boston in 1984 and received a BA from Grinnel College in 2006 and an MFA from NYU Steinhardt in 2009. Clough has presented work in New York at MoMA PSI, Microscope Gallery, Southfirst Gallery, Leroy Neiman Gallery, SPRING/BREAK Art Fair, the Center for Performance Research, and Dixon Place Theater, 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.
Jennifer Gustavson was born in Chicago in 1982 and received a BFA in Photography from Illinois State University in 20015 and an MFA from NYU Steinhardt in 2009. Gustavson has presented work in New York at Fresh Window Gallery, Martos Gallery, NurtureArt and NYU Broadway Windows, in Normal, Illinois at Illinois State University Galleries, in Baltimore at Lease Agreement, in Danielson, Connecticut at The Spiral Gallery, in Berlin at Peres Projects, in Banksa Bystrica, Slovakia at the Slovak and American Video Exhibition, and in Santiago at SALA SAM. Gustavson's work has been written about in White Hot Magazine and Eyes Toward The Dove. Gustavson lives and works in Brooklyn.
WOOD, FLESH: Peter Clough and Jennifer Gustavson, is on view from December 2, 2016 - January 22, 2017, Friday - Sunday, 1-6pm, or by appointment