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Emphasis Repeats*
April 3 – April 24, 2016
→ Hessel Museum of Art
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Thesis Exhibitions

Barbara Hammer, Andrea Geyer, Reina Gossett, and Alex Martinis Roe Whereas ordinary experiences of affinity often involve interests and desires that are difficult to articulate, or are presumed to not require explanation, Emphasis Repeats* draws upon Donna Haraway’s idea of “affinity politics,” as an optic into how and why we are guided toward certain figures. The exhibition traces how affinity operates affectively within interpersonal, theoretical, and institutional domains, in contexts of powers that might themselves be obfuscated.

Affinity is explored through the work of artists who consider the affirmative potential of revisiting and reorganizing the narratives through which we relate to others. Barbara Hammer examines the interior scenes of homes and correspondence in order to glean an understanding of poet Elizabeth Bishop’s love life. Andrea Geyer addresses the politics of time within cultural institutions by way of speech, movement, and orientation, as her video and texts explore how history is constructed and made present. Reina Gossett shares stories of daily resistance and care to consider the vital and radical potentiality of friendship. Springing from her correspondence with philosopher Luce Irigaray, Alex Martinis Roe maps a genealogy of feminist thought and practice through a series of encounters between women across generations.

The works of art included in Emphasis Repeats* suggest how affinity exists within forms of repetition, reference, association and connection that exceed simple notions of identification and influence. In their work, these artists assume a shared temporality that bonds individuals from past and present, present and future through different modes of relationality. Such relational forms include, but are not limited to, siblingship and kinship, as well as affirmative modes of inheritance, transmission and reproduction.

The works in the exhibition are themselves material and textual traces of each artists’ larger projects and commitments, offering intimate glimpses into their practices. The exhibition itself is the result of the generative flow of emphasis on relationships, wherein they prove not only a portion of the process, but also a political futurity.

Emphasis Repeats* borrows its title from a lyric sung by Andrea Geyer in Three Chants Modern (2013).