An exhibition featuring the members of FJORD
Payne Gallery | Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA
Organized by Natessa Amin & Kaitlynd O’Doherty
Opening October 8th at Payne Gallery | 346 Main St. Bethlehem, PA 18018
Open to the public by appointment only, email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit.
Collectively features the work of current FJORD members Natessa Amin, Anthony Bowers, Lindsay Deifik, Doah Lee, Theo Mullen, Chrissy Scolaro, Joy O. Ude, Seneca Weintraut and Katie Wynne. This exhibition was organized by Natessa Amin and Kaitlynd O’Doherty.
The title of this exhibition refers to the long tradition of artists working collectively, often motivated by ideological, social or aesthetic pursuits. This has manifested in variable ways—from initiatives focused on generating materials and actions that undermine accepted power structures, to those interested in producing work collaboratively in a way that builds social capital, and those seeking to provide an accessible venue for unfettered experimentation. The factors that these groups have in common include the willingness to share resources and work cooperatively toward common aims.
Artist-run spaces are a part of this lineage. Within FJORD’s specific organizational model, members exercise a collective approach to curating and are united by consistent agreement about aesthetic direction and interest in presenting shows that display conceptual rigor. FJORD plays an important role in showcasing artists who have not necessarily exhibited in Philadelphia before and commonly provides other practitioners with a first-time opportunity to curate. For nearly a decade, there has remained the shared intention of enabling dialogue between artists, both emerging and established, and emphasizing experimentation; FJORD has proven to be a domain where this is possible.
Outside of this collaboration, each artist member maintains their own creative practice and the works showcased here demonstrate the range of approaches, subject matter and media that each employs. The works are not devoid of overlap. Several of the featured artists evoke the surreal and engage with ideas of impermanence and temporality. There is a repeated interest in themes of cultural and personal identity, as well as engagement with space and materiality. The varied executions are, however, specifically informed by unique personal interests, experiences and preoccupations.
The dichotomy of presenting these individual efforts in tandem with details about FJORD’s identity as a communal entity is intentional. It renders members representative of both the individual and collective efforts that artists engage in constantly. Thus, the presentation of this work is also an entry point for discussing the history of collectively operated art spaces. In bringing these elements together, this exhibition is an effort to unpack the strengths and challenges of the artist-run model and highlight the value of these cooperative enterprises.