Let’s take a ride! We’re headed to the Catskills to visit Gavin Brown’s fabulous UncleBrother canteen and gallery ~ located in what used to be a car dealership ~ in Hancock, New York. Bug Farm Family: Singing an American Night will be opening on Saturday, May 15th, with a side of Curry.
Bug Farm Family’s Singing an American Night tells the story of conspiracy, all through the prism of another American vernacular form: the arts and crafts movement. The plot develops along the circle of six rooms at UncleBrother, each room unfolding like tactile chapters: steeple church basements with tables for AA groups, and baked-good checkered cloths. Fist-small ceramic cups bearing frozen fingerprints of complicity. Time and touch are everywhere – in a ropy-fat drip of glaze; in the pawed elegance of clay fired into absolute form; in the pretty use of curves to offer up a body that can be bowl and cup – all presented on wooden wagons-cum-slapstick mall kiosks – a testament to laymen American salesmanship. Everything culminates in a white, empty space – electric, buzzing industrial light, and a fifteen-minute montage – melodramatic enactments of endless journeys traveled back and forth across the back of America. It’s an extracurricular flyover of a nation, known less to those who fly than to those who do.
The two protagonists of this story encourage their narrative to emerge through homegrown warmth – the pragmatic arts of clay and pencil. But their process is Punk and they weaponize that operating logic of mischief, only now without the usual spite. Their objects exist in a world that is older than our reality. Their backs are turned to the hollow retail that has laid waste to human touch, in a poor exchange for plastic and passed time. Instead, it is symbols of Goth-Halloween, American backlands, post-Keith Richards religiosity that are nurtured alone in the bedrooms, eternally perennial, without hierarchy and in it for the long haul. In an instinctual turn from the monstrosity of the big box hegemony Bug Farm’s world is homegrown but hellish, operating like a temper-tantrum, building into an electric silence.
Bug Farm Family: Singing An American Night will open on Saturday, May 15 from 2:00 ~ 6:00pm (Curry will be served!). UncleBrother is located at 250 East Front Street in Hancock, New York.
Read more about UncleBrother in a 2017 article in the New York Times. Follow UncleBrother on Instagram and Facebook. Follow Gavin Brown’s Enterprise.