“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt”
— Immanuel Kant
Critique of Pure Reason
On May 30, 2012 Abigail DeVille will begin work on Invisible Men, as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation. For Invisible Men, DeVille will amass bricolage, painting, and sculpture into a selective history of culturally invisible classes of people as a means of reflecting upon the material culture of the present moment.
Deville’s dense installation will be created from the artist’s domestic effects and material she sources from the streets of the South Bronx. The work will take the form of alleyways and subway tunnels that make up the homes of a growing number of New York City’s homeless population. During her time at Recess in Red Hook, DeVille will excavate the psychic terrains of urban spaces, inscribing the invisible remains of history.
DeVille will assemble this compacted history both in and around the studio. Her intention is to create a constellation of impromptu black holes of information that highlight varied forms of historical erasure in New York City.
DeVille’s work constructs environments in which the chaos of excess reveals the impossibility of a consistent narrative. Saturated with images and material in various states of decay, the visual landscape of her projects suggests the unruly nature of history by incorporating everything at hand.
On view: November 11, 2023–January 25, 2024
Marcela Torres and Assembly
September 14–November 10, 2023
KING COBRA and Hue Hallums