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The Brown Bear: Neither Particular, Nor General

A.K. Burns and Katherine Hubbard

A photo of The Brown Bear
A photo of The Brown Bear

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, this project will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.

October 28–December 11, 2010

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FREE body-hair modifications, Hair cuts, Fades, Do’s-for-a-day, Wigs-on-loan, Weaves, Small dye jobs, Body shaving, Armpit augmentation, Special requests encouraged!

On October 13, 2010, A.K. Burns and Katherine Hubbard will begin two months of work at Recess as part of its signature program, Session. Recess invites artists in Session to use its storefront space as studio, exhibition venue, and grounds for experimentation. During their first public collaboration, Burns and Hubbard will adapt Recess into a working installation that will intentionally conflate the hair and art salon. They consider the salon a site for public engagement. The Brown Bear is a space to gather, exchange ideas and generate personal aesthetics; a site to collectively explore, what does it look like? During public hours, visitors may come in to receive free body-hair modifications and add to the dialogue surveying the paradigms of appearance

In the artists words:

Leading with the question, what does it look like?, describing it is pivotal to formulating a response. It is The Brown Bear, a queer experience, the experience of ‘packing vag’, of being hirsute. For us, it is personal. This kind of personal is political, and this salon provides a space for the political to be public.

Drawing from our own experiences, feminist hysteries, and notions of queer aesthetics, we will build a social archive of ontological signifiers around the formation of self. The environment will operate like an exploded zine and visitors are invited to utilize the free Xerox machine. Additionally, Burns and Hubbard have created a series of sculptural head dressings that they will continue to produce and offer as wearable works on loan.

Every Saturday, The Brown Bear will reinvent itself during a curated salon, in which Burns and Hubbard invite another artist to cohabitate the storefront. Contributing artists at the Saturday salons are asked to challenge the privilege of sight when considering the question, what does it look like? Presentations will feature sound, literature, taste, smell and touch.

Session invites artists to use Recess’s public platform to combine productive studio space with dynamic exhibition opportunities. Sessions remain open to the public from the first day of the artist’s project through the last, encouraging sustained dialogue between artists and audiences. Due to the process-based nature of Session, projects undergo constant revision and the above proposal is subject to change.

About the artist

A.K. Burns

A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. A.K.’s practice explores interpretation and implications of sexuality, power and language, often taking the form of sculpture, video and/or social actions. A.K. is a founding member of the artists activist group W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy). In collaboration with A.L. Steiner, Community Action Center, a feature length social sexual video portrait was released this fall simultaneously at Taxter & Spengemann, NY and Horton Gallery, Berlin. A.K. also launched the inaugural issue of RANDY, a feminist queer arts magazine, in collaboration with Sophie Mörner at Capricious Publishing. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Bard College, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts.

artist website

Katherine Hubbard

Katherine Hubbard is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her practice recognizes the critical intersection of photography, performance and writing as a mark of ontological refusal through which we may re-look at how we structure meaning. Her most recent solo exhibition, Four shoulders and thirty five percent everything else, was presented at Capricious 88, NY. Forthcoming in 2015 she will present a new performance work as part of Writing Bodies at the Elizabeth Foundation For The Arts in NY. Hubbard has an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and is currently part-time faculty at Parsons The New School for Design.

artist website


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