The fitness of public places is the focus of a new group exhibition, Health Club, on
view at Hyde Park Art Center’s Gallery 1, December 9, 2018 until March 3, 2019. The exhibition brings together work by artists examining the impact the built environment has on the human mind and body through everyday sites that blur the boundary between public and private space. A public reception will take place on Sunday, December 16, 3-5 pm, with free parking available at Kenwood High School (corner of S Cornell Drive and Lake Park Boulevard). Health Club features artwork by Nelly Agassi, Yane Calovski & Hristina Ivanoska, Ballas & Wax, FieldWork, Charo Garaigorta, Faheem Majeed, Kevin Miyaki, and Bridget O’Gorman.
These artists observe the interdependence of human wellness on constructed notions of place by focusing on sites of civic and leisure activities. This contemplation does not focus on obvious venues such as gyms or spas, but locations including museums, hospitals, airports, and other public places, by which the artists can examine how society’s built environments can foster—or deteriorate—health, both mental and physical.
Hospitals and parks facilitate health in the most direct manner on the body, however artists Nelly Agassi and Andrew Schnachman of Fieldwork create work that complicates common assumptions of these places of recovery and suggests greater potential as a site for community and imagination. Museums and cultural centers addressed in the work of Yane Calovski & Hristina Ivanoska, Faheem Majeed, and Bridget O’Gorman point out the aspirations and paradoxes in these mission driven places to promote public learning and engagement with their collections, while also mandating strict care and distance of the public from their historical objects as proxy of the body. Finally, artists Ballas & Wax, Kevin J. Miyazaki, and Charo Garaigorta independently consider the leisure spaces of travel and accommodations and highlight the tension between being protected and being controlled through architecture.
Image: Charo Garaigorta, Aeropuerto, 2018, velum, gouache, and ink, 18 x 24 inches