In This System, a two-person show at FLXST Contemporary features new work by Phoebe Kuo and Colleen Keihm, who each use their respective mediums to complicate inherited identities: straight, queer, female, immigrant, artist, laborer, and American. Kuo, a studio woodworker, reassembles solid wood into seamless curves that pull away from the wall from which they hang, a metaphor suggesting belonging to their seeming place or structure but also moving away from predetermined constraints. Keihm, a photographer, explores darker tones, ripping and merging pages from art books and auction catalogs into collages that explore form and control. Not content to accept systems that act upon them as given, Kuo and Keihm restructure their realities, offering a space to imagine new possibilities to speak and act about the worlds that each inhabits.
COLLEEN KEIHM received her M.F.A. at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A. in Photography at Drexel University. Her work has been exhibited at FLXST Contemporary, Flatlands, Roman Susan, the Joan Flasch Rare Books Library, Gallery 400, and Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Chicago. She has been an artist in residence at Hatch Projects within the Chicago Artist Coalition, Institut fur alles Mogliche in Berlin, Germany, and Studio 3325 in Chicago. Her work is a part of the photography collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and she is a proud member of the Midwest Photographers Project. Keihm currently resides in Chicago, IL where she is an educator and the Executive Director of LATITUDE.
PHOEBE KUO is a studio woodworker based in Evanston, IL, who makes sculpture using traditional woodworking techniques. She was born in Lompoc, CA, to Taiwanese-American mathematicians, and grew up navigating hybrid identities, which she continues to explore as a queer artist of color. Her work has been shown at Wasserman Projects, Detroit, MI; Haystack Center for Community Programs, Deer Isle, Maine; Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee; and ICFF, New York, New York. She has been awarded residencies through ACRE Projects, Field/Work at Chicago Artists Coalition, and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. She received her M.F.A. in Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a certificate in Fine Woodworking from The Krenov School, and her B.S. in Product Design from Stanford University.