HEAP July 13th


Curated by Elana Melissa Hill

Opening reception: July 13th 8 pm-12 am


Laurel Frank
Kyla Hansen
Nicolas Shake

A heap of garbage in the desert, a pile of props backstage, a collection of curious things in an abandoned house. Each object has a history and conceptual weight of it’s own, with infinite potential for creation of narrative as it is appropriated, re-contextualized and manipulated.

Laurel Frank, Kyla Hansen and Nicolas Shake search for places where the real and fake overlap.  They look for where memory, nostalgia and context allow the meaning of every-day objects to shift and grow. They glean treasures and absurd objects that have been de-valued or discarded and transform them with lights, glitter and humor into strange and fascinating sculptures.

Nicolas Shake’s sculptures are site-specific and temporary so he photographs them out in the desert where they are created. In the studio he creates photographs and paintings that immortalize these ephemeral arrangements as the original sculpture bakes and falls back apart.

Kyla Hansen is also drawn to the wasteland between agglomerations as areas rich with nostalgic ties to western films and country music as well as a kind of vision of an apocalyptic post-industrial landscape. Theatricality in Hansen’s work is crucial as she says it “… creates open spaces of possibility, in which objects may be experienced untethered to conventional contexts.”

The importance of theatrical narratives is prevalent in Laurel Frank’s work as well, as she uses every-day prop shop materials like cardboard and glue to make strange and clever objects covered with foil and glitter, full of flaws and finger prints as a record of the labor that went into making them. Frank’s work uses these ‘fake’ materials, transforming them, breathing life into the simple materials associated with theatrical grandeur as well as queerness.

Laurel Frank, Kyla Hansen, and Nicolas Shake each search for objects heavy with meaning as cultural signifiers and manipulate those pieces to both embellish and challenge pre-existing associations through humor and whimsical play. This exhibition is meant to catalyze an expansive discussion between the work of these three artists.


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