Exhibition - Katya Grokhovsky, Fantasyland

Friday, Apr 30, 2021 at 12:00pm

Smack Mellon Gallery
92 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Katya Grokhovsky works in installation, performance, sculpture, video, painting and drawing, exploring ideas of gender, identity construction, alienation, labor, history, and the self. Through research and autobiographical experience, Grokhovsky builds worlds and characters that examine and underscore stereotypes, assumptions, prejudices, and injustices. She is interested in the histories of migration and displacement, while enacting the bodies of the historically oppressed, in relation to the preconceived social order. Many of her projects deal with protest and freedom through failure, via radical and humorous actions: reclaiming the body through pleasure, chaos, and refusal, residing in the space of absurd grotesque and nostalgic kitsch. 

At Smack Mellon, Grokhovsky presents FANTASYLAND, a site-specific mixed media installation that explores the rise and fall of a fantastical empire and its uncertain future. Using a variety of mediums and objects, such as giant plush toys, inflatable beach balls, deconstructed and re-assembled mannequins, an unfinished carousel structure, recycled parachute canopies, wallpaper, a glowing neon sign, and performance videos, the artist underscores American society’s surplus of objects, brutally intoxicating consumerism, and unbridled desire for material possessions that form an ironic, ultimate beacon and capitalist symbol of freedom. In this work, Grokhovsky investigates the American Dream through an immigrant lens, exposing a desirable yet unattainable mirage. FANTASYLAND reveals the eternal human longing for a better life and for connection that remains hidden and festering beneath the polite façade of shopping malls, big box stores, and marketplace websites. In this post-industrial landscape, the enchanted forests and docile characters of Disney fairy tales become sinister metaphors for the “land of opportunity,” an alluring veneer for a wasteland of human-made, consumerist debris.

Exhibition Date: March 20, 2021 – May 2, 2021 

Free Admission 

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