It Can Howl

It Can Howl

May 19, 2016 – August 7, 2016

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May 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm
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May 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Atlanta Contemporary presents It Can Howl – a group exhibition featuring the work of Danielle Dean, Bessie Harvey, Nancy Lupo, Jeanine Oleson, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Chloe Seibert, Hayley Silverman, and Martine Syms.

This exhibition takes a look at the numerous experiences of the American South. It unfolds via asides and digressions overheard in the everyday that make up a sense of place. We transcend history and move across state lines; we look for moments that are absent and embrace spontaneity; we are shaped and shifted by the cultures, the personalities, literature, and most importantly the mythology.

Atlanta Contemporary: Interview with Chloe Seibert

It Can Howl

This guy once joked to me, sort of half seriously, that his choices for an upcoming move had been narrowed to the American South vs. Rotterdam, and somehow this foreign city in a foreign country seemed more familiar to him than a whole massive region in his own backyard. Or, front driveway or basement, depending on which way your house is facing. On first getting down here he lived in my car. There was an apartment too, but each weekend needed to be spent somewhere else. Just driving old roads. The 4-door Hyundai Elantra never stood a chance. There was Alabama Black Belt. The Mississippi coast. There was Howard Finster's Paradise Garden, in Summerville, Oyotunji, and Joe Minter's African Village in America, Birmingham. He slept in the dunes in Edisto Beach, in the parking lot of the Mountain Moonshine Festival, and a small couch in a big room on a Louisiana sugar plantation. Sometimes there was no address and he threw MapQuest for a loop. Outside of a shitty bar in Savannah, he took a swing at a SCAD student. And came out on top. 

His stories sizzled. He went to Oxford looking for the past, present, future. Because of Faulkner, Larry Brown, and Barry Hannah the drive in felt like a hazy, half memory. A sense of déjà vu for a place that only existed in books. Approaching the town square was the slowest crawl of his life. He knew every bar and pizza place, every shadow spilling off the parking meters. He trusted his memory of someone else’s memory. The night was a magical train wreck of drinking upstairs at City Grocery. He shared bourbons and beers with larger-than-life characters: aspiring drunks, assholes, a golf reporter for ESPN, failed novelists, William Eggleston’s granddaughter, and a woman who said at the end of his life Barry Hannah would sit right behind where he was and sip on soda and remind her that she was a sight to behold. She would blush, and momentarily forget that Uncle Barry was a solid 42 years her senior. These were the damaged drinking partners he always dreamt of. 

The next morning he wakes up in a stranger’s guest room. He was late for the road. A few hours in, he is just south of Jackson and the booze is fading, hunger replacing it. He’s barreling down I-55 anxiously looking about for signs of life. Good day, this worthless stretch is empty. An upcoming exit between Crystal Springs and Gallman promises Southern staples: Zaxbys and Hardees and while the $4 Real Deal was not ideal, the grease would do him well. He pulls off into nothingness, the commercial strip is empty, the roof of Hardees has all but collapsed on itself.  This is deep poverty, his memory was vivid. He cruised right past the short line of empty restaurants and in a daze kept going until he was driving past battered trailers and mobile homes between the breaks in the gloomy trees. This was no place to be sober. 

He noticed the sign for a steak and catfish joint and in a hot second, spun the car into the dirt and gravel parking lot causing a dust storm that settled nicely at face height. Unfazed, a man leaned against his dust colored El Dorado. He was sweating profusely in the thirsty sun. Despite being the only people for miles, they didn’t speak, just a slight nod. As he tells the story the door was locked and only then did the guy in faded-denim overalls inform him they’d be open at 4:30. He said, it was good, worth the wait even – it was 3pm. He explained that he needed to be to New Orleans by dinner, to which the guy replied with examples of how this area received no attention after Katrina. He apologized and began his goodbye, but the man cut him off to say, “I like the way you talk. Where are you from?” He said he was new to the south and had grown up in Dearborn, Michigan. His voice rose with excitement. He hadn’t heard anyone speak like that in years, not since his old job would take him up to Toronto. What started as a hobby, writing code for his own video games turned into a legit business and frequently brought him north, north. The city agreed with him: clean, polite, and he loved the food – he sold the video game business to open this catfish place. Then this simple man with a long face and dirty red hair shocked him and mentioned that he would return to Canada each year on his wedding anniversary to bring his wife to Lapellah on Queen Street West in Parkdale. He would visit on each business trip and got to know James the owner. Our storyteller played pee-wee hockey with James and had also been to the restaurant many times. He was profoundly happy to have made this connection out there, but the other man was nonplused. He asked if he could get a simple sandwich and the man replied, “is it 4:30”? 

- Daniel Fuller, Curator


Bessie Harvey

Bessie Harvey (b. 1929, Dallas, Ga; d. 1994, Alcoa, Tennessee) was an American folk artist known for sculptures crafted from found objects. Harvey’s deep faith and her interest in nature were primary sources for her work. Works in this exhibition are on loan from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, Atlanta, Ga.

Danielle Dean

Danielle Dean (b. 1982 in Alabama, raised in a suburb of London, UK) studied Fine Art at Central St Martins in London and received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts. She has been a Whitney Independent Study Program Fellow in New York City and a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.

Nancy Lupo

Nancy Lupo (b. 1983, Flagstaff, AZ) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Luop received her MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT and earned her BFA in 2007 from The Cooper Union, New York, NY. In 2013 she was a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.

Jeanine Oleson

Jeanine Oleson (b. 1974, Astoria, OR) attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rutgers University, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Oleson is an Assistant Professor of Photography in the Department of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lili Reynaud-Dewar

Lili Reynaud-Dewar (b. 1975, La Rochelle, France) graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she has shown at the 12th Lyon Biennial in 2013, the Paris Triennial in 2012, and the 5th Berlin Biennial in 2008. She currently lives and works in Grenoble and Geneva.

Chloe Seibert

Chloe Seibert (b. 1989, New York, NY) received her BFA in 2011 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and she currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. Her work has been exhibited across the United States at such galleries as CourtneyBlades, Chicago, IL; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Johannes Vogt, New York; Gallery Diet, Miami, USA. She has also exhibited with Queer Thoughts at Eric Hussenot, Paris; and recently her work was included in a group show by Queer Thoughts in Nicaragua.

Hayley Silverman

Hayley Silverman (b. 1986 New York City) lives and works in Berlin and New York. She received her BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculptural Studies with a concentration in Interactive Media from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland. 

Martine Syms

Martine Syms (b. 1988, Los Angeles, CA) received her BFA in Film, Video, and New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Syms is the founder of Dominica, a publishing imprint dedicated to exploring blackness in visual culture.


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