Project 4 will host Play by Play, a pop-up FLEX focus collaboration developed by guest curator Kayleigh Bryant. The show runs Jan 11 - Feb 1, 2014, with an opening reception Saturday, Jan. 11 from 7-9PM.
This exploration of the darker side of children's playtime features the work of Amy Hughes Braden, Bridget Sue Lambert, Janelle Whisenant, and Mark Williams. The sticky place between childhood innocence and adult realism is examined through different exercises in subverted play.
The artists in Play by Play dig into the malaise, mediocrity, sexuality, and violence implied by commonplace toys and imagery of childhood by re-appropriating these objects within complex juxtapositions of adult ideals. Braden's paintings of children and families offer a stark glimpse into the transitional moment straddling childhood and adulthood. Lambert's staged doll and dollhouse photography exposes the sexual and sexist implications of such toys. Whisenant's mutant stuffed-animal creatures question the cycle of childhood materiality. Williams' toy soldiers mock the implied oversimplification of war as a child's play.
FLEX is a group of artists and curators who come together to produce a series of exciting temporary exhibitions. Focusing on projects that do not rely on a stationary base of operations, FLEX is able to adapt to different locations to engage a variety of audiences and contexts. FLEX's loose framework provides a platform for an ever-changing cast of independent curators and artists to test the boundaries of visual expression and probe new ways of connecting with the viewer. As an open model, FLEX allows exhibitions to be dynamic and adapt to the spaces they inhabit. Mobile gallery spaces, outdoor projection units, site-specific installations, drawing machines, and 3D Printing are some of the tactics employed. The curator, Kayleigh Bryant is a young Washington, DC-based curator, arts professional and freelance arts critic for outlets including Examiner.com, CBS Local DC Online and Brightest Young Things.com.