The Julie Saul Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition that brings together twenty-seven artists who portray the many phases of intimate relationships. The Space Between, refers to both the physical joining of couples as well as the passage of time that unifies them or causes them to drift apart.
Through love and coupling, humans unite and become one, as depicted in Sarah Anne Johnson's photograph with oil paint and Zachari Logan’s blue pencil drawing. Limbs weave and torsos transform into flora suggesting sex, intimacy and embrace. In Bruce Davidson’s Brooklyn Gang, a couple’s intermingled bodies unite in a kiss in the squeezed interior of the backseat of a car. Form and action stops at the perfect moment of union in Elinor Carucci’s close up of a man and woman as their lips almost meet.
Life is an ecosystem of relationships. Love and lust and all forms of human connection are necessary in making humanity evolve and grow. Visual activists, Zanele Muholi and Eric Rhein bring awareness to the LGBT community in an effort to fight stigmatization and discrimination. Eric Rhien speaks of his ongoing experience with HIV in his work and Zanele Muholi brings awareness of the lives of black lesbian women in her series Being, “The work is aimed at erasing the very stigmatization of our sexualities as 'unAfrican', even as our very existence disrupts dominant (hetero)sexualities, patriarchies and oppressions that were not of our own making.”
Every facet of our existence is an unconscious navigation of how we do or do not connect with the people in our lives. The twenty-first century has posed a unique challenge to connectedness with the escalation of cell phone usage and data roaming. It is a double-edged sword, bridging physical distance but lessening real face-to-face social interaction. In Eric Pickersgill's series Removed, a couple lie in bed, back to back, with an invisible cell phone in hand seemingly invisible to each other. The evolution of a relationship comes into focus as we age; innocence gone, familiarity and routine become the norm. We find comfort or sometimes ambivalence over the progression of time as in Yolanda del Amo’s, Edith, Juan. A senior couple sits at a table together, occupying the shared space with a sense of togetherness and isolation.
Today, we interact and communicate through social media; internet dating is the most prevalent way to find a mate. Instagram has become a popular tool for sharing all aspects of life through photographs. Neither Clay Benskin or Marvin Heiferman consider themselves as practicing artists, but their passion and keen eye has resulted in many photographs being captured and shared through social media. Heiferman, aka “whywelook” zooms in on the outline of a man and woman on the subway on his daily commute; combining body language, a tattoo and patterned dress to suggest intimacy. Benskin captures lovers on the street, a heterosexual and same sex couple kissing side by side; so perfect it appears to be set up.
In an effort to understand her own parent’s divorce and her relationship with her father, Allison Kaufman began searching out middle-aged men through divorce support groups, which led to the video, Dancing with Divorced Men. Meeting them in their homes, they share their stories and dance to a song selected by the man. “For just a few hours, I offer these men the opportunity for human connection and the possibility of feeling a sense of hopefulness, healing and forgiving that I, too, am looking for.” Teri Fullerton’s, Coupling depicts profile pictures of herself paired with the men with whom she connected on OkCupid and Match.com “to project on the future fantasy of a shared experience”.
Relationships come and go, and as Duane Michals said of his photograph, "The couple here are newlyweds, and are crazy in love. Years later the photograph is really a memory of a time that has past. It validates the time when they were deeply in love, even though that moment has now past."