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Gut Friends

Show Dates: June 28 – August 5, 2018
Opening Reception: June 30 4-6 PM, Porch Gallery Ojai

Excerpt from “Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?”, New York Times, 2015:

“The brain is anatomically isolated, guarded by a bloodbrain barrier that allows nutrients in but keeps out pathogens and inflammation, the immune system’s typical response to germs. Cryan’s study added to the growing evidence that signals from beneficial bacteria nonetheless find a way through the barrier. Somehow — though his 2011 paper could not pinpoint exactly how — microorganisms in the gut tickle a sensory nerve ending in the finger like protrusion lining the intestine and carry that electrical impulse up the vagus nerve and into the deepbrain structures thought to be responsible for elemental emotions like anxiety.”

Porch Gallery Ojai presents Gut Friends. In 1971, artists Carol Goodden, Tina Girouard and Gordon Matta-Clark opened the restaurant FOOD in New York City. Looking to create a space that would both employ their friends and give them a place to eat, the project’s aim was to create a simple project designed to bring the artistic community together.  Meals were at once a performance, an impetus for gathering and a gesture of friendship. Gut Friends draws  on this model and is influenced by Ry Rocklen’s most recent series, Food Group – an interdisciplinary and performative exploration of the human figure inhabiting costume recreations of hot dogs, tacos, and cupcakes, among other fare.  Gut Friends is curated by Ry Rocklen, and Frederick Janka, Executive Director of the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation.

So much like best friends, this exhibition Gut Friends, brings together a group of artists to a shared table celebrating a dynamic and ever-expanding community of artists. Gut Friends is an art smorgasbord as it celebrates our humanity at an exhibition cum dinner party. The show will feature works by Kelly Akashi, Niki Ford, Rochele Gomez, Patrick Jackson, Cole M. James, David Leggett, Grant Levy-Lucero, Nick Lowe, Lila De Magalhaes, Nevine Mahmoud, and Ry Rocklen. Niki Ford’s installation will be activated by a performance in collaboration with Rachel Burgos during the opening reception on Saturday, June 30.

This exhibition is in partnership with the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation and will be a part of the organization’s annual Art Prize weekend in Ojai, California. The Art Prize is an unrestricted cash gift and exhibition project awarded by the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation. Ry Rocklen is the 2018 Art Prize recipient.