Exhibition | Carly Mandel: Premium | Contemporary Art at UrbanGlass | Brooklyn NY | Art Week

Carly Mandel: Premium

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Date: 
Tuesday, 7 September 2021 to Friday, 7 January 2022
Opening: 
Tuesday, 7 September 2021 - 6:00pm

For Premium, her solo exhibition at UrbanGlass, Carly Mandel presents a body of work that reclaims traumas induced by privatized healthcare and the consumer wellness industry. The gallery installation includes new ceramic, metal and glass works that borrow forms or represent massage devices, grab bars, jump ropes, hula hoops, medical ID bracelets and sharp containers referencing Mandel’s personal narratives of physical therapies and disabilities. \

Mandel’s practice considers how objects and people are medicalized within late capitalism. Her sculptures focus on how survival is represented through commodities; by representing these objects she illustrates how we are all unable to thrive independent of their consumption. This reveals a paradox: as our society supposedly advances, our bodies weaken and we see more of a struggle to succeed or even live without intervention. Drawing on her personal experiences from observing her process of becoming medicalized, Mandel’s works highlight how we are augmented by medicine and synthetic objects-namely the privatization of life itself.

The rise of “self care” alongside the contemporary “healthcare” debate is no coincidence. As state-subsidized healthcare in the United States is threatened, wellness products and experiences burgeon; with sound baths, meditation retreats, Impossible meat products, or the latest Goop trends being among the most au courant. Consumers are encouraged to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” so to speak, through their purchasing power, which in turn, is directly related to their profitability as workers. Those who are able-bodied or unaffected by chronic illness are those who are more likely to be privately insured by their employers, while at the same time having more capital to spend on wellness. 

Similar to socially reinforced ideologies of labor and productivity, wellness products operate from the mythology that earning more (and consuming more) will be the key to unlocking one’s true potential. At the same time, this ethos disguises or shames those who are monetarily or physically unable to participate in consumer-driven wellness culture. It tells us that our well-being and life itself has a high, if not unattainable, price
 

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Mandel (b. St. Louis, MO) is an artist working in Brooklyn, NY. In 2015, she received her BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR. Her sculptures and videos have been shown nationally and internationally, most recently, in a solo exhibition at Hamtramck Ceramck in Detroit, MI. Mandel was a 2017 recipient of the Emerging Artist Grant from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and a 2019 recipient of a Visiting Artist Fellowship from UrbanGlass. An interview between Mandel and Kerry Doran was published in BOMB in 2018. More information about her previous exhibitions, panels, press, and awards can be found on her website: carlymandel.com.

 

Telephone: 
(718) 625-3685

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647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217

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