JACOB KASSAY, « OTNY », ALBRIGHT-KNOX GALLERY, BUFFALO
Jacob Kassay: OTNY – Albright-knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York – Saturday, February 18, 2017 – Sunday, June 18, 2017
For his first solo museum exhibition in the United States, Jacob Kassay (American, born 1984) presents new sculptures that draw attention to the way our powerful, implicit habits shape the way we rationalize, navigate, and narrate our own movement through familiar spaces.
Each of the three groups of work in Kassay’s exhibition approaches embodied memories in a different way. These include a rubber grip on the handrail for the stairs connecting the Albright-Knox’s 1962 and 1905 Buildings impressed on its underside with the braille letter H repeated thousands of times, creating a subtly changed and suddenly legible experience of climbing the Albright-Knox’s staircase, and at the top of the stairs is an architectural fragment that refuses to “go” anywhere, an oddly familiar dead end that troubles the inherently functional character of domestic space. In a separate gallery is a series of eight aluminum volumes covered with collections of both unopened and half-used home stuffs. Each sculpture mirrors a shelf in a pantry, linen closet, or garage in a real home. Stripped of all exterior cabinetry, they display the innards of domestic life that would never be fully visible otherwise.
Kassay’s meditation on our rote navigation of domestic life reminds us of the extent to which we deploy, unaware, a kind of self-defense that allows us to normalize and internalize even exceptionally strange developments in order to continue operating in the world.