Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is pleased to present The Smallest Murmur…, an exhibition with works by LES Studio Program Resident Sandra Erbacher, on view at 88 Essex Street from November 22, 2019 through December 15, 2019. There will be an opening reception held in the gallery on November 22 from 6 to 8 pm.
Sandra Erbacher’s exhibition The Smallest Murmur… is an exploration of the structural and conceptual parallels between the open-plan office and the Panopticon prison. Erbacher applies Foucault’s analysis of the Panopticon to the open-plan office in order to lay bare the disciplinary power operating in the contemporary workplace. Instead of enclosure by cubicle, a fluid spatial arrangement and dispersed lighting is designed to facilitate communication and collaboration, as well as continuous surveillance; partitions are lowered to offer a limited amount of privacy, whilst allowing for maximum visibility. Ergonomic chairs and keyboards are built to make us work longer hours, while furniture systems and shelving units compartmentalize and rationalize our working process. The body becomes an object of knowledge that is studied, manipulated, shaped, used, transformed, and improved so that its efficiency and economical usefulness can be maximized.
Many of the images incorporated in her installations are appropriated from commercial catalogues published by office furniture manufacturers, where they are used to promote the seemingly inconspicuous objects, technology and systems organizing the office space, such as lighting, desks, chairs or plants. After removing them from their original context, Erbacher manipulates these images by cropping, enlarging, framing or mounting them onto architectural features.
Installed in space, they mimic the clean, cold, and detached language of corporate display. At a second glance however, they reveal themselves as deeply uncanny. Instead of promoting the operations of disciplinary power, the objects featured in her photographs and installations undermine the very structures of the corporate workplace they are designed to support, their disruptiveness destabilizing any belief in the authority and inevitability of an otherwise unyielding bureaucratic system.
Sandra Erbacher is a German born artist currently residing and working in New Jersey and New York. Erbacher’s work has previously been exhibited in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space provides exhibition opportunities to hundreds of independent curators and emerging underrepresented artists. Its location inside the Essex Street Market creates a distinct opportunity to directly engage with the local community about contemporary art. Artists Alliance Inc is interested in promoting contemporary artwork in all media, to be shown within a local community setting, though we do not promote community-based art. Through an annual open call, we seek exhibitions featuring the work of emerging and underrepresented contemporary artists and the curators who seek to exhibit these artistsʼ work in a clear and concise context. In addition, we are particularly interested in exhibits that convey relevance to the local community.