from Latin exemplum
“a sample, specimen; image, portrait;
pattern, model, precedent;
a warning example,
one that serves as a warning,”
literally “that which is taken out”*
Featuring new work by 2021-22 BRIClab: Video Artist Buzz Slutzky, For Example presents the artist’s ongoing investigation into the relationship between mark- and meaning-making. Through drawing, painting, and film, Slutzky explores the aesthetics of authority, instruction, and knowledge production.
Slutzky’s interdisciplinary practice is, in many ways, an autobiographical and historical intervention. Slutzky creates drawings and paintings based on photographic images found in instructional manuals, visual arts textbooks, interior design catalogs, and family scrapbooks, many of which were published between the 1950s and 70s. Some of these books were passed down to the artist, like the 1977 self-defense manual, Looking Forward to Being Attacked: Self-Protection for Every Woman, originally purchased by the artist’s mother, and a sculpture textbook from the artist’s grandmother, Sylvia “Syb” Wolens, who was also an artist. Though these books were designed as tools for teaching, learning, and knowing, Slutzky pauses to ask: How does their meaning change when they change hands? This central question materializes in each stroke, smudge, and re-constructed scene, urging us to consider that there may be more to the story than the so-called ‘reality’ of a photograph.
Slutzky continues testing the malleability of meaning in their essay film, One Shorter than the Other, in which they share the story of their grandmother and her life as an artist, educator, and parent with a lifelong injury resulting from possible child abuse. As a collage of dreams, memories, and reflections, this visual retelling offers intuition as an alternative to what is inherited and what is imposed. Powered by the tension between what is buried and what is brought out by the passage of time, For Example challenges the enduring authoritative power of instructional images and inherited narratives.
For Example is organized by Maria McCarthy, Curatorial Associate. It is Slutzky’s first solo exhibition.
*“example (n.),” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=example
List of Works in the Exhibition