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Event: Failing to Levitate Public Reception

  • EFA Project Space 2nd Floor 323 W 39th St New York, NY, 10018 United States (map)

Artists: Anhoek School (orchestrated by Mary Walling Blackburn and Rafael Kelman), A Pattern, Malin Arnell, Ethan Breckenridge, Dillon de Give, Bill Dietz, Danyel Ferrari, Rachel Higgins, Mitch McEwen, Glendalys Medina, Jen Rosenblit

Curated by: Kerry Downey and Natasha Marie Llorens

With guest speaker Heather Love

Failing to Levitate is a platform to think about failure and vulnerability in art practices that are based in the social, in the encounter between people. The project links spaces, bodies, objects, and events in order to consider the ways we gather, socialize, and are affected by the physical conditions of shared space: elevators, board rooms, cars, group exhibitions, Times Square, dance floors...   

As curators we decided to borrow our title from Bruce Nauman's eponymous photograph, which shows the artist earnestly attempting to levitate in his studio and then slumping to the floor awkwardly when he fails. This work speaks to the (still) heroic narrative of the lone artist striving towards transcendence through an act of sheer will. We address failure and vulnerability as key terms in this project because any real discussion of either outside of a binary structure challenges the idea of self-mastery. Self-mastery, an ideology that tolerates no weakness, is in turn foundational to masculinism. We appropriate "failing to levitate" in order to attend, instead, to how physical and social spaces fail us, or create spaces for being vulnerable together.

More information on the events schedule, artists' texts, and links to research can be found here:www.failingtolevitate.netFor press inquiries, please contact Lauren Bierly, Assistant Director for EFA Project Space at