Failing to Levitate
June 6 - July 3, 2014


Image courtesy of Kerry Downey and Natasha Marie Llorens

Image courtesy of Kerry Downey and Natasha Marie Llorens

Reception: Thursday, June 19, 6pm - 8pm

At EFA Project Space, 323 W. 39th St, 2nd floor

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. With guest speaker Heather Love.

Curated by Kerry Downey and Natasha Marie Llorens

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.

As a result of the varying gestures, experiments, and performances included in this show, the social space of the gallery becomes a space of persistent shift; between artists, from performance to event, between built form and embodied experience. To be vulnerable is to admit that we do not make meaning alone, that we come into being through the recognition of others, that we are responsible to each other. Failure here is not an end—it is a space that opens up after an idea or an experience has exhausted itself, after balloons deflate and the smoke clears. In this space, together, we hover in not knowing and struggling to listen.

For more information from the artists and curators, visit


Curatorial Statement by Kerry Downey

Curatorial Statement by Natasha Marie Llorens



Friday, June 6th, 6:00PMSimultaneous Presence: Performances by Bill Dietz & Jen Rosenblit

Sunday, June 15th, 12:00PMAnhoek School presents WMYN 87.9 FM Coffeehouse

Thursday, June 19th, 6:00PMFailing to Levitate Public Reception

Wednesday, June 25th, 7:00PMHeather Love and Jen Rosenblit

Friday, June 27th, 7:00PMDo I (Even) Know What I'm Doing? discussion and A Pattern video screening

Tuesday, July 1st, 7:00PMothers will surely follow | Caterpillar : Performances by Danyel Ferrari & Rachel Higgins, and Glendalys Medina


For press inquiries, please contact Lauren Bierly, Assistant Director for EFA Project Space at