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Contemporary Art Programs /

Serious Play: Translating Form, Subverting Meaning

An exhibition devoted to the exploration of the forms of childhood play that encourage experimentation, chance, failure, and humor as a process in contemporary art.


JUN 27-AUG 18, 2019


FREE Admission


Gallery at BRIC House
647 Fulton Street
(Enter on Rockwell Place)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
United States
Get Directions

Image by Jason Wyche 

EXHIBITION ON VIEW June 27 - Aug 18, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: Thurs, June 27, 2019 from 7-9PM



Serious Play: Translating Form, Subverting Meaning is devoted to an exploration of forms of play as a process in contemporary art. Traditionally seen as an activity of childhood, for enjoyment and recreation rather than for serious or practical purpose, play is also at the heart of artistic practice.  Processes and values that inform play – making, taking apart and crafting back together, transforming space, and improvising – can be equally applied to the process of artistic creation in the studio. Serious intent, however, defines artists engaging in the realm of play.

Artists Chris Bogia, Damien Davis, Kat Chamberlin, and Ronny Quevedo provide tools to embolden the viewer through the act of play to think differently about issues of gender, race, and class. For Amanda Valdez and Julien Gardair, play with the materiality of paint and cloth instructs an awareness of the mutability of shapes and ideas. For all six artists, embracing the forms of childhood play that encourage experimentation, chance, failure, and humor provides a roadmap into better ways of being in the world.

SELECT PRESS: Brooklyn Paper and Galerie


June 27 (7-9PM)

Opening Reception
Join us at the opening reception on June 27 from 7-9pm with music by DJ Boston Chery. We'll also be celebrating the opening of the new hallway exhibition, Muriel Stockdale: E Pluribus - Out of Many, and the new café murial, David Rios Ferreira's Don't you see I got everythin' you need

July 12 (12:30-2PM)

Lessons in Learning/Unlearning: Project 404
A practice of attention that aspires to help us remain active and creatively engaged, with our environment and ourselves, while using the devices that have become our unconscious appendages. 


July 13 (3-4PM)

Coffee & Conversation: Serious Play
Join artists Kat ChamberlinDamien Davis, and Ronny Quevedo for a gallery tour and discussion of their work in Serious Play: Translating Form, Subverting Meaning. Coffee provided!

July 19 (12:30-2PM)

Lessons in Learning/Unlearning: Alt-Text as Poetry
This workshop led by Shannon Finnegan and Bojana Coklyat, will explore how alt-text —an element in web design whose wording often values less creative needs like algorithms and click throughs —can possibly be reframed through poetry writing as a liberatory art practice.


July 26 (12:30-2PM)

Lessons in Learning/Unlearning: Piecing Things Together
On Damien Davis' large table-top puzzle, visitors are asked to work together to assemble the puzzle while engaging in the uncomfortable lexicon of invisible systems of oppression.


OPEN HOUSE/OPEN STUDIOS: Summer 2019 Artists
Aug 1 (6:30-7:30PM)

Piecing Things Together with Damien Davis
Gather around Damien Davis' large mirrored table top puzzle on view in the exhibition Serious Play and work alongside other members of the community to assemble the puzzle and confront the issues of racism embedded within it.

OPEN HOUSE/OPEN STUDIOS: Summer 2019 Artists
Aug 1 (7:30-8:30PM)

C-O-N-T-E-M-P-T, A Performance by Kat Chamberlin          
C-O-N-T-E-M-P-T is a durational performance culminating out of observations of the training methods of competitive college cheerleaders. Using minimalist stainless steel armature and pedestals, the artist creates equipment that accommodates the female form to enact movements that instinctually elicit pain. The sculptures highlight how this response, either erotic or violent, is inherently connected to the drive to compete. For the performance five uniformed cheerleaders will alternate between spotting for each other, stretching, and balancing on the sculptures. The work as the artist states, “examines the impossible space between the feminist embrace of fragility and the hyper-feminine viewed as threat.”


Venue Information:

The 3,000 square-foot Gallery in BRIC House has soaring 18-foot ceilings that permit major exhibitions focusing on emerging and mid-career artists and curators. 

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