Meditation Retreats

New art installation in BK ‘Reclaims Trauma’ of the private health system

A new exhibition at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn features artist Carly Mandel bringing back the trauma caused by privatized healthcare and the consumer wellness industries while examining how people and objects are medically treated in late capitalism.

The gallery installation, curated by Kerry Doran, includes new pieces of ceramic, metal, and glass that borrow shapes or depict massagers, grab bars, skipping ropes, hula hoops, medical ID bracelets, and sharp containers that reference Almond’s personal stories of physical therapy and disability.

Based on her personal experiences, Mandel’s work focuses on how survival is represented by raw materials and how people are now unable to thrive regardless of their consumption, gallery UrbanGlass said in a statement.

UrbanGlass was founded in 1977 and is located at 647 Fulton Street in Brooklyn. It was the first artist-accessible glass center in the United States and is now the largest with 17,000 square feet of state-of-the-art studio space. Its mission is to encourage experimentation and advance the use and critical understanding of glass as a creative medium.

The Brooklyn-based artist Mandel has had her sculptures and videos shown nationally and internationally, most recently in a solo exhibition at Hamtramck Ceramck in Detroit.

Mandel was a recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Emerging Artist Grant in Washington, DC in 2017 and an UrbanGlass Visiting Artist Fellowship in 2019.

Curator Kerry Doran is an art historian, critic and curator with projects in Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and New York.

The works in the new exhibition take a critical look at how the rise of the “self-care” industry took place alongside the contemporary “health” debate.

“As federally subsidized health care in the US is threatened, wellness products and experiences grow; with sound baths, meditation retreats, Impossible meat products or the latest goop trends, which are among the most au courant ”, said the gallery about the exhibition.

“Those who are able to work or are not affected by chronic illness are more likely to be those who are privately insured with their employer and at the same time have more capital for wellness.”

Mandel’s work explores how wellness products emanate from the mythology that earning more and consuming more will be key to realizing their true potential, the gallery says, and how that ethos shames those who are unable to partake in a consumer-centric wellness culture . The exhibition opens on September 7th and runs until January 7th.


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