Group Exhibition


September 11 – October 24, 2015
Curated by Jennie Ottinger

Opening Reception: Friday, September 11, 2015, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 6:00 PM

Participating Artists: Double Zero, The Feminist Economics Department (The FED) with Elizabeth Beier, Michael Friedman and Hannah Kirby, The Institute for New Feeling, Mutant Salon, Eli Thorne and Scott Vermeire. Special project with children's improvements on work by Michael Arcega, Jonn Herschend, Jason Jägel, Alicia McCarthy and Catherine Wagner.

Makeover presents eight projects that explore the individual desire for improvement and faith in the emancipatory power of personal development. These projects include genuine quests for profound metamorphosis, playful experiments, desperate attempts to seem more impressive, and glimpses into the pitfalls of constantly striving for progress and improvement. Change is in the air – what does our desire for self-improvement say about us?

Visitors can be made over by artists, discover aspirational products and ideas, and learn methods for improved self-presentation. The collaborative team Mutant Salon creates an installation that is part beauty salon, part experimental performance space, and offers beautification services at the Opening Reception and the 20th Street Block Party. As part of their line of luxury products to improve our lives, The Institute for New Feeling presents a custom line of contact lenses that modify both the way you look, and the way you look.

Give Me Cred! is a local credit reporting bureau, started by the Feminist Economics Department (the FED) that creates auxiliary narrative credit reports to help applicants more accurately represent themselves as trustworthy subjects to potential landlords and employers. For Makeover, the FED is working with comic artist Elizabeth Beier to illustrate personal narratives of several individuals in their search for apartments. The FED will provide auxiliary credit reports on Fridays, by appointment, throughout the exhibition.*

The culture and language of self-help are examined in Michael Friedman’s performative author’s reading and Scott Vermeire’s discussion of the transformative benefits of satanism and the occult.

Other works in the exhibition explore various cultures of transformation, and reflect on the potential impacts of personal change. Eli Thorne’s work examines sports culture, physical transformation and visible displays of masculinity. Made through the perspective of a juvenile boy, these drawings aim to reclaim the lost boyhood of an adult transgender male. Physicality and intimacy are also explored in two works by collaborative duo Double Zero, who make performative videos based on their 20-year friendship, playing with the ways identity is shaped in relation to those closest to us.

In an additional project for the 20th Street Block Party and in the transformative spirit of Makeover, five pre-selected children will be asked to improve upon five artworks from the studios of Michael Arcega, Jonn Herschend, Jason Jägel, Alicia McCarthy, and Catherine Wagner – respected local artists who have selected work that they either never liked, used as a study for another piece, or have had hanging around too long.

* To book an appointment with the Feminist Economics Department (the FED) for an alternative credit report, email [email protected]. Credit reports are offered for a fee of $50 to the FED (payable by cash or check at time of appointment), or in exchange for your commitment to conduct an alternative credit report for someone else.

Support for Makeover is provided by The National Endowment for the Arts and Southern Exposure's members and donors.