“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa
Artists: Zoe Strauss (US), Abner Preis (US), Jordan Seiler (US), and Jeroen Jongeleen (Influenza) (NL)
HLP Gallery presents four projects that are built from the street up. Each project may be considered a process-based work that translates exploration into empowerment by not settling for what is simply offered or responding to it, but by actively reinventing it. While the projects differ in terms of the community they involve, the social phenomenon they explore and the process by which they move forward, all reveal hope in their uncanny ability to generate trust and participation. It is an attribute that allows each to present a powerful and honest interplay between masking and unmasking as opportunities are revealed and the potential audience is brought into the ring as accomplices who actively contribute to the creation of each work.
Zoe Strauss and Abner Preis create intimate links with their audience, while Jeroen Jongeleen and Jordan Seiler mobilize real time social networks that transmit a fundamental shift from seriousness to playfulness in the public domain. In the gallery, these explorations are presented through photographs, video, artifacts and relics that describe each phenomenon in its own terms, successfully removing the dichotomy of form and content as they document and influence the world around them.
All four artists remind us of America’s favorite hero. It is not a question of class or colloquial language. The rich, the poor, the young and the old all relate to Rocky as he battles vulnerably before a community that mocks him, loves him and eventually follows him as he climbs the stairs to the museum. The appeal of Rocky is that you get ‘it’ instantly only to find out that there’s always more to get. It looks innocent, but the heavy body blows of experience, provide a history of bruises and triumphs that can be trusted. Rocky earns our trust as he consistently demonstrates self-commitment without egoism, confidence in intuitive understanding, and in boxing, like in life, his truth is grounded by performance.
Contact the gallery for available works