DiverseWorks presents What Shall We Do Next?

Julien Prévieux, Patterns of Life, 2015. Installation view, HD video, 15:30 minutes. Photo: Lynn Lane.

What Shall We Do Next? 
Danielle Dean, Kristin Lucas, Julien Prévieux, Versace Versace Versace

January 15–March 19, 2016

3400 Main Street
Houston, TX  77002
Hours: Wednesday noon–6pm, 
Thursday–Saturday noon–8pm

Performance: What Shall We Do Next 
Saturday, March 12, 7:30pm,
Sunday, March 13, 4 & 7:30pm

3400 Main Street
Houston, TX  77002


What Shall We Do Next? is a group exhibition that examines how technology and advertising have shifted our relationships to our physical bodies, the shaping of subjectivity, and notions of the real. The exhibition is comprised of a variety of works across mediums—including drawing, painting, sculpture, video animation, and performance—that all acknowledge and incorporate the effects of technology, commerce, and advertising. The artists brought together in this exhibition, Danielle Dean (Houston), Kristin Lucas (New York & Austin), Julien Prévieux (Paris, France), and the artist collective Versace Versace Versace (Miami), consider ideas of the real in relation to physical materials, technology, and advertising, as well as how the body can act as both material and ideological subject. 

The exhibition takes its title from a video and ongoing performance work by Prévieux that is based on an ensemble of gestures that have been patented by a variety of global tech companies. His work speaks to a series of paradoxes in our over-technologized and copyrighted world. The artist asks a number of fundamental questions: Why do we move the way we do? Who owns our gestures? How will we move our bodies in one, ten, or a hundred years? Also included in the exhibition are two collaborative drawings created with Houston police officer Reynaldo Canales that are based on crime mapping technologies, and the single-channel video, Patterns of Life, which deals with the ways human movements have been studied and recorded since the advent of photography in the 19th century.

The legacy and influence of our gestural movements can have both a physical and conceptual dimension. Multimedia artist Kristin Lucas considers digital tools as a way to create physical stories out of conceptual ideas. For example, in her notable work, Refresh (2007), Lucas appeared before the Superior Court of California to become the most current version of herself by legally changing her name from Kristin Sue Lucas to Kristin Sue Lucas. This conceptual work (represented in the exhibition by a ‘zine that visitors may assemble and keep) considers the action of clicking to refresh a web browser’s window as an offline, physical gesture that literally “refreshes” one’s identity. In Lucas’ video installation, Air on the Go (2015), she performs a monologue about staying current, connected, and calibrated in a fast-changing, data-driven, and hyper-monitored world. 

What Shall We Do Next? also considers the realms of advertising, branding, and retail marketing. British-American-Nigerian artist Danielle Dean is interested in how marketing shapes subjects. In the body of work presented in this exhibition (digital animation, drawings, and sculpture) she investigates how a particular Nike athletic shoe, the True Red (also known as Vamps), shapes subjectivity—from our behavior and imagination to the very concept of what it means to be “human.” Additionally, her work focuses on how Nike has targeted African American markets by framing the shoe as an object of aspirational achievement. Her practice seeks to unravel such power structures by reframing the very creativity on which corporations like Nike seeks to capitalize. 

Ideas of branding and marketing in fashion also appear in the work of Versace Versace Versace, the Miami-based collective formerly known as Guccivuitton. The four artists, Loriel Beltran, Domingo Castillo, Aramis Gutierrez, and Jonathan Gonzalez, each have individual artistic or design practices. The collective, founded in 2013, created a storefront gallery in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood and their activities have staked out a unique position that meditates on the history of artist-run organizations while presenting authentic regional material about the vernacular culture of South Florida. Their work comments on the slippery nature of artists embracing and being co-opted by corporate structures. In addition to including individual works by Beltran and Gutierrez, What Shall We Do Next? curator Rachel Cook invited the collective to collaborate with her on the exhibition design. Their contributions include custom furniture and hand-painted murals based on Versace fabric patterns. 

Performance: What Shall We Do Next
Conceived by Julien Prévieux, featuring Laura Gutierrez, Allie Hankins, Jasmine Hearn, and Alisa Mittin

About DiverseWorks
DiverseWorks is a non-profit multidisciplinary art center in Houston, Texas. The mission of DiverseWorks is to commission, produce, and present new and daring art in all its forms through innovative collaborations that honor each artist’s vision without constraint.

What Shall We Do Next? is curated by Rachel Cook.

This project is supported in part by the Institut Français, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. DiverseWorks is a Partner of the National Performance Network (NPN) and this presentation is also made possible by the NPN Performance Residency Program.  

DiverseWorks season sponsors: The Brown Foundation, Inc., The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, Houston Endowment, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

DiverseWorks presents What Shall We Do Next?

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