Once More, with Feeling

EFA Project Space, New York

November 7, 2016

November 11–December 23, 2016

Opening: Friday, November 11, 6–8pm

EFA Project Space
323 W. 39th St, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10018
Hours: Wednesday–Saturday noon–6pm


Artists: Rasha Asfour, Chloë Bass, Shadi Harouni, Katya Grokhovsky, Jana Kapelová, Allison Kaufman, Hilla Toony Navok, Jasmeen Patheja, Megan Snowe

Curator: Chelsea Haines

Once More, with Feeling investigates the gendered economy of emotional expression and its relationship to contemporary art. Exploring the gaps between fantasy and reality, labor and leisure, free and working time, the artists in this exhibition—based in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East—grapple with how changing definitions of work have informed their own processes as artists, workers, and women.

The exhibition is home to The Emotional Labor Union, a new commission by Megan Snowe. A sculptural installation, take-away publication, and performance series—the project operates as an existing, active organization, advocating for its members’ collective wellbeing.

Projects by Rasha Asfour and Katya Grokhovsky transform daily practices into artistic process. Asfour’s photographs document the artist’s ongoing weight-loss struggles, forming an archive of her efforts to come to terms with her self-image. Grokhovsky explores the smile as a form of non-verbal communication, emotional translation, and the migrant female body. Chloë Bass raises awareness of daily routines by spending time with others. In The Book of Everyday Instruction, Chapter One: you + me together, Bass invited Cleveland residents she did not know to share an activity with her that they would typically engage in with a friend or partner.

Role-playing in the space between free and working time is at the center of the fantasy worlds portrayed by Jasmeen Patheja and Allison Kaufman. Patheja’s Indri Pickle Lab is a collaboration with the artist’s grandmother, Indri, who develops performances based on characters of her choosing. Kaufman explores male fantasies in Dancing with Divorced Men, recordings of the artist dancing with these men in their homes, and Friday Nights at Guitar Center, an exploration of the impromptu performances of predominantly male customers of guitar stores. Jana Kapelová’s Free Working Time accumulates creative practices that workers have developed on the job, from a business manager who writes poetry to an aircraft mechanic who paints Easter eggs.

Shadi Harouni and Hilla Toony Navok complicate the often-gendered binary between “blue collar” work and “white collar” artwork. Harouni’s video The Lightest of Stones, depicts the artist pulling pumice stones by hand from a quarry in the mountains near her hometown in Kurdish Iran while male workers question her Sisyphean attempts. In At work, Navok enters the male-dominated, disordered workshops that manufacture her sculptures. Navok intervenes in these spaces by replacing a calendars of the girl of the month with her own abstract “calendar” of drawings without years, months, or days.

Friday, November 11, 6–8pm
Opening reception

Wednesday, November 16, 6:30–8pm
The Emotional Labor Union Town-Hall Meeting, workshop with Megan Snowe

Friday, November 18, 6:30–8pm
Polite, Pleasant, Endearing: The History of the Smile performance by Katya Grokhovsky with Jeremy D. Olson

Wednesday, November 30, 6:30–8pm
From Wages for Housework to Wages for Facebook, conversation with Silvia Federici and Laurel Ptak

Wednesday, December 7, 6:30–8pm
The Emotional Labor Movement, performance by Megan Snowe withKendra Kambestad

Friday, December 9, 6:30–8pm
Zoe Beloff‘s Charming Augustine, screening

Inquiries: Meghana Karnik, meghana [​at​] efanyc.org / T (212) 563 5855 x 229

EFA Project Space, a program of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, presents exhibitions and programs in collaboration with curators and artists to provide a critical perspective on creative practices.

The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts is a 501(c)(3) public charity with three programs: EFA Studios, EFA Project Space, and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop.

EFA Project Space is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.