ExhibitionsPrevious Exhibitions

Kelsey Halliday Johnson
A spy in the house of life.
May 1-31, 2015
Kelsey Halliday Johnson, "Social Architectonics 03", archival pigment print
Kelsey Halliday Johnson, “Social Architectonics 03”, archival pigment print

Writing is a little door. Some fantasies, like big pieces of furniture, won’t come through.
– Susan Sontag, from the late writer’s personal diary, August 30, 1964

On view will be new work ruminating on systems of communication and where ideas live (and die) in the 21st century. The video piece 1964/2014 digitally dismantles the graphics of the 2014 HBO biopic Regarding Susan Sontag accompanied by a voice-to-text automated program reading Sontag’s personal journals from 1964. The frantic dissociative pace in the journals is mimicked in the language contained in unusual letters found in a mailbox within the gallery: Johnson employed Amazon Mechanical Turk workers for a “handwriting test,” transcribing her spam emails from the last year into handwritten correspondence between strangers. Other photographic works (shot traditionally and manipulated from found personal images) will exhibited, blurring the boundaries between private and public architectural and photographic space.

At first she beckoned and lured one into her world; then, she blurred the passageways, confused all the images, as if to elude detection.
– Anaïs Nin, from the novel A Spy in the House of Love, 1954

Kelsey Halliday Johnson is an artist, writer, and curator living and working in Philadelphia, PA. In 2014, she completed a certificate at ICPP at Wesleyan University in Curatorial Studies with the generous aid of a Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Capacity Building Grant. In 2012, she received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania with a certificate in Landscape Architecture and holds her degree in Art & Archaeology from Princeton University with a certificate in European Cultural Studies. She received a Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship in 2012 for her master’s thesis work and was an artist-in-residence at Interlochen Center for the Arts. She presently works at Locks Gallery and runs the art Tumblr Softpyramid(s).

Exploring the nature of human perception and communication, Kelsey’s work continues to excavate our evolving understanding of the verisimilitude of lens based mediums and our mediated relationship to the landscape. Her work has been exhibited at venues including the Berman Museum of Art, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. Kelsey has curated and organized numerous exhibitions and performances for Vox Populi and AUX; she was recently included the Vox group exhibitions Shift Your Weight and Relics. This is her first solo exhibition at the gallery.