ExhibitionsPrevious Exhibitions

Shana Hoehn And Ellie Hunter
Bypass Manifesto
December 1, 2017–January 21, 2018

Bypass Manifesto is a composition of internalized behaviors loosely based off our experiences inside
spaces of health and healing while living in Richmond, VA. In this proposal, which takes the form of narrated stage
directions and an exhibition, we consider how bodies can disrupt order and act autonomously inside prescriptive
environments. What does it mean for a body to act upon itself, rather than be acted upon? What bruise can we lean
on or what brick can we pull to infect a sterile architecture and make it sick? Below is an excerpt from our score —

Bypass Manifesto; Scene b:
[Mid-day in Richmond, VA. The sun is out. Briefly shrug shoulders and flap arms subtly; pull shirt of back. The two
of you link arms and look forward.] You’ve been subconsciously rehearsing the whir of the automatic doors since
embarking from the parking lot, and they part in anticipation of your arrival. You pass the ground-floor pharmacy,
which looks more like a brick and mortar Craigslist venue for ‘home care’ devices. Alongside the high-tech cleaning
equipment, which appears to be transported from the year 2050, and the beige knee brace in the pharmacy window
from 2006 that looks absurdly anachronistic, you become aware that your body is the only thing belonging to the
present. It’s not until your shirt sticks to your back that you are overcome with desire to be clean, and you begin to
envy the skin of the cool, plastic skin of the space-age vacuum cleaner in the corner.
[Pace evenly down the hall; look left and right in search of elevator 5C]. The grayish lobby interior is just the same
as it had been last week and the month before, and you witness all the usual procedures. Small groups congregate
and strategize in hushed whispers; a tired husband slouches in a chair over a bowl of cafeteria soup; and the lone
minnows blankly pass through, searching for their own numbered elevator.
Any break in this otherwise familiar choreography activates a theater of specters before your eyes… It’s like the
“Once Upon a December” scene in Anastasia, when the orphaned duchess enters the Romanov’s palace for the first
time since childhood and the whole royal family comes to life, dancing through the great ballroom in an extravagant
celebration… Across the room, the shadow of a woman hums lightly and pantomimes some sort of seventies dance
moves. You picture joining her muted disco, and the two of you sway together.
Aside from these notable ghosts, the glossy linoleum floors make it almost impossible to track down specific
memories. It feels perverse that the space’s ethos and codes are embedded in you, but you will never be able to
inscribe yourself here. You briefly recall the waiting room journal about organ transplants, which talked about the
theory of the ‘extimacy.’ According to the journal, the extimate object is something that is “both external and
intimate, both embedded and foreign.” 1

[Unlink arms and lock hands; move into elevator 5C.] As you disembark, there is a rigidity in your movement. Your
body knows not to look left, because that is the doorway that will cause your spine to melt into your stomach.
Intimate and alien, you feel yourself to be the implant in the body of the space. (Or is it the other way around?)
[You approach the faux-wood reception desk, check in, and peel your fingers apart before watching her disappear
backstage.] Left to wait, you wander towards the annexed hall to a familiar row of bathrooms marked with plastic
silhouettes. Inside, you stand atop the toilet. Your feet, like bars of soap, rock around the porcelain edges of the
toilet bowl. You unroll a small window to let a slice of warm air lap your face as you inhale the salt of a food truck down below.

1 Zwart, H. (2014). The donor organ as an ‘object a ’: A Lacanian perspective on organ donation and transplantation medicine. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 17(4), 559-571. Discussing Lacan’s theory of extimacy.

Ellie Hunter (b. 1989, San Francisco, CA) is an artist based in Los Angeles, CA. She recently completed an MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University, and has a degree in Studio Art & Latin American Literature from Dartmouth College. Hunter co-runs a project space called The Sunroom, which also serves as a publishing and programming platform.

Shana Hoehn (b. 1991, Texarkana, TX) creates videos and installations that reconfigure conventional interior spaces that manifest a form of social regulation. She is currently a Core Artist-in-Residence at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. She received her BFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA in sculpture and extended media at Virginia Commonwealth University. Hoehn has participated in residencies such as the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Acre Residency, and SOMA Summer. Hoehn is a recipient of a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Mexico and an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant from Canada.