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Shift Your Weight
Timothy Belknap, Stephanie Bursese, Kelsey Halliday Johnson, Sharon Koelblinger, Christopher Manzione, Kristen Neville Taylor
November 7 - 30

Vox Populi is pleased to present “Shift Your Weight” the group exhibition debut of the 2013 members of the artist collective: Timothy Belknap, Stephanie Bursese, Kelsey Halliday Johnson, Sharon Koelblinger, Christopher Manzione, and Kristen Neville Taylor.

A gallery talk, moderated by writer and critic Morgan Meis, will be held on November 23rd from 3-5pm with the artists.

Shift Your Weight represents fresh perspectives from six established voices in the Philadelphia art community. Stephanie Bursese, who most recently served Vox as Interim Director, is a celebrated photographer and educator originally hailing from upstate New York where she recieved her M.F.A. from Syracuse University. Bursese creates sophisticated and mysterious printed matter in both books and installations exploring the liminality of what is visible and controlled.

Timothy Belknap is a Tyler School of Art MFA alumnus and co-programmer (with Ryan McCartney) of exhibitions at the Ice Box Project Space, one of the largest venues in the city. His personal work uproots expectations of the kinetic in art with their seemingly enchanted moving parts, mechanized installations, and performances.

Sharon Koelblinger joined the Philadelphia community from the midwest to receive her MFA and teach at Tyler and she presently teaches at Franklin and Marshall College. Toying with the physical nature of photography, her works explore the ephemerality of physical presence in objects, images, and ourselves.

Kristen Neville Taylor is a current graduate student, undergraduate alumnus, and former faculty member of Tyler. Neville Taylor joins Vox from the collective Little Berlin, which she notably co-founded in 2007. She works fluidly from both digital and traditional ends to make objects that are precarious and mystical, calling attention to the aura of their own materiality and the space they create.

Christopher Manzione, an alumni of Mason Gross at Rutgers and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, joins Vox as a recent transplant to Philadelphia, who works in both digital and physical spaces to explore the scope of the contemporary digital landscape of production and consumption. Manzione’s work pushes the gallery space into our private smartphone space utilizing the app he directs, Activatar.

Kelsey Halliday Johnson comes to the Vox membership after a tenure spent working for the organization directing the adjacent performance and media space, AUX. She works as a writer, artist, and curator, currently organizing the exhibitions at Locks Gallery. Her personal work explores a perpetual state of crisis: with our belief systems organized around lens-based mediums, the changing landscape, and our shape-shifting cultural memory.

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Selecting a group exhibition title by popular vote is indeed an interesting endeavor with such a dynamic and diverse group of practices, ideas, and experiences geared towards unity in the same space. But for all of us, this title resonated as we are asked to shift– to play, investigate, and grow in an alternative space that welcomes and fosters experimental impulses. Vox is a larger space comprised of four rooms typically segregated; here, we present three rooms of pairings, each with their own changes in temperament and medium, introduced by a group installation where all of our practices come together in conversation.

In choosing the title for this show, the six of us came down to a final revealing duo: “Shift Your Weight” and “The Wait is Over.” This play between weight and wait seems especially urgent here, as our time spent in this collective continues to afford us the energy to throw our weight behind our ideas and take our work in new directions knowing there is a safe space to welcome it. As an ambitious group of contemporary practitioners who continue to impact the broader community with our efforts outside of the studio, a free-format venue like Vox will undoubtedly change us fundamentally as artists. We hope you’ll continue to follow our practices with many of our solo exhibitions at the gallery around the corner in 2015. -KHJ

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