ExhibitionsPrevious Exhibitions

Robert Hickerson: Spreading Lights
Curated by Tannon Reckling
Friday, February 11, 2022 - Sunday, March 13, 2022

Robert Hickerson: Spreading Lights

Curated by Tannon Reckling
Friday, February 11, 2022 – Sunday, March 13, 2022
Presented in Black Box

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About the Exhibition

The exhibition Spreading Lights houses a video installation shaped by historically queer materials, acts of seeking kinship through time, as well as metaphors around viruses through cinematic modes. Artist Robert Hickerson’s video Backyard Stud features werewolves that terrorize a neighborhood as a metaphor for the artist’s fear of potential hate-crimes committed against his two queer mothers. Hickerson’s new video Holes (developed with curator Tannon Reckling) explores staged scenes filmed through various points-of-view in order to explore critical, contemporary semiotics and perspectives outside of ongoing binaries. Music by Anders Nils (@andersnils) and arid tear.

Spreading Lights continues Reckling’s ongoing curatorial exploration of queer gathering spaces developed around the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s, an epidemic that continues today. In their work, Reckling seeks to reconcile current limitations on community gatherings and related infrastructural failures through forms of story-telling, needed-play, and catharsis outside of contemporary surveillance economies.

Hickerson’s work has been presented in many contexts (including VICE and Gameboy Magazine) that allow for the nuanced and subversive circulation of his artwork amongst other forms of popular media. Within these contexts, his work hides against, or amongst, systemic discrimination, as well as the ongoing declawing, tokenization, and censorship of queer culture. Simultaneously showing in alternative art spaces, whose own intentions and grapplings with leftist ideologies are being tested, Hickerson’s trans-disciplinary methods of making and disseminating artwork in emerging new media landscapes are indicative of the precarious conditions of community gathering-spaces and the need for new forms of cultural circulation, both online or IRL (in real life).

Contemporary forms of queerness change by necessity, defense, and self-preservation through time and space. An example of this is the idealization of queer abjection and othered bodies within vintage horror films. This type of media is a reference point through which Spreading Lights attempts to reconcile massive infrastructure failures brought on by COVID-19 and rapidly changing visual economies – which undoubtedly produce our material circumstances.

About the Artist

Robert Hickerson (he/him) is an artist and photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Through photography, video, and installation, Hickerson makes use of the neon colored aesthetics of horror b-movies to distill and delight in the notion of the monsterous queer. Hickerson has been shown in numerous venues including Synesthesia Art Space, Brooklyn, NY, The Hollows Art Space, Brooklyn, NY, Fleurotica, New York, NY, and the Spring/Break Art Fair, New York, NY. Hickerson has been published internationally including in Museé Magazine, VICE Magazine, VICE.com, Humble Arts Foundation, and Gameboy Magazine. Since 2017, Hickerson has also created various album artworks and music videos for bands such as Sun Abduction, Fever Joy, Plague Vendor, guccihighwaters, and has worked extensively with Epitaph Records. Hickerson is an Aquarius, Rising Leo, Moon Gemini.
More Info: roberthickerson.com / @roberthickerson

About the Curator

Tannon Reckling (they/them) is a transdisciplinary arts worker, curator, writer, and an Aries. Reckling has written for different art publications nationally, co-operated an lgbtqia+ artist residency during the pandemic, organized many shows, and shown in exhibitions with their own practice and is participating in multiple upcoming residencies. Reckling hopes you’re having a good day.
More Info: @foreclosedgaybar