40 Pest Street at Alyssa Davis Gallery

Artists: Maria Cozma, Joel Dean, Ala Dehghan, Anna Fehr, Samuel Linus Groman, Emma Hazen, Laurids Oder, Alexandra Metcalf, Ian Swanson, Yi Xin Tong, Lillian Paige Walton, Dennis Witkin

Exhibition title: 40 Pest Street

Curated by: Dillon Petito and Malte Zander

Venue: Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York, US

Date: September 24 – October 22, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York


This is not the way that I had imagined New York.
It was so hot that I got palpitations when I ventured out into the streets—so I sat and considered the house opposite and occasionally bathed my sweating face.

The light was never very strong in Pest Street. There was always a reminiscence of smoke which made visibility troubled and hazy—still it was possible to study the house opposite carefully, even precisely; besides my eyes have always been excellent.

I spent several days watching for some sort of movement opposite but there was none and I finally took to undressing quite freely before my open window and doing breathing exercises optimistically in the thick Pest Street air. This must have blackened my lungs as dark as the houses. One afternoon I washed my hair and sat out on the diminutive stone crescent which served as a balcony to dry it. I hung my head between my knees and watched a bluebottle suck the dry corpse of a spider between my feet. I looked up through my lank hair and saw something black in the sky, ominously quiet for an airplane. Parting my hair I was in time to see a large raven alight on the balcony of the house opposite. It sat on the balustrade and seemed to peer into the empty window, then poked its head under its wing apparently searching for lice. A few minutes later I was not unduly surprised to see the double windows open and admit a woman onto the balcony she carried a large dish full of bones which she emptied onto the floor. With a short appreciative squawk, the raven hopped down and picked about amongst its unpleasant repast.

The woman, who had hemplong black hair, wiped out the dish, using her hair for this purpose.
Then she looked straight at me and smiled in a friendly fashion. I smiled back and waved a towel. This seemed to encourage her for she tossed her head coquettishly and gave me a very elegant salute after the fashion of a queen.

“Do you happen to have any bad meat over there that you don’t need?” she called.
“Any what?” I called back, wondering if my ears had deceived me.
“Any stinking meat? Decomposed flesh… meat?
“Not at the moment,” I replied, wondering if she was trying to be funny.
“Won’t you have any towards the end of the week? If so, I would be very grateful if you would bring it over.”

Then she stepped back into the empty window and disappeared. The raven flew away.
My curiosity about the house and its occupant prompted me to buy a large lump of meat the following day. I set it on the balcony on a bit of newspaper and awaited developments. In a comparatively short time the smell was so strong that I was obliged to pursue my daily activities with a paper clip on the end of my nose—occasionally, I descended into the street to breathe.

Towards Thursday evening I noticed that the meat was changing colour, so waving aside a flight of numerous bluebottles, I scooped it into my sponge bag and set out the house opposite.

Excerpt from Leonora Carrington’s “White Rabbits”

40 Pest Street, 2017, exhibition view, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

40 Pest Street, 2017, exhibition view, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

40 Pest Street, 2017, exhibition view, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

Alexandra Metcalf, E=MCscared, 2017, Wood, resin, chalk, pencil, colored pencil, taxidermy bat

Alexandra Metcalf, E=MCscared, 2017, Wood, resin, chalk, pencil, colored pencil, taxidermy bat

Alexandra Metcalf, E=MCscared, 2017, Wood, resin, chalk, pencil, colored pencil, taxidermy bat

Anna Fehr, Longitudinals, 2017, stainless steel, 4 inch diameter

Anna Fehr, Longitudinals, 2017, stainless steel, 4 inch diameter

40 Pest Street, 2017, exhibition view, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

Yi Xin Tong, Toad Lip Ring Scratcher, 2017, Resin, fiberglass, steel, paint, ink

Yi Xin Tong, Toad Lip Ring Scratcher, 2017, Resin, fiberglass, steel, paint, ink

40 Pest Street, 2017, exhibition view, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

Ian Swanson, Untitled (ATM mischief), 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 34″x 44”; Untitled (ATM machine theft), 2017, acrylic on denim, 34”x 44”

Lillian Paige Walton, Flipper, 2017, Assorted fabric, polyester

Lillian Paige Walton, Flipper, 2017, Assorted fabric, polyester

Lillian Paige Walton, Flipper, 2017, Assorted fabric, polyester

40 Pest Street, 2017, exhibition view, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

Laurids Oder, Untitled (Katharine Hamnett Denim 1993), 2017, T-shirt, glass, hardware

Laurids Oder, Untitled (Katharine Hamnett Denim 1993), 2017, T-shirt, glass, hardware

Samuel Linus Gromann, Isopod I, 2017, Stone cast

Samuel Linus Gromann, Isopod I, 2017, Stone cast

40 Pest Street, 2017, exhibition view, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

Ian Swanson, birds, flies, 2016, plastic, epoxy clay, carbon, USB flash drive, USB speaker, paracord, 9:48 audio loop

Ian Swanson, birds, flies, 2016, plastic, epoxy clay, carbon, USB flash drive, USB speaker, paracord, 9:48 audio loop

Emma Hazen, Pity, 2017, Silkscreen on burned paper, original drawing by Annie Rochelle

Maria Cozma, promise you won’t leave, 2017, cotton organdy, cotton jersey, metal wire

40 Pest Street, 2017, exhibition view, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

40 Pest Street, 2017, exhibition view, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

Dennis Witkin, lamp (udi thinking about moon and stars), 2017, epoxy clay, polymer clay, pipe, cal-tint, charcoal, graphite, cement, balsa wood

Dennis Witkin, lamp (udi thinking about moon and stars), 2017, epoxy clay, polymer clay, pipe, cal-tint, charcoal, graphite, cement, balsa wood

Joel Dean, Time Keepers (Empty Stomach Challenge), 2017, mud, cast silicone rubber

Joel Dean, Time Keepers (Empty Stomach Challenge), 2017, mud, cast silicone rubber

Ala Dehghan, Technoself: Persona #11/Puppet Images for Theater of Cruelty, 2017, mixed media, 9” x 12”

40 Pest Street, 2017, exhibition view, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York

Anna Fehr, Longitudinals, 2017, stainless steel, 4 inch diameter

Anna Fehr, Longitudinals, 2017, stainless steel, 4 inch diameter

Joel Dean, The Anatomy of Out of Body Experience in Human Capital Organization Systems and Planning Culture after the Age of Discovery, 2017, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters

Joel Dean, The Anatomy of Out of Body Experience in Human Capital Organization Systems and Planning Culture after the Age of Discovery, 2017, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters

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