What Would the Community Think at Hotel Art Pavilion

Artists: Elizabeth Englander, Tom Forkin, Jessica Friedman, Doris Guo, Stephanie Hier, Andy Meerow, Lillian Paige Walton

Exhibition title: What Would the Community Think

Curated by: Tim Gentles

Venue: Hotel Art Pavilion, New York, US

Date: October 21 – November 23, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Hotel Art Pavilion

What Would the Community Think was the second album Chan Marshall released in 1996, but its richness suggests a longer period of evolution. From the first warm notes of “In this Hole,” it’s clear that Marshall’s voice — as a singer and a songwriter — is not only stronger and more focused, but more empathetic as well. Where her previous works were dense and cathartic, What Would the Community Think gives her voice and lyrics space to unfurl and involve the listener; the title track alone holds an album’s worth of eloquence in Marshall’s hushed, clear vocals, backed by guitar, feedback, and an eerie, echoing piano. Fortunately, that leaves Marshall 11 other tracks with which to forge a fine balance between angular, angst-ridden punk and her gentler, folk-country tendencies. Different combinations of these extremes make Cat Power’s sound more diverse but also more cohesive. Tense, tight songs like “Good Clean Fun” and “Nude as the News” retain the reflective, thoughtful nature of quieter numbers like “King Rides By” and “Water and Air,” which turn the power of the album’s louder moments into slow-building, implosive tension. Two of What Would the Community Think’s finest moments, “They Tell Me” and “Taking People,” are unabashedly blues and country-inflected, revealing Marshall not just as a cathartic vocalist, but as a true soul singer. Similarly, her covers of Peter Jefferies’ “Fate of the Human Carbine” and Smog’s “Bathysphere” show off Marshall’s ability to make any song a Cat Power song. An intimate, personal album, What Would the Community Think makes imperfection beautiful and turns vulnerability into musical strength.

-Heather Phares

The work by the seven artists in this exhibition is about solitary obsession and the vehicles for its transmission to the outside world.

What Would the Community Think, 2017, exhibition view, Hotel Art Pavilion, New York

What Would the Community Think, 2017, exhibition view, Hotel Art Pavilion, New York

What Would the Community Think, 2017, exhibition view, Hotel Art Pavilion, New York

What Would the Community Think, 2017, exhibition view, Hotel Art Pavilion, New York

Stephanie Hier, Have you heard any good jokes lately?, 2016, Oil and temporary tattoo on linen with glazed earthenware frame

Tom Forkin, Untitled, 2017, Ceramic

Jessica Friedman, Popcorn Disassociation, 2017, acrylic on canvas

Andy Meerow, Turtles, 2015, soy ink, pencil, and collage on paper mounted to canvas, artist’s frame

What Would the Community Think, 2017, exhibition view, Hotel Art Pavilion, New York

Elizabeth Englander, Nassau Point, 2017, Marker on paper, hardware cloth, twine, acrylic paint, glass

Lillian Paige Walton, Hrsems, 2017, Graphite, ink, acrylic on paper, plexi

Doris Guo, Dishes, 2017, Soot on glass

Related Post

Leave a Comment