You can always count on Allegra LaViola Gallery for unusual work that gets people chattering. So expect no less from the gallery’s latest show The Invisible Line, a solo exhibition of new work by Ellen Jong curated by Mr. and Mrs. Amani Olu. Also, consider the fact that many of the photographs included in the show appeared in Jong’s book “Getting To Know My Husband’s Cock”.
With that piece of information squared away, we should also note that Ellen isn’t related to the writer Erica Jong (“Fear of Flying”) or Erica’s daughter, the writer Molly Jong-Fast.
The show embraces photography, video and poetry to document how Jong recalls falling in love over a four-year period leading up to her wedding day. The work is based on snapshots that depict interior moments and emotions that are often hard to express and even harder to categorize.
Interspersed among the photographs are poems that take the viewer deeper into the multilayered process of falling in love. The intimate writings seem to demand just as much of the viewer’s attention as the photographs, perhaps more.
The show also features Naked Beach Day, a video of Jong and her husband at the beach. It captures the couple’s interactions—laughing, kissing and playing. Of the work, Jong is quoted as saying: “There is an invisible line that lies between my body and my mind. It withholds my deepest beliefs, fears, curiosities and desires. It is there to protect me. It is there to tell others where I stand, what is mine and why I am. In falling in love, I lost sight of my invisible line and I let it go. Love breaks down walls and sets you free.” Has Jong gilded the lily? Stop by and see for yourself.
The artist invited guests at the opening last night to write on pieces of paper which she will release from balloons on June 19. The idea is for participants to let go of an emotion and explore a journey in self-discovery with the artist. Through July 7.
Notable: Stop into Forever & Today to see Anaranja, a funky commissioned installation by Claudia Peña Salinas. On view through June 10.
Opening: June 6: Opening receptions from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Michael Eade’s The Wild Apple Forest, landscapes inspired by the real Wild Apple Forest in Kazakhstan in Gallery 1 at Lesley Heller Workspace, at 54 Orchard, and Three Colorists in Gallery 2, curated by Michael Walls with Alan Kleiman, Eozen Agopian and Diane Mayo.
Opening: June 7: Dacia Gallery at 53 Stanton St. presents Virtu, a show by sculptor Natalie Tyler, opening reception June 7 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Artist talk at 7:30 p.m. In Virtu, Tyler finds inspiration from nature’s transformations and explores the beauty in things that are otherwise forgotten. Objects become poetic symbols to describe deeper senses of being.
Featured Gallery Picks
Allegra LaViola Gallery/ 179 East Broadway/ 917.463.3901; Summer hours through Aug. 3: Tues.-Fri. 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Forever & Today/ 141 Division St./ 646.455.1744; Thurs.-Sun. 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
TLD contributor Tobi Elkin is a writer, editor and interviewer and former resident of the Lower East Side who delights in the neighborhood’s eclectic pleasures. A regular reader of The Lo-Down, her diverse interests include arts and entertainment, film, food and cultural critique. Visit her website at www.tobielkin.com.