Sara Greenberger Rafferty’s practice encompasses photography, video, sculptural installations and ephemeral works that are often inspired by the tropes of comedy, performance and media culture, as well as by her ongoing interest in notions of authorship, identity, and public versus private representations of “self.” This exhibition, Repair – a title that is suggestive both of an attempt to fix something that is damaged or broken, and the act of moving, or retiring, to another space—features existing work alongside new works specially created on site.
The world of comedy and its devices are frequently present in Rafferty’s work, not so much as a subject in itself, but more as a formal strategy. Interested in those moments in which individuals reveal an inner self that is typically not manifested, Rafferty exposes the inherent tension between a projected self-assurance and inner fallibility, traits that she ascribes as much to artists as to comedians. In Mono, first shown at the 2014 Whitney Biennial in New York, Rafferty cast actor Susie Sokol to perform a script made from actual monologues of three late-night comedy hosts: Johnny Carson, David Letterman, and Joan Rivers. By taking away the trappings that accompany late night comedy programs—such as stage sets, music, and the audience itself—Rafferty reduces these personalities to a more human scale. The comedians’ actions and phrases become amplified and isolated through Sokol’s gendered performance, which at once captures but makes vulnerable, the trademark behaviors of their comedic power.
Much of Rafferty’s recent work has taken the form of photographic imagery on clear acetate, the surfaces of which she often ‘attacks’ by puncturing with screws or altering through the use of poured and scraped paints. These visceral images hover between realism and abstraction, presence and absence. At kim? Rafferty will create a series of new works, including printed and ‘screwed’ acetate pieces and a subtle site-specific installation incorporating visible wall-repair.
Sara Greenberger Rafferty has exhibited widely since 2001, including solo exhibitions at The Kitchen, New York; MoMA PS1, New York; Eli Marsh Gallery at Amherst College, Massachusetts; The Suburban, Illinois; and a commissioned sculpture for the Public Art Fund. In 2014, she participated in the Whitney Biennial; the Hammer Biennial; and had a solo exhibition at Fourteen30 Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon. In 2015, her work will be part of exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in Georgia. Rafferty has participated in group shows at venues such as the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; Gagosian Gallery, New York; and the Jewish Museum, New York. Her work is also included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Rafferty received her MFA from Columbia University in 2005 and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Curator: Anne Barlow