Building a stable establishes new responsibilities… to live a kind of life only a chosen few are privileged to enjoy…keep a stable spotless as you do your kitchen, office or person…Those who neglect cleaning a stall daily soon discover the urine and droppings soften the earth floor… a smelly mess that attracts a lot of flies, complaints from neighbors and invites a reprimand from the board of health. - How to Build a Stable, Donald R. Brann, 1975.
Good Housekeeping extends Turgeon’s ongoing investigation of systems used in the management of bodies - both human and animal - here drawing parallels between rural and farm mythologies and anthropomorphic allegories within popular folklore and fairytale. The exhibition borrows references from the artist’s personal history, which are then presented as raw materials to be re- and mis-interpreted, directly referencing agricultural and livestock industries while gesturing toward broader systems of constraint within contemporary social relations. Through these motifs, Good Housekeeping repositions the visual language that defines these systems, exploring the potential for new relationships to emerge between illustration, reality, and the interpretation of both.
Alex Turgeon (b. 1988, Halifax, Nova Scotia) is a Canadian artist based in Berlin. He received his BFA from Emily Carr University in 2010. He is the founding editor of General Fine Arts, a literary arts e-journal that was published online between 2013-2016. His work has been presented at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Trans Art Triennial, Exile Gallery, Center, Spike Art, After the Eclipse, Blackland, Import Projects (Berlin), Proxy Gallery and Brown University (Rhode Island), as part of Poetry as Practice online exhibition hosted by Rhizome and the New Museum (New York), Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius), French Riviera (London), Toves (Copenhagen), the AIRBNB Pavilion for the 2014 Architecture Biennale (Venice). Upcoming presentations include Tunnel Tunnel (Luasanne), Tate (Liverpool) and Clearview Ltd. (London). His recent essay “A Little House” will be included in a collection of stories published as part of the 15th Istanbul Biennial 2017.