Opening June 4
through July 30, 2020
TRANSFER IS PLEASED TO PRESENT THE ONLINE/OFFLINE EXHIBITION HARD/SOFT, which features two new bodies of work from Faith Holland: Soft Computing and The Most Beautiful Dick Pics of All Time. Both projects invert and dismantle the gendered connotations that come with hard and soft. The angular lines of hardware and penises alike have traditionally been associated with masculinity. What happens when these “hard” things are made soft, vulnerable, more lovable?
Soft Computing is a series of plush dolls that depict technologies. It reconfigures our physical relationship to devices such as desktop computers, keyboard, mice, cell phones, and ethernet cables. As technologies get closer and closer to the body–in our back pockets, our laps, and in our beds–they still remain obstinately hard. Plushies, on the other hand, are huggable media: soft to the touch and very willing to accept our embrace.
These devices, with which we have such intimate relationships, are often filled with software that is designed to spy on us and addict us to their use. Unlike those predatory objects, Holland’s ‘dumb’ technologies are worthy of our love and affection–cuddly and unable to betray our trust. And today, under the conditions of Covid-19, technology grows more pervasive as human touch becomes elusive. Since gallerygoers can no longer touch these plush objects, artists will do so in their stead.
Vicarious Touching is a series of plushie video performances that will be released throughout the exhibition on YouTube by artists including Molly Soda, Erin Gee, Olivia McKayala Ross, Jen Dalton, Olia Lialina, Laura Hyunjhee Kim, shawné michaelain holloway, and more to be announced.
Soft Computing will be installed in a piece called Detumescence, a vanitas scene that will also include fruit, flowers, outmoded technologies, wires, and other detritus. As the exhibition continues, its rotting and decay will be livestreamed on YouTube during gallery hours.
The Most Beautiful Dick Pics of All Time transforms oft-maligned dick pics into beautiful aesthetic experiences. These penises are divorced from the body and any human gender signifiers, recontextualized among bubbles, flowers, and decorative pattern designs. Seen bare, both hard and soft, the Dicks are stripped of their phallic power and are instead made vulnerable, and perhaps as a cause of that, beautiful. The Dicks take inspiration from contemporary artists who have addressed the body and sometimes specifically penises such as Dan Graham, Carol Rama, Andy Warhol, and Busby Berkley. While the soft sculptures will be on YouTube, in addition to being installed in the gallery, the Dicks are available on Pornhub. The works will be in stark contrast to other unadorned and unmanipulated genitalia.
About Faith Holland
Faith Holland is an artist, curator, and educator whose multimedia practice focuses on gender, intimacy, and technology. She has exhibited at venues such as The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), NRW Forum (Düsseldorf), Fotografisk Center (Copenhagen), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Boulder), Human Resources (Los Angeles), and DAM Gallery (Berlin). Her work has been written about in Artforum, The New York Times, The Sunday Times UK, Elephant, Hyperallergic, Broadly, and The Observer. She has been a NYFA Fellowship Finalist in Digital/Electronic Art, an artist-in-residence at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and Harvestworks, and a finalist for Fotomuseum Winterthur’s Post-Photography Prototyping Prize. This is her third solo exhibition with TRANSFER.