Paris-Scope: Audrey Hasen Russell

See Rock City

June 8–August 17, 2012

Mixed Greens announces the second installment of Paris-Scope, a series of peculiar, collaborative exhibitions that give visitors to Mixed Greens a glimpse into Paris-based Projective City’s newest gallery space. Operating as a kind of alchemical experiment into the possibilities of “action at a distance,” viewers are able to peer into (but obviously not enter) the space both thousands of miles away and inches from their grasp—to mystically be both HERE and THERE simultaneously. The Paris-Scope series allows artists unprecedented control over the gallery space, and focuses on ambitious solo installations. The second exhibition in the series is See Rock City by Audrey Hasen Russell.


In her installation for Paris-Scope, Russell returns to her Tennessee roots and the phenomenon in which farmers advertise local attractions (like “Rock City”) on the huge walls of their barns. The notion of a rock city, simultaneously real and imagined, is an ideal starting point for Russell’s unique practice.

Russell’s work is deceptively ambitious. Initially, it comes across as whimsical: Mysterious, incongruous, and very much playful. Yet under this lightness of touch, Russell engages the heavy notion of “second nature,” the way in which our constructed world appears natural to us as we grow up within it. We’ve slipped into a world in which a string of electrical pylons stretching over farmland seem utterly natural to us, while neither the pylons nor the farm are anything of the kind. How to carve out somewhere to live in the space of second nature? Russell faces the question head on, yet the seriousness of this vexing philosophical problem is belied by the aroma of playfulness, hope, and fun lingering in the atmosphere around the work.

Audrey Hasen Russell grew up in East Tennessee at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains on the family farm. She received a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and an MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has been included in recent exhibitions at Lesley Heller Workspace, NY, NY; Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL; Philadelphia Art Alliance, PA; and NURTUREart, Brooklyn, NY. Solo show venues include Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL; The University of Wyoming, Laramie; WaveHill, Bronx, NY; and ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA. Audrey has been honored to participate in residencies including The Fountainhead Residency in Miami, FL; SculptureSpace in Utica, NY; The Robert MacNamara Foundation, Westport Island, ME; and most recently as a fellow at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH. Russell currently lives and works way out in Queens, NY.

Projective City, under the direction of Benjamin Evans, aims to advance, promote, and make visible the work of emerging artists through an ongoing, flexible, and interconnected series of projects. Working on the assumption that bigger is generally worse, projects are for the most part designed to be smaller-scale and more intimate, aiming for personal encounters between artists, artworks, and audiences. Projective City’s gallery space is located at 34 Rue Hélene Brion, Paris 13eme, and, for the time being, through a peephole at Mixed Greens.

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