Clarion Vol. 2: Nikita Gale: END OF SUBJECT
Curator’s Note: Adult Contemporary
In September 2021, Anita Baker confirmed via Twitter that she had regained control of her master recordings, posting, “All my children are coming home.” Many Baker fans and fellow artists had been vocal about her having taken a stand against music streaming services, so this notable moment felt like a triumph. The following winter, Nikita Gale’s END OF SUBJECT 1 opened as the second exhibition at 52 Walker. Gale’s work is the performance, similar to how Baker’s work comprises lyrics and instrumentation. The performance of END OF SUBJECT 2, however, depends upon physical objects in space as they interact with sound, light, and an audience, and, as a result, documenting this type of work becomes more complex than the creation of master recordings.
END OF SUBJECT proposes a world where the very systems and structures we rely on to situate ourselves are disrupted or collapsed, and then it asks: What new arrangements and systems can we build out of these ruins? Here, the ruins of the performance are witnessed and represented both inside and outside the space—the viewer represents and embodies the experience, and any expectations are mediated and shaped through existing social and political systems. These systems and institutions, which we rely on to anchor our place in the world, oſten present an illusion of stability.