Brianna Harlan: Glass House
The Gardiner Gallery of Art is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new and recent work by Louisville, KY born and New York City-based artist, Brianna Harlan titled Glass House.
A recent graduate of Social Practice Queens (SPQ, Queens College, CUNY), Harlan is a multidisciplinary artist who uses community intervention and re-contextualized objects to inquire how social norms and sociopolitical dynamics affect health, intimacy, selfhood, and community.
Harlan is interested in the roots and effects of interpersonal disconnection and how our coping mechanisms both serve and trap us. Using interactive elements, Harlan explores narrative experiences, turning everyday objects into interactive and contemplative conceptual installations. For Harlan, artworks are a constructive tool for conversation, record, and worldbuilding. She defines her work as, "a perfectly broken flowerpot in the middle of the street, causing a slowdown and close look at what is sublime and what is fractured."
In this exhibition, Harlan explores the harmful relationships with systemic issues from a more intimate standpoint, delving into the issues that affect us throughout our lives as we navigate a broken system trying to survive. The topics dig deeper into her experiences and the effects that hyper-vulnerability has had on her psyche. Though personal, the work remains relatable in its expressions of emotional states and experiences. Harlan incorporates play and wry commentary into the works featured within the exhibition, heightening a sense of informality and familiarity. Phone lines become a Call for Help, 2021, a dining set becomes Eat My Heart Out, 2021, and a chalkboard references learning lessons in Okay, 2021.
In advance of her exhibition at the gallery Harlan hosted creative resistance workshops online for a group of OSU students who have been working on a collaborative artwork that will be presented in January 2022.
Brianna Harlan is a visual artist and community organizer. She received her BFA from Hanover College, Hanover, IN in 2015 and her MFA from Social Practice Queens College, CUNY in 2021. She was recently named a Young Distinguished Alumni by her alma mater, Hanover College. Harlan has been awarded diverse grants and residencies including City Artists Corps Grant, NY Foundation for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (2021), Legacy Teaching Fellow, DreamYard, Bronx, NY (2020), and Materia Abierta: Novo Pan Klub, Curated by Natalia Zuluaga, Mexico City, MX (2019). Recent public works and exhibitions include a 2020 collaboration with 4th Wall to create an AR Monument for Breonna Taylor, and her debut New York solo show, Black Love Blooms: New York Nook, at Field Projects Gallery. Harlan also works as a creative, community organizer and strategist for several community initiatives around the country including City University of New York’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Incubator. She has been published in several forms as a voice in cultural activism nationally and internationally, including in ArtNews for her equity in art report.