Soxx Presents MAKE & DO WITH SOXX by Jenny Drumgoole
Auxiliary Projects is pleased to present Soxx Presents MAKE & DO WITH SOXX by Jenny Drumgoole, a solo exhibition by Jenny Drumgoole. The exhibition will open on May 20 and run through June 24. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, May 20th, from 6-8pm.
In her first New York City solo exhibition, Philadelphia-based artist Jenny Drumgoole combines elements of video art, performance, social practice, and conceptual art into a hybrid project that defies categorization. Drumgoole has a long history of embedding herself in niche subcultures and mining that material into genre-defying artworks: hot dog eating contests, Paula Deen bake-offs, and Philadelphia sanitation block parties have all experienced the creative disruption of Jenny Drumgoole. During the pandemic lockdown Drumgoole mined one of the only social experiences left available: the college courses she taught via Zoom.
Catastrophe takes many forms. It comes as the furious spectacle of facepaint-covered rioters scrambling up the scaffolds of our government with murderous rage. It comes silent as a ghost, stealing loved ones while you sleep, ignorant, and walking your dog out your door forever. It splits professional alliances into bitter feuds, fuels derision at faculty lunches. It boxes all of us into psychic coffins devoid of physical connection, traps us in rectangular mirrors that zoom across wires to phantom touch while paper masks dangle from our left ears like limp flags on a lazy breeze.
In January 2021, Drumgoole turned her Rowan University art class into a conceptual experiment. Titling the class Make & Do, Drumgoole harnessed the latent performativity inherent in group Zoom calls to create a class experience as a collaborative video artwork designed to be embedded within the vernacular of the internet. Instructed by an abject yet enthusiastic clown named Soxx, the students, playing themselves as confused students, took part in assignments like “Potato Portal Party,” gamely elucidated by a sequence of nonplussed entertainers such as Gloria Estefan, Ghostface Killah, Brian Cox and Ice-T whom the artist commissioned on Cameo as narrators of the collective chaos. Soxx and her students used at-hand materials and settings to complete their art assignments, and projects were posted as interventions on Amazon’s review section.
Into the awful 2021 chaos Soxx wades. Like a psilocybin-laced “Artist’s Way” protocol crossed with an unhinged influencer’s social media feed, “Make & Do with Soxx” is not just a course with syllabus requirements. It is a communal prayer, a collective scream, a willy wonka tour of the shared schizophrenia we’ve all somehow found ourselves in–present day “reality.”
The exhibition also features work made by the students David Ben-Israel, Darien Brown, Giovanna Eley, Cierra Jones, Dean Powers, Vincent Rebbecchi, Benjamin Stephens, Ethan Strohm and Noel Waldron made in response to Soxx’s assignments.