Cuchifritos Gallery & Project Space
Sep 10 - Nov 20 2021
Artists: Johann Diedrick, Ten Izu, Laura Kung, Karen Kuo, Christopher Lin, Umico Niwa, Sophie Friedman-Pappas, TJ Shin

“So there are no differences, then: we’re each a flesh ribbon that, due to the law of gravity, begins in the mouth and ends in the anus.”
-Paul Preciado, Anal Terror.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is pleased to present shit!, a group exhibition organized by TJ Shin, a former artist-in-residence of the LES Studio Program.

shit! brings together eight artists whose work directly explores shit–fecal matter, poop, stool, excrement–and its charged forms of bodily engagements. As a process of consumption, ingestion, and excretion, shit becomes both a metaphor and a material practice to explore abjection, biodiversity, and transformation. Can human, animal, and plant waste offer a lens to think about our food systems, composting bodies, and global relations?

Works in shit! span the speculative and the literal, the embodied and the ephemeral: Ten Izu intricately weaves textiles that evoke toilet paper rolls spotted with poopy Rilakkuma characters. In their collaborative project Cerulean Waters, Johann Diedrick and Laura Kung collect and record human fecal matter from the sewage overflow at Newtown Creek: Diedrick composes a soundscape from underwater recordings and Kung cultivates fecal coliform from the body of water using an agar solution which is then used to dye silk textiles. Karen Kuo handshapes dirt spheres using bokashi green manure and meditates on community composting and care. Collaborating with his dog, Christopher Lin scarifies melon seeds activated by canine digestion. Umico Niwa creates DIY solar panels to create biochar, a soil ameliorant, out of dog fecal matter. Sophie Friedman-Pappas blends her ammonia-rich urine solution to treat leather hides. TJ Shin harvests and consumes lion mane mushrooms from their feces and New York City food waste.

Together, the artists digest the political economy of garbage, microbial ecologies, the infrastructure of health and sanitation, and abject toilet humor.

shit! publication

Art in America
BOMB Magazine

This exhibition is made possible with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.