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The Cat Show @ White Columns, New York

Juxtapoz // Saturday, 29 Jun 2013
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The Cat Show curated by Rhonda Lieberman at White Columns in New York opened on June 14th and since then has gathered some attention. Critics like Jerry Saltz have been singing praise and the cats have been finding homes. The exhibition essentially functions as a play space filled with stray cats that are up for adoption (or to use the playful puns on White Column's website  a "pussy playground" with "purr-formers").  If you happen to be looking for a cat, or are open to being charmed to the point of adoption, the adoption events have been extended to every Friday and Saturday during gallery hours (12-6 pm) with exception to 4th of July weekend.

When discussing the background for the show, Lieberman provided this anecdote  revealing her first impulse to create a platform to bring awareness to animal rescue in New York City and how to integrate this into an art gallery environment:

"Back in the mid-’90s, I lived in a loft in Long Island City (LIC) and started tending an outdoor cat colony in an empty lot on my street. I wasn’t even a cat person when I moved in, but LIC had tons of street cats then and they pulled me in. The cat party started at dusk when we arrived with the cans. It was my favorite art installation at the time!

Hi-rises were about to go up on the lot — displacing the cats my neighbors and I had grown fond of. We placed some and approached some rescue groups — all overflowing with adoptable pets — and that’s when I got a crash course in the over-extended rescue situation in NYC. I thought it would be so amazing to help the rescue groups by creating an undepressing space where the public could meet the cats, a place where strays would be appreciated as the gorgeous creatures they are and not wretches in a cage-lined facility! I thought the cat area itself was a great installation and this project would use the art context to actually facilitate adoption — as well as being an aesthetic, meditative space."

The gallery also features work from a long list of contributors and artists (the full list is here). As long as you're not allergic, we recommend you stop by before July 27th.

 

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