MICHELE ARAUJO, JOY EPISALLA AND CARRIE YAMAOKA at CAS
Michele Araujo, Joy Episalla and Carrie Yamaoka have known each other since they waited tables together at what was probably the first Cajun restaurant in New York City, La Louisiana. It was the 1980s and they were all in their twenties. The restaurant was small and there were many times when it was just the three of them working the floor with one busboy. Restaurant staff are divided between front of house and back of house. Back of house prepares and cooks the food and does the dishes. Front of house delivers and presents the food to the customers. Waiters are like ambassadors for what the kitchen creates. An exhibition is a front of house activity. It is when the work, what artists do, is presented to the viewer. The work delivers the artists’ investigation, exploration, failures, and successes.
Michele, Joy and Carrie all interact with material in a way that interrogates and challenges our definitions of painting, sculpture, or photography. They combine ingredients and submit them to processes, as much culinary as aesthetic, resulting in much food for thought. In a way that strains the restaurant analogy, this exhibition offers more than a feast for the senses, although it certainly does offer that. The work in the exhibition also delves into the areas of agency, cognition, phenomenology, authorship, and subject/object relations.
Sometimes an exhibition can feel like a disruption of the artistic process, as if a chef were suddenly required to stop cooking and become a waiter, or more aptly, when the chef ventures out of the kitchen to interact with the diners. Ultimately the chef and the artist need you, the public, to complete what they make, to take their experience and make it your experience, to consume and enjoy.