SELECTED VIEWS Comes to The Kitchen in January

The installation will be on view January 10–12 and January 17–20 from 4:30–8:30pm and on January 13 from 4:30–6:30pm.

By: Dec. 08, 2023
SELECTED VIEWS Comes to The Kitchen in January
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The Kitchen presents J Jan Groeneboer's Selected Views, a multi-channel, site-specific video installation conceived for The Kitchen's loft at Westbeth. The installation represents the first iteration of a project the artist has been developing since 2018: following a period of over three years of exploratory research, photography, and writing about the view from his Brooklyn studio, Groeneboer took up a daily practice of filming over the subsequent two-and-a-half years. The resulting footage captures disparate elements of the cityscape that take on unexpected proximities through the artist's window: the Brooklyn Queens Expressway; The Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn; a recycling plant; an electrical plant; the Port of New York and New Jersey; the Upper New York and Gowanus Bays; and the Statue of Liberty. Attending to the presence of the architectures and systems that often are hidden from daily city life, Selected Views reflects on the ways the built environment variously conceals and reveals interconnections between democracy, global capitalism, the prison-industrial complex, and environmental crises. 


J Jan Groeneboer: Selected Views is organized by Alison Burstein, Curator, and will be on view January 10–12 and January 17–20 from 4:30–8:30pm and on January 13 from 4:30–6:30pm at The Kitchen at Westbeth (163B Bank Street, 4th Floor Loft). (Admission is free and requires no reservation.) There will be a panel discussion January 13 from 3–4:30pm. (Admission is free with RSVP.) 


Selected Views emerges from Groeneboer's ongoing encounter with the density of visual information that defines the view from his studio. In the artist's words, when he moved into the space in 2018, “it was so intense that my first impulse was to cover it up, but then something happened and I couldn't stop looking out the window.” Groeneboer began to examine how patterns in activities such as traffic on the BQE or the passing of ships into and out of the Port of New York and New Jersey shed light on the intersections of economic, social, political, and ideological forces. The video's focus on such subject matter marks a departure in the artist's practice: inverting his typical method of using abstraction to address the politics of representation, Selected Views focuses on representational imagery to consider the politics of abstraction. Through scenes that feature varying images of the cityscape—from industrial scenery to urban landmarks like the Statue of Liberty to the sky undergoing weather events—the installation calls attention to the ways that such representations belie the complexity of the local and global systems that shape the realities of everyday life. Presented as the culmination of the artist's durational process of witnessing, Selected Views follows the repetitions and rhythms of weather and industries to offer a portrait of the city at a particular moment in time, raising the question: How can the framing of novel vantage points reveal fundamental aspects of society that are often overlooked?


In conceiving Selected Views as a site-specific installation, Groeneboer augments the video's investigations through engagement with the ambient features of The Kitchen's loft at Westbeth—a setting that is defined by its own vistas, visible through a wall of windows overlooking the Hudson River and West Side Highway. The installation comprises three projected screens and a set of windows that become a fourth screen of unfolding imagery, highlighting the interconnections between the roads and waterway outside the gallery and those that are seen from the artist's studio. Similarly, the soundtracks of the video and the display environment layer on top of one another, with the drone of the BQE in the artist's footage resonating with the real-time noise of the highway that runs parallel to Westbeth. Through its juxtaposition of two different vantage points within the space of the installation, Selected Views carves out space to reflect on what can be learned by looking closely at what is present in—and absent from—any given perspective of the cityscape. 


In tandem with the installation, Groeneboer will convene a panel discussion on January 13 exploring themes and processes that are central to Selected Views, such as observational practices in contemporary art, the ethics of looking, and the role of public monuments. Panelists include artist and scholar Malik Gaines; artist Zoe Leonard; and cellist, artist, and writer Ethan Philbrick.

About J Jan Groeneboer

J Jan Groeneboer is a transgender conceptual interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator. In his visual practice, he investigates how representation and abstraction connect to different forms of visibility, legibility, and comprehension. Groeneboer often works in abstraction to address the politics of representation. He developed this strategy to examine the expectation that transgendered people be readily available for visual scrutiny. Groeneboer's work has shown at David Zwirner Gallery (2018), Boston University Galleries (2017), MoMA (2016), Art in General (2016), the Queens Museum (2016), CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art (2016), MoMA PS1 (2015), Contemporary Art Museum Houston (2015), Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts in Winnipeg (2015), Andrew Edlin Gallery (2013), Shoshawna Wayne Gallery (2010), and Exile, Berlin (2010), among others. Essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker,, Mute Magazine,, Temporary Art Review, Art Journal, and in the essay in Pink Labour on Golden Streets, “Appearing Differently: Abstraction's Transgender and Queer Capacities.” David Getsy's 2016 essay “Seeing Commitments: Jonah Groeneboer's Ethics of Discernment” was included in the “Opacities” section of Getsy and Che Gosset's “A Syllabus on Transgender and Nonbinary Methods for Art and Art History” (Art Journal, Winter 2021). Residencies include Ox-Bow School of Art, the Fire Island Artist Residency, and Recess. He has received travel and/or project grants from Canada Council for the Arts in 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. As a writer, Groeneboer has participated in numerous panels and symposiums, and his recent essays on transgender representation were published in Texte Zur Kunst (2023) and in the Studies in Gender and Sexuality (2023).