Alika Cooper & Madeleine Hines

Situations (New York, NY) is pleased to present Alika Cooper: MANHOLES and Madeleine Hines: THE LOVED OBJECT at Foreland.

Alika Cooper : Manholes

There is something surreal in manholes. In the literal sense of the French word surreal: manholes put us in touch with the “over-real,” forming a passage to that strange otherness of a reality in excess of our conscious awareness. The strange underground passageways of the real beneath the surface would remain indiscernible to the ordinary attitude of perception and the self-certainty of consciousness; however, the work creates a gateway between the waking life of the self and the intuitive “over-real” disclosed by a poetic consciousness. The surreal manholes constitute an opening between the human subject and the abyss of sensuousness and feeling that exceeds our conscious awareness. And yet, one would have to free the concept from the tradition of Breton’s surrealism; the manholes do not inhabit the dreamlike unconscious state of a psychologically isolated human nature, rather, they are orifices attuned to the constraints of the environment. The intestinal serpentine coils conjure a surreal unconscious ecology in which the human is existentially enmeshed.

Madeleine Hines: The Loved Object

Madeleine Ray Hines’ high heel paintings simultaneously evoke a scarcity of fulfillment and a critique of luxury. There is a weariness lurking in the faded beauty of high end shoes meant to elevate the wearer both in height and social status. We perceive an owner who capitulates to the canon of received femininity while inviting us to experience the melancholy engendered by her capitulation. By presenting a sole centric view, Hines allows the viewer to construct a narrative connected to the usage and life of the shoe. Lurking under these images is a scent of privilege, the theater of desire, and the lethal weaponry of the stiletto heel. High heels remain a weapon in the charade of sexuality employed by both marginalized people creating their own narratives and the mainstream consumer, connoting freedom for some and constriction for others. A  painting of fetishized Christian Louboutin red soled heels offers a frozen trope akin to the economy of a Birkin bag. Both are trophies that must be won and indicate an advanced position in the hierarchy of commodified female signifiers. Thankfully, most of the shoes in Hines’ paintings are scuffed up and had a full life, providing a viewpoint through which beauty and consumerism can be contemplated. -Text by Jo Shane

On view April 29-May 28, 2023.

Opening Reception Saturday April 29, 2023 5-8pm

Public hours Saturday and Sundays 11am-5pm through May 28, 2023.


111 Water Street

Catskill, NY