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Hissed gently in silence, a dream of flight

Jan 08 — Mar 13, 2021

Featuring work by: Jordan Deal, Joy Feasley, Paul Swenbeck

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Fleisher/Ollman is proud to present Hissed gently in silence, a dream of flight, an exhibition by Jordan Deal, Joy Feasley, and Paul Swenbeck. This presentation includes a new multimedia installation by Deal and work by Feasley and Swenbeck, some of which was created at the Arts/Industry residency program at John Michael Kohler Arts Center (2017 and 2019) and featured in their exhibition Out, Out, Phosphene Candle at the same institution in 2018. Feasley and Swenbeck work both collaboratively and individually. All three artists explore notions of healing, transformation, mysticism, and the sacred in their art.


Jordan Deal employs personal, spiritual, and socio-political narratives that examine birth, death, rebirth, and the performative roles of the body in relation to systems of governance and race. His work investigates the mind/body dichotomy as a fertile site of collective healing and time-space travel. For Hissed gently in silence, a dream of flight, he riffs off of the structure of the merkaba, a divine vehicle that transports the body to celestial realms. Here, the mystical is explored through the quotidian—household objects are transformed into conduits for healing and transcendence. Videos consider how love, death, and other aspects of the personal reflect what it means to be Black in America.


Joy Feasley continues her work in landscape paintings depicting visions of fantastical light. The aurora borealis, phosphenes, will-o’-the-wisp, and bioluminescent creatures symbolize the restorative power of the enigmatic natural world. Phosphenes are most easily accessed by pressing hands over one’s eyes; the pressure creates light and patterns where no light exists. Clairvoyants recreate phosphenes by focusing candlelight through a crystal ball. Feasley interprets this magic with a video work of an eternal flame, filmed on the day her mother died, that is projected through a prismatic glass ball.


Swenbeck compliments Deal and Feasley’s sensibilities with brass and ceramic sculptures that evoke aquatic and otherworldly creatures; new ceramic, wall-bound “paintings;” and prism photographs. These photographs render the world through psychedelic distortion, opening up portals in the landscape into other worlds. Like Deal and Feasley, Swenbeck also memorializes the dead. One of the photographs in the exhibition was taken on the day his mother died—a firework forever captured in its sparking glory.


Jordan Deal has performed in various galleries, DIY spaces, and festivals throughout Philadelphia including Vox Populi, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Olde City Festival, Philly Fun House, and Black Arts Festival, among others. Deal was a visiting artist at Washington College, Chestertown, MD in 2020 and was also featured in the group exhibition Sign Systems at the college’s Kohl Gallery. In 2018, Deal assisted the artist Talia Greene with archival research at the Philadelphia City Archives for her Percent for Art interactive mural commission, Charting a Path to Resistance.


Joy Feasley has shown at venues including the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Moore College of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Vox Populi, all in Philadelphia, PA; Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR; and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC), Sheboygan, WI; Columbia College, Chicago, IL; and LUMP Gallery and CAM Raleigh, both in Raleigh, NC, among others. Her work is in the collections of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the West Collection, Oaks, PA. In 2011 she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. In 2021, a restroom commission designed by Feasley and Swenbeck will grace the new JMKAC Art Preserve building opening in June 2021.


Paul Swenbeck has exhibited at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Morris Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Vox Populi, all in Philadelphia; JMKAC, Sheboygan, WI; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; LUMP Gallery and CAM Raleigh, both in Raleigh, NC; Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston; and Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR. His work is in the West Collection, Oaks, PA, and the Altoids Curiously Strong Collection at the New Museum, New York, NY. Swenbeck was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2013.


A percentage of the gallery’s profits for this exhibition will be donated to F.A.T.O.E Art Bus, a mobile art class initiative administered by Mill Creek Community Partnership.

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