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New City Galerie Exhibit Moved to Karma Bird House

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Katya Grokhovsky's "Theater of the Mundane" - COURTESY OF KATYA GROKHOVSKY
  • Courtesy Of Katya Grokhovsky
  • Katya Grokhovsky's "Theater of the Mundane"

A leaky roof is never a good thing. But if you run an art gallery and water finds its way in, it's a double whammy: Both the physical structure and other people's precious artwork are imperiled.

That's what Joseph Pensak faced recently at his second-floor venue, New City Galerie, in downtown Burlington. The good news is that his landlord is taking action. The bad? The gallery will be closed much of the summer while workers repair the roof.

But Pensak, in partnership with independent curators Overnight Projects, had already scheduled artist Katya Grokhovsky for an exhibition to begin in May. The group even held a fundraiser a couple months back to support the artist's fee. (Who got a "Bad Woman" T-shirt?) What to do?

Friendly fellow gallerists have stepped in to save the day — or at least the show.

Now Grokhovsky's exhibition, titled "Privately Owned," is scheduled for a June 27 to July 27 installation at Karma Bird House Gallery, aka Maglianero Café, on lower Maple Street.

Thing is, Grokhovsky's work can take up a lot of space. Her installations generally consist of numerous found items, as well as video and performance. "She usually comes to a site three or four days early and collects trash and detritus to add to what she's already collected," notes Overnight Projects founder-director Abbey Meaker.

For this exhibition, Maglianero will be "modified," and Grokhovsky will install "more wall work," she explains. "Sculptural work hanging from the ceiling, projections in the vault, with sound.

"She's done a number of residencies in which she's stayed for a month," Meaker says of Grokhovsky. "But in this case there's not enough time, so she's making work in her studio and will do the performance on opening night."

Born in Ukraine, raised in Australia and now based in Brooklyn, Grokhovsky has exhibited and performed across the U.S., as well as in Canada and Australia. Much of her work is focused, literally and metaphorically, on the body. Or, as the Overnight Projects website puts it, Grokhovsky "explores the notion of privately held desires, concealed traumas and internal conflicts, enclosed, confined and detained by our bodies."

The artist also addresses timely concepts of migration and displacement, albeit from a personal perspective. "I am a perpetual migrant, having never truly belonged to one culture or place, evolving and adapting consistently throughout my life," Grokhovsky told contemporary art blog Art Spiel last year. "I frequently perform and construct identities, characters and personas, employing my observation, autobiographical experience and research in order to craft them."

On opening night in Burlington, Meaker says, "Katya and other performers will be in costume." And, one guesses, incognito.

Back at New City Galerie, Pensak hopes that his August show, featuring married Burlington artists Jennifer Koch and Gregg Blasdel, will go on.

Katya Grokhovsky, June 27 to July 27, Karma Bird House Gallery in Burlington. Opening and performance Thursday, June 27, 5 to 8 p.m.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Gallery swap"

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