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Marvin Touré
the blood is the water.
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Catalina Schliebener Muñoz
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Isla Hansen
How to Get to Make Believe
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Andrea Peña
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Asim Waqif
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After School

Teen Art Cooperative
Our Mission

The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Justin Emmanuel Dumas


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Membrane: Wood furniture and architectural remnants, washboard, wicker caning, metal, stainless steel sutures, hardware

Malleable Render: Ammunition crate, hammered wall, wooden shelf, corrugated glass, sterling silver sunflower seeds, family photograph

Engine: Wood frame, plexiglass, wood and metal scraps, graphite

Animus (Temple/Tempered): Wicker, linen, cigar drying rack, furniture remnant, wood, encaustic medium, resin, hemp twine, bullets

The phrase ‘good bones’ is often used in reference to dwellings that have a solid foundation, intuitive floor plans, and strong structural elements. Houses that, with attention and care, can become great homes. In Good/Bones, Justin Emmanuel Dumas presents the skeleton of a home, emphasizing materials and structure, and prompting consideration of their importance and a close observation of their surfaces. Good/Bones is a meditation on liminality, embracing the journey between departure and arrival. It encourages us to notice that which we typically ignore.

An archway, or threshold, is situated exactly in the middle of the gallery, balancing the space into equal parts and guiding the viewer through the space. There are opposites (i.e. interior/exterior, artificial/natural light), but the two sections are in harmony, not opposition.

Dumas incorporates fragments of vintage home furnishings and other antique objects, signaling toward a time when the quality of materials was paramount. Familiar objects remind us of our histories, while their reimagining makes us consider their history as well. The aged and marked surfaces of the objects tell stories of survival and utilization, and their placement in this installation continues their story of transition.

Artist Statement

There are many forces, pushing and pulling at the boundaries which separate the personal, sacred, and familiar – from the wild, banal, and unknown. Despite this precarity, we find ourselves romanced by a call to adventure – embracing the liminal, and mirroring the myths and archetypes which pervade our humanity.

What we carry is what we take with us.

That which values the journey in the way it should, turns the ordinary into the sacramental, and the act of returning into an act of rebirth.

I am entirely concerned with the forces of syntropy and coincidental form. Moments of alignment are not yielded by will and intention alone, but an undercurrent of civil activity; erosion, repair, concurrence, and objection. Within the common space, human activity dissolves its own material pragmatism and engages in a rebuilding process.

By understanding material and surface as narrative- marks, abrasions, wounds, and repairs become gestural. The combined presence of these gestures manifests as spectral evidence of human agency. These made objects, which endlessly approach completion, offer a moment for recollection and a means to excavate traces of public memory.




1414 Monterey, 3rd Floor

About The Artist

Justin Emmanuel Dumas’ work understands the surface as narrative, marks, abrasions, wounds, and repairs that become gesture. The combined presence of these gestures manifest as the spectral evidence of human agency. These final painting-shaped objects, which endlessly approach and depart from completion, present a moment for re-collection and the excavation of public memory.


Give artists the time, space and resources to create remarkable works of art that help us see our world in new ways.

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