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Shohei Katayama
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Doreen Chan
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After School

Teen Summer Workshop Series
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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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Josh Friedman

Outer Layers


- 2003

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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Josh Friedman, perhaps best known locally for his ceramics, switches from being an artist to a social worker. The gesture here is the giving and taking of clothes, in the strange environment of an art gallery, but in a neighborhood where the second-hand clothes store is a staple. The work invokes issues of value and need. The clothes, anonymously given, rank with the highest charity.


Gestures 3: December 21, 2002 – January 26, 2003
About The Artist

Looking to the past as a means to move forward, fragmented recollections often initiate my dialogue with materials. The crack in my driveway. Cytoxan slowly dripping into my arm. Hair on my pillow. A burnt hole through paper. The overlooked. Insignificant.

Nature acts and we embed those actions with meaning.  Residual accumulations of my small, repeated gestures that once gave thoughts form and recorded my journey of becoming cancer free, now give the fleeting commodity of time palpability.

Opening a door. Scratching my nose. An elevator ride. A sneeze. The overlooked cough. Insignificant rituals we took for granted are now deliberated over as monumental decisions of life and death. Small, simple, repeated gestures everywhere must be exercised with great care.

Working with fire and paper in my ritual practice, the thousands of individual residual marks draw as much attention to absence, as to what is present.

We have been awakened to see our interconnectedness, our hand in this moment. We are acutely aware of consequences our immediate, individual actions have as they accumulate and profoundly affect humanity.

Employing the simple gesture of burning holes through the surface of the picture plane challenges the physical integrity of the paper, and heightens the tension and awareness of the delicate edge between form and emptiness. Making the fragile more fragile, and evident, the accumulative impact small subtle incremental change may have on the whole.

More from this Artist

More from this Exhibition

Happy Birthday 2003

983,000 @ 1414

xx / xy

DRYWALL 19: Wetland

Home Improvement

Towers of Pittsburgh

The Mourning After


Untitled (Study for Wall Sculpture)

This Side

Solstice: Latitude and Longitude

Two Points of Viewing, 12/19/02 and 12/20/02


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