Aaron Eliah Terry, June 2nd-30th

Aaron’s Website

Opening Reception: June 2nd

Aaron Terry’s latest exhibition transforms the gallery space into an
installation where one becomes part of a massive common story that
takes its form during the duration of the exhibition. Akin to composing
music like a DJ’s set-list, the transformed, cave-like gallery presents a
space full of the ingredients key to a collective narrative, including
historical characters, social and political factors, wit, angst, and
contemporary players-the audience. Much like a mask or costume, the
viewer is housed in a space where one’s awareness can shift into subtle
yet recognizable tales that question individual roles in collective social and
historical identity. In a time when daily narratives are delivered as one
liners on Facebook, Terry’s installation reminds the viewer that histories,
stories, and mythologies are actually full of subtleties and complex
ingredients, and investigates if we, in the face of a lacking social
narrative, can formulate our own story with all he gives us in the form of
costumes, masks and participatory installation.

Costumery, masking identity, and positioning of self within the context of
stories are paramount themes in the exhibition. Terry’s alter ego, the
Urban Yetti (a mythical character borne from Terry’s childhood uprooting
from living on remote land with no running water or electricity with
Beat/survivalist parents, to an adolescence spent in urban Philly)
reappears throughout the exhibition, but this time with a variety of
people donning the costume and submitting evidence of their own
experience. This assignment, to receive, wear, and act in the Yetti
costume, happened over a six month period and resulting in people from
musicians and actors to visual artists and taxidermists interpreting their
experience and presenting Terry with imagery that feeds his latest prints.
It brings to mind the potential for one to assume personalities or
identities, even for a short period of time. From Carnival to revolution,
masks and dress have revealed and obscured identity, social positions,
mockery and metamorphosis. In this exhibition, Terry questions the
potential to create a contemporary narrative, generated from various
perspectives, generated through a web of collaborations.