Jen Rosenblit, Promo shot from Judas On Breath (2012)
Judas On Breath was comprised of 3 performance events throughout the month of Jan 2012
Photography by Alyssa Robb

Philadelphia’s performance and exhibition space Bodega

April 4 2012
4:56 PM

Collaboration and site-specificity have been the name of the game at Philadelphia’s Bodega since its opening in September 2010, when artists Strauss Bourque-LaFrance and Emily Rooney installed their exhibition like flex / like flex. Operating out of a storefront, the performance and exhibition space is run by Elyse Derosia, Ariela Kuh, Lydia Okrent, James Pettengill, and Eric Veit, all Hampshire College graduates. Subject neither to New York City’s outrageous rents nor its competitive, self-conscious posturing, it can afford to be experimental in the truest sense of the word; Jen Rosenblit’s residency, for which she lived and worked for a month in the gallery, culminated in a Last Supper-like performative lecture and dinner, while for Soft Smoke Rises in Gay Rings Above the Roof, four artists effectively curated Bodega’s small library, placing artworks and other objects onto the library’s small, carefully-selected shelves. With the addition of its publishing venture Bodega Press, this space’s low-key Philadelphia vibe has facilitated an eclectic artist-focused discourse. In a recent interview with Lauren Bakst, who posed the idea of curating as a form of caring, one of Bodega’s co-directors claimed that “we found it more interesting to allow artists full use of our exhibition space, rather than for us to use artists for the space.” Curating as caring, indeed. (David Everitt Howe)