I bet this cave has been here for a really long time

Tau Lewis
November 15, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Opening reception: Thursday, November 15, 6 - 8pm

138 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002

PRESS
Brooklyn Rail

The 45-year-old statue of Christopher Columbus that stood in Grand Park, Los Angeles, and marked a 400-year history, was removed by an order honoring years of petition. For some it was an erasure of an important part of American history. For others, it was a necessary comment on the systemic support of a longstanding history with American and European White supremacy.

But the most important question: What do the mermaids think about it?

Columbus and the mermaids did, of course, share the same waters. They crossed the same seas, oceans, and passages. But unlike Columbus, the mermaids still exist. And unlike the seemingly rigid history many are taught, a mermaid’s history is special. It’s a story that can shift and change like the tide. Dark water can be hopeful, and destructive tidal waves can be a magic carpet.

Tau Lewis’ I bet this cave has been here for a really long time at Shoot The Lobster, NY, is a place to write an old story, and ride a new wave. With one video piece – compiled of footage from Jamaica and filled with longing – visible from inside and outside the gallery like a reflection of itself, and a handmade quilt from materials used, borrowed, and with olfactory memories, you are invited to join us on a swim up the blue(ish) passage.

The earth is made up of almost 75% water. That’s a whole lot of space to imagine.

— Ebony L. Haynes


Tau Lewis (b. 1993, Toronto, Canada) is a Jamaican-Canadian sculptor whose work combines natural and synthetic materials to create simulations of living organisms. Lewis’ self-taught practice is rooted in healing personal, collective and historical traumas through labour. She employs methods of construction such as hand sewing, carving and assemblage of found and repurposed materials to build portraits. Her material practice is influenced by her surrounding environment, and the conceptual framework of her sculptures investigates black identity and agency, memory and recovery, and African diaspora . Recent solo and group exhibitions include New Museum, MoMa PS1, Shrine Gallery, Chapter NY, Jeffrey Stark, New York; Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta; Night Gallery, Los Angeles, USA; Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of York University, 8-11 Gallery, Cooper Cole, Gallery 44, Toronto; Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga; Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, Canada. Lewis currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.