Phillip Andrew Lewis: SYNONYM
On view: January 14–February 18, 2018
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 21, 4–6PM (gallery activation at 4PM)
Stay for dinner! Sunday Supper starts at 6:30PM—learn more
Gallery Activations at Headlands: Sundays, January 14–February 18, 2PM
With guests Delancey Street Foundation, ERIE, Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church, Setting Sun, and Threshold Choir
(Gallery activation on January 21 is at 4PM)
Working across disciplines, artist Phillip Andrew Lewis investigates the attractions and dangers of group psychology, exploring narratives around experimental addiction treatment programs and institutional structures. In the late 1980s, when Lewis was a teen, he was held against his will in a drug rehab program that used extreme methods of sensory deprivation and cultic mind control, an offshoot of the anti-drug society known as Synanon. Based on five years of research into the disbanded organization, Lewis’s SYNONYM project uses photography, sculpture, video, and performance to explore and re-create his experience.
Filling the entire third floor Project Space at Headlands, SYNONYM immerses the audience in the role of a participant. The gallery experience includes several installations—such as an enormous chandelier equipped with microphones—photographs of Synanon artifacts, and weekly gallery activations by local groups.
Lewis developed SYNONYM as an Artist in Residence at Headlands in the summer of 2017.