In "Lesser Evils," Abby Manock Takes on an Old Riddle at Gallery Diet

Abby Manock has a rather unconventional take a very old riddle. To safely take a chicken, a fox and a bag of grain across a river without the grain or chicken becoming breakfast, you would take the chicken in your boat with you as you transport the fox and then the grain to the other side. Sounds logical, but Manock is more concerned with the question than the answer. In her current solo exhibit at Gallery Diet, the question stands: How do we arrive at these decisions of maintaining our possessions or anything we deem valuable?

In "Lesser Evils," Manock deploys her project using maps and charts (in the way a navigator

would, trying to determine the best physical course to deliver all

goods to safety), sculptural installations (such as costumes worn in a

relay race starring the chicken), and objects such as foxtails hanging by

wires from the ceiling, and protective helmets for the chicken, fox, and


The exhibit is a multimedia frenzy that mimicks the

over-complication of an elementary idea. "She takes simple notions that

we take for granted," says Gallery Diet director Nina Johnson. "It's not particularly complicated. She makes

reference points to the broader ways in which we live our lives. If you

have this very simple problem, why is it a riddle?"

Gallery Diet, Miami
'Counters' (2009), film still, Courtesy of Gallery Diet, Miami

in 2007 with an MFA from Columbia (where she is currently an adjunct

drawing professor), Manock is one of five artists represented at the

ever-inventive Gallery Diet in Wynwood. She has exhibited at some of the

world's most cutting-edge venues including CREAM: International

Festival for Arts and Media in Yokohama, Japan, Performagia in Mexico

City, and Deitch Projects' 2nd Annual Art Parade in New York.

This year,

her second solo exhibition with Gallery Diet falls within the revered

Art Basel Miami Beach. "We had a group show last year," says Johnson, "and

this year, [Manock's show] just happens to be what we're focusing on.

People can see a full project, a full body of work, one full


Gallery Diet (174 NW 23rd St., Miami) hosts Abby Manock's "Lesser Evils"

when it opens this Saturday. It runs until December 22. Gallery hours are

Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 305-571-2288 or visit

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