Last month at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Eliza Stamps, with her collaborator Amy Linsenmayer, unveiled the first edition of The Kiosk—a micro, mobile exhibition space that can be adapted to house a variety of art projects in different locations. Rent-a-Grandma, the premier Kiosk installation, on view through November 25, is a cozy interior where visitors can interact with actual grandmothers. This idealized vision of a doting grandmother’s home sets the stage for an environment where memories can be shared and an intergenerational dialogue developed. Stamps said, “I have always lamented not having a sweet, loving Grandma who would give me juice and tell me stories. After years of jealous twinges…I’ve decided to create my own. My Grandma will be everything I’ve always wanted from the grandmother I never had, and I’d like to share her warmth and loving kindness with everyone.” In keeping with The Kiosk’s mission to engage communities in art and house what the artists call “social sculpture,” this interactive installation gives visitors a multi-sensory “Grandmother experience.” The project celebrates the love, inspiration, support, wisdom, and comfort that grandmothers represent, suggesting broader themes of memory and family bonds.
Stamps, a Brooklyn-based artist, has a broad artistic practice, including paintings and drawings in addition to performance art and installation. An interest in the viewer’s experience of discovery unites her diverse body of work that includes The Oracle Project, in which she uses custom-made decks of cards to tell futures, and the Wild Feasties, a collective that creates food-based interactive performances. In her works on paper, Stamps uses intricate knot patterns to create both abstract and representational images.
Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 South 18th Street, Tuesday-Sunday 11am-5pm
Rent-a-Grandma is on view through November 25 in conjunction with the Qualities of Life exhibition curated by PhillyWorks: philartalliance.org
Eliza Stamps (b. 1980, Newton, Massachusetts) received her MFA from the Pratt Institute and has shown her work throughout the United States and in Cambodia and China.