Exhibition: I should be doing something else right now

Vivienne Griffin I should be doing something else right now featuring Jenny Carson, Kristen Jensen and Cian McConn

Bureau at Grand Army Collective 184 Sterling Place, Brooklyn NY September 23 - October 28 2017

Listen to Vivienne's Speaking in Tongues on Wave Farm's Transmission Arts Archive

Bureau is pleased announce an exhibition with Vivienne Griffin as part of the inaugural suite of shows at Grand Army Collective. Griffin’s third exhibition with Bureau I should be doing something else right now will feature new work in multiple media. Alabaster, plaster and clay sculptures, ink drawings, textile and garment pieces mingle with ambient sound, light and screen-based images. Her hybrid space – between meeting room, office and studio – houses collaborations with Jenny Carson, Kristen Jensen and Cian McConn.

There is a desperation in the pathological inward focusing of self-help movements, motivational speakers and life coaches. Terms (that I love to hate and love to love) like ‘mesearch’, ‘expectation hangover’ and ‘if it’s not a hell yes it’s a no!’, illustrate the sense of entitlement that is as omnipresent as the disappointment from not having ‘a life beyond your wildest dreams’. Ironically much of this stems from a bastardisation of ancient meditation practices the aim of which is ultimately ‘to see things as they really are’. The works brought into this space on one hand parody the superficiality of self-obsession through self-reflection but also look towards it as a solution. –Vivienne Griffin

Griffin’s installations read like psychic spaces, inside a mind in limbo. This room features the smartphone glow of translucent alabaster, a punk rendition of a self-help podcast and candles flickering from digital, battery-powered and live flames. Unique sweatshirts-cum-straight jackets hang alongside pairs of identical drawings of ‘before and after’ beauty experiments, challenging the expectation of novelty and originality. Griffin has a complicated position to her subject matter: her nuanced nihilism both employs and criticizes the contemporary incarnations of “nothingness” taken from meditation and spiritual practices.


Vivienne Griffin (b. 1975, Dublin, lives and works in London, UK) received an MFA from Hunter College, supported by a Fulbright grant, and received her BFA at Crawford College, Cork, Ireland. She is currently pursuing her PhD from the Royal College of Art, London. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include: I As In Us, Vivienne Griffin & Cian McConn, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania; She Said, Bureau, New York, 2015; Like Nature But Not, Four to Seven, Riga, Latvia, 2014; The Nostalgia of an Object and the Pain of Glass, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2014; and The Me Song For Now Here, Bureau, New York, 2013. International group exhibitions include: Daybreak, School of Fine Art Research Exhibition, Royal College of Art, London, UK; Artists’ Voices, Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva, 2015; Pangrammar, P!, New York, 2015; DAY MOON, Halsey Mckay Gallery, East Hampton, New York, 2015. She will have an upcoming residency in 2018 at HereNow, Space Studios, London. Her work appears in the public collection of the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery in Cork, Ireland.