Night Swim, curated by Jaqueline Cedar, on display at Cedar's gallery, Good Naked

Jaqueline Cedar '09 Releases 'Night Swim' in New Gallery

BY Audrey Deng, June 29, 2020

Alumna Jaqueline Cedar ’09, the exhibition curator for the Brooklyn-based gallery Good Naked, debuted the gallery’s show Night Swim with a livestream event on May 29. The works are available for viewing online. The exhibit features work from eight artists.

Night Swim evokes in its title the transfiguration of daytime activities into ominous acts when executed during nighttime. The works in this exhibition celebrate dark delight. “Tone speaks aptly to the sobering nature of our current moment. Pointing to absence and still calling for human presence, day for night forms stream in and out of frame, turning our sense of space and gravity on its head,” according to the gallery’s press release. Of the gallery’s six shows since August, this is Good Naked’s first one hosted outside the usual Brooklyn gallery space.

The recently vacated bedroom in a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn became the zero-budget art gallery called Good Naked when last August, after eight years of roommates Cedar didn’t want to take on another temporary guest; she told a friend this, who responded, “At least you can now walk around naked.”

Cedar keeps a running list of titles and phrases from daily life/pop culture and applies them to her work and projects after their completion, a method of naming which reactivates the entire project at the very last second. Recall the 165th episode of Seinfeld, in which Elaine Benes differentiates good naked (female) from bad naked (male) (Cedar is a fan of Seinfeld). By replacing a roommate with an art gallery, Cedar could accomplish good naked.

Night Swim, curated by Jaqueline Cedar, on display at Cedar's gallery, Good Naked

Good Naked is quite a young gallery. Because of this, adapting to the pandemic early on in its existence had both disadvantages and advantages. The main disadvantage was the sudden growth for a newly formed community of artists who gathered weekly to enjoy Good Naked. But the gallery’s newness perhaps played a part in its ingenuity online as Cedar adapted quickly to constantly changing circumstances.

“I realized pretty early on that there was a way I could experiment with virtual spaces,” Cedar said in a comment about creating Good Naked. “For someone who is very much attached to physical and tactile experiences, the idea of putting something in a digital space felt like it would not be satisfying as it would be in person, having a physical relationship with the work. I still long for people to come over and experience the work in person, but in the meantime, I think there are really great opportunities to explore other channels in the digital form.”

In Night Swim, Cedar’s first online exhibit, she recreated the gallery space in its entirety with a 3D rendering, with the help of a friend. Cedar’s focus for this gallery was primarily on recreating the happy chance of in-person social events through computer screens. “We made roving videos of that space which we then streamed for different people to roam at the opening. We had three different rooms, and you would be lodged into different rooms throughout the event, there were different soundtracks for each room, like a dance party.”

“Each show is a growing experiment,” said Cedar. “For each show I’m planning now, I’m thinking of ways to include the element of discovery into the experience.”

“I’m so in love with all the artists I’ve gotten to work with,” added Cedar. “I’m so inspired by their practices, and I really believe in their work. I feel really lucky to get to share ideas with them.”

Previous shows at Good Naked like Go for Broke included work by Cedar’s fellow classmates from Columbia University.

The exhibition will close on July 10 with a livestreamed artist talk on the evening of July 19. Until then, Good Naked's gallery is on view by appointment only. For more information (including exact location) and images, please contact info@goodnakedgallery.com.

Jaqueline Cedar '09, image by Phoebe Berglund