Your Best Life

Hallie McNeill
May 10, 2022 - May 10, 2023

Image: Hallie McNeill, detail of Your Best Life, 2022. Glazed ceramic and pegboard, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artst.

Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 4:30-7:30p

Your Best Life is a solo project by Brooklyn-based artist Hallie McNeill organized in conjunction with the exhibition From Confucius to Christ. Utilizing the sequential nature of the vitrines in the hallway outside the Yeh, McNeill structures a narrative in the format of a parable. Each window focuses on a virtue: of working hard each day of the week, being organized, resisting temptation, and staying on task to ascend to the realm of success and accomplishment.

Through moralizing tableaus filled with ceramic to-do lists and organizers, ✓s and Xs to measure progress and failure, cast pewter tchotchke distractions, McNeill’s installations parody a range of aspirational cultures, from self-help to the “always on” influencer to Marie Kondo’s organizational pseudo-spirituality to the Protestant work ethic and prosperity gospel Christianity. Your Best Life, a reference to Joel Osteen’s best-selling self-help devotional, conflates instructions for spiritual ascent with that of material success to reconsider our culturally-constructed beliefs about the virtues of work.

This project was made possible, in part, through funding from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Alumni Microgrant Program.