PARTY BEUYS: or what comes after farce

Exhibition runs July 9 to Aug 14, 2015

It is to leaf through an old book: From Harz to Hellas all are cousins
~ Goethe Faust Book II

The tragedy of costume and implement is ultimately the history of human tragedy
~ Aby Warburg

Who’s your Daddy?
Warhol or Beuys?
Kiefer or Kelly?
Must we choose?

Any reference to an archetype real or imaginary is purely coincidental.  They have been banished from an oedipal world.  But does that mean we believe any less?  Given enough time and distance; little by little; the censor nods off.  The repressed return to the party.  Disguised as humor, satire or critical homage, the re-enchantment of the world occurs through barely veiled and often unconscious manifestations of cultic ritual.

Clearly we are not just dealing with the legacy of Joseph Beuys. The materials are different.  No copper, felt or fat this time around. It’s not warm or invitingly tactile.  Nor is it the organic palette of an imaginary Eurasia (or for that matter the deserts of the American west)  Our neo-archetypes have a penchant for synthetic polymers; painted plastic and polyester.  Our shaman’s garments hide magic between layers of garish tinsel and vulgar neon bunting.  A contemporary veneer of chic (but of course acceptably cheap) cloaking the archaic vestments.

These are the dressings we use to renovate the museum’s ruins which by now are composed more of conjectural Bondo than any single solid meta-narrative.  Yet why not teach a history of art history in a Home Depot while we shop for our supplies?  Aby Wahrburg in aisle six by the lumber.  Winckelmann by the spackling paste.  Would you like to guess who’s in plumbing?

This exhibition brings together artists who walk art history through a performative trajectory.  Through personal and collective implications their work weaves a restaged and abreacted collection of gestalt materials into specific sites that snake through the ritualistic framework lurking just beneath the positivist armature of our art historical narrative.

Curated by Daniel Bauer
Opening Reception:
Thursday, July 9, 6–8pm