Courtesy of NYU The Commons Gallery
“I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture:fear not that any God shall deny thee for this.”
- Aleister Crowley, The Book of The Law, 1938
In the superiorly written fourth season of CBS’ Murder She Wrote, we uncover a true emerald of an episode. The queen of orthopedia, Ms. Jessica Fletcher, again finds herself in the midst of a mysterious murder, yet this formulaic turn of events serves as the perfect critical allusion to this exhibition.
For Trouble in Eden, the ever-clever Fletcher masquerades as the sudden heiress of a small town brothel after the bizarre demise of the establishments owner. The episode’s duration cycles around reclaiming the property, the blackmailing of several saintly town figures, and unmasking Eden’s venomous tycoon turned murderer.
Both Fletcher’s and the Eden of legend, hover as a collective conundrum, a paradisal netherworld. The Eden of Genesis was a primal estate lost to us with the birth of consciousness. In an act of sin, we were granted our humanity, but how do we escape this form, these parameters? If we could return to Eden and rewrite mythos, would we have orgiastic bliss where difference was merely a rib bone away. Or are the fruits of knowledge greater? How could we depart from our own awareness. Maybe we have discovered a truer paradise in biting the serpent’s apple.
Within this exhibition, we hope to penetrate the specter of this fabled garden. Eden circulates through ideas of origin and identity. Artists’ Andy Slemenda, David J Merritt, Jacolby Satterwhite, Jessica Gispert, Kevin Yang, and Mata Hari conflate sexuality, utopia, and the esoteric through interdisciplinary practices, transforming the gallery into a psychic landscape that rivals Freud’s Oedipus.
Please join us for the opening reception October 13th from 5 PM – 8 PM with performances by Jacolby Satterwhite and Andy Slemenda.