Allegra LaViola Gallery is pleased to present Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw: Imeday Imeday Ollarday Icklenay, an extraordinary performance and sumptuous dinner party experience. Combining performance and cuisine, the exhibition transforms the gallery into a banquet hall of epic proportions. The gallery will host six performances of succulent feasts prepared by Chef Yuri Hart. The evening’s seated guests are elevated to a higher stature as a cast of characters prepares for a momentous event below. Two of the performances will be open to the public, but seats at the table always require advance tickets (DETAILS AT END).
Catron and Outlaw banish boredom by creating a spectacle so grand we cannot look away, and, in fact, we are encouraged to participate. Drawing inspiration from Biblical and Art Historical references, the duo present a feast for an apocalypse, and invite us all to eat, drink and be merry.
The writing on the wall, which foretold the downfall of the Babylonian Empire, is a starting point for the performance. Taking their inspiration from Rembrant’s “Belshazzar’s Feast”, Catron and Outlaw create an sinister gateway to the exhibition. Instead of the Hebrew letters spelling out “mina, mina, shekel, half-mina”, the Aramaic names of currency, the writing on their wall reads “Imeday, Imeday, Ollarday, Icklenay”—dime, dime, dollar, nickel in pig latin. The use of a school children’s secret language is a sign that while the writing is certainly on the wall, we will most likely have fun reading it.
Like the works which inspired them, Catron and Outlaw’s images do not shy away from allusions. In “Enusvay of Binouray” we see the traditional female figure, nude and reclining on an opulent daybed. Presented with an image of desire, we are also confronted with an animalistic version of femininity: small tufts of hair sprout from the woman’s body and her hands and feet are blackened by grime. Animal ears and nose complete the lusty half-beast, while in the background we see a costumed couple pillaging the trash. The transformation of the archetypal female charm to a partially lupine creature clutching a haunch of raw meat lets us know that this version of beauty will not be for the weak of will, or stomach.
This mix of the beautiful and the grotesque is typical of the pair, who count their “favorite” of the seven deadly sins as Gluttony, Lust and Pride. Catron and Outlaw’s opulent approach lures us in at the same time they ridicule us—and themselves. Nothing escapes the duo’s attention: we are all made to either join in the game, or get out.
Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw are both graduates of the Cranbrook Academy of Art. They have been working together for 2 years, and their most recent project, “Jen n Outlaw’s Fish Fry Truck and Crawfish Boil”, received extensive coverage in The New York Times, Time Out New York, Gothamist, Art Fag City, and Grub Street. This is their first solo show in New York City.
Public performances will take place on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 and Wednesday, January 12, 2011 from 6-9PM.
Dinners are ticketed events and will take place on the following dates:
December 10, 2010 December 15, 2010 December 20, 2010 January 5, 2011 January 12, 2011 January 19, 2011
Tickets are required to participate in the dinner and must be purchased in advance at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/139266.