Artists: Conrad Bakker, Marc Bijl, Jennifer Dalton, Eric Doeringer, Nancy Drew, Bill Drummond, Alex Gingrow, Simon Grennan & Christopher Sperandio, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Charles Gute, Nate Harrison, Pablo Helguera, Dan Levenson / Little Switzerland, The Matthew Higgs Society, Loren Munk, Filip Noterdaeme, Laurina Paperina, William Powhida, Ward Shelley, Jade Townsend
Curated by Eric Doeringer
EFA Project Space presents I Like the Art World and the Art World Likes Me, a group exhibition featuring artists whose subject matter is the art world. The title plays on Joseph Beuys’s infamous performance I Like America and America Likes Me, in which the German artist inhabited a small gallery alongside a coyote. Organized by “bootleg” artist Eric Doeringer, I Like the Art World and the Art World Likes Me explores the fraught relationship between emerging artists and the established art world. The exhibition title can be read as either sincere or sarcastic, as these artists all have “love/hate” relationships with the art world. They desire to participate more fully and to be recognized but are simultaneously repulsed by some key aspects. There is a critical or iconoclastic character to much of the work, but also a great deal of reverence. Despite their criticism these artists clearly love art.
Many of the artists in the exhibition use forms of mimicry to challenge the hierarchy of art world. Some make work based on pieces by earlier artists, others emulate institutions such as museums, galleries, and art magazines. A few choose to comment more directly, addressing their criticism of artists, critics, and galleries by name. Others take a more documentary approach, charting the history of their forebears and/or contemporaries. However, these works are not impartial accounts – they are personal and critical responses to the art (and the art world) of the 20th and 21st centuries. Like Beuys and his coyote, the relationship between these artists and the art world is constantly shifting – sometimes friendly, other times adversarial, with the constant threat that someone might get bitten.
An illustrated publication that includes a curatorial essay will accompany the exhibition.