Participating Artists: Jennifer Cohen, Stuart Croft, Angela Dufresne, Maureen Duncan, Ilana Halperin, Sarah Hirzel, Matt Keegan, Keith Mayerson, Carolee Schneemann, Noah Sheldon
Curated by Jason Murison.
In a two-part framework of diary and fiction, How I Finally Accepted Fate examines objects and images which function through memoir.
The first half of the exhibition presents artists who use aspects of diary as the conceptual foundation of their work. Many of these artworks start with an extremely personal experience or relationship and distance themselves through a project-oriented approach. For example, Matt Keegan’s abstracted photographic installations always start from a personal perspective, often using his boyfriend or his father as his subject. Jennifer Cohen also utilizes her own history, as a professional ballerina, to inform her sculptures that explore the quasi-cultural history of the ballet. In both cases, the use of memoir becomes a necessary springboard for larger conceptual structures; while other works in the exhibition memoir remains intact. Maureen Duncan has recorded a 3 1/2-hour monologue in which she confesses why she cannot part with her CD collection (she has changed to MP3s). In the piece she recounts her emotional dependence album by album. Carolee Schneemann’s ABC in the Cards, We Print Anything documents a transformation of lovers through a series of photographs and color coded cards. Each card recounts such things as advice from others, dialogs between the three parties involved, and notation of her dreams at the time.
The exhibition continues with works that act as doppelganger-like fictions to the artists’ life. In Point X, Stuart Croft, a young video artist from London, creates a television narrative much like America’s Most Wanted telling the tale of a father/son relationship with speculation of murder. Keith Mayerson readdresses the vacant Warholian celebrity icon by painting them in an expressionistic style much like a method actor approaching their character. Angela Dufresne also paints fictional characters and landscapes of cinematic moments, often mixing in her real life relations to create idealized landscapes for both her friends and idols to simultaneously exist in. Ilana Halperin’s installation of drawings is the fodder for her powerful lecture performances that combine the aspect of diary as travel log. In it she tells a tale of grief set within the shifting and often violent landscape that surrounds her.
How I Finally Accepted Fate celebrates artworks whose fictional scenarios and personal memoirs do not quite transcend the political, but rather, hover as artifacts of change.