Curated by Dean Daderko with Marina Adams
ARTISTS: A.K. Burns, Boris Torres, Chitra Ganesh, Donnie & Travis, Edie Fake and Dewayne Slightweight, David Humphrey, Jayson Keeling,Kathe Burkhart, Marilyn Minter, Marina Adams, Mickalene Thomas, Suzanne McClelland, The Third Leg with Leidy Churchman and Sam Lopes, Ulrike Müller,Vanessa Chimera, and Will Villalongo
In an age dominated by digital connectivity and networking, Dean Daderko and Marina Adams present an exhibition that addresses our most fundamental human connection activity: sex. “The City” of the title is New York, or Montreal, or San Antonio – anywhere you are, the locus of connection and community. And with its potential for sensual potency, it is no surprise that Sex in the City is also a celebration of painting and the myriad forms with which it tangles.
Dean Daderko writes: “Sex in the City was born when Marina Adams approached me and asked me to collaborate with her to make an exhibition. I remember her saying “I already have a title” and as soon as the words came out of her mouth, I was hooked. I couldn’t say no. Rather than narrowing our options, we chose to cast a broad net inflected with the specific, personal grain of sexuality. Loose framework. So many ways to say “yes.”
“Throw yourself into your work.” It’s a familiar phrase, often referring to a period of intense work and focus in an artists’ studio. I’m interested in the complexity it implies. We have an idea in our head, then attitudes become form. Ideas are brought to physical reality. As viewers, we can plunge into an artwork’s physicality, into dialogic spaces. An artwork is a place to land when we take the proverbial jump.
“[Poetry] forms the quality of light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. We can train ourselves to respect our feelings and to transpose them into a language so they can be shared. And where that language does not yet exist, it is our poetry which helps to fashion it.” This quotation from Audre Lorde recognizes the impulse to share those things that are most important to us with an audience, to offer our enthusiasm with the hope that it will be reflected back and multiplied. It’s a prismatic conviction – gather up those ideas, transform them and create an experience that can be shared with others. Reflect them back a hundred-fold, crystallized vision.
We make art, and in doing so, we offer our poetry – our selves – to the world. It’s a call-and-response, a dance, and a seduction. Seduction and pleasure are nowhere more evident than in sex, of course. To paraphrase Gregg Bordowitz, sexuality is how you touch the world, and how the world touches you. We recognize our desires and send out a heads-up. I’m like you. Are you like me?
Along comes Lacan who tells us that desire is always the desire of the other. Another has an other, implicitly. Our desires are not our own. We’re momentarily destabilized. The center is off to the side. Our desires are the result of what we see, what turns us on, molded by our environment and culture. Our environment and our culture mold them. How do you decide what’s sexy, what’s hot? Here’s that prism again: our desire a triangle – the desirer, the desired, and those that recognize this want, our community. Desire is collective. Sex surrounds us. We play with it, in it. Our jouissance. We send reflected rays out to the world and watch where they stick.
Sex in the City grabs at this feeling, laying its hands on objects of desire. It feels out contours of bodies and form, in skins made of paint and flesh and film. Let’s see where it goes.”
Marina Adams is an artist, who received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University and an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Ms. Adams has lived extensively in Europe. She had a one-person exhibition at Magazzino d’Arte Moderna in Rome, Italy and has an upcoming exhibition at Christine Konig Galerie in Vienna. She has most recently exhibited at Roebling Hall, Brooklyn, NY, as well as in numerous group shows in the US and Italy, including Exit Art, NYC; Art in General, NYC, A.A.M. Arte Architectura Moderna, Rome and Sala Uno, Rome, Italy. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and has lectured at Middlebury College, VT; Rhode Island School of Design, Cornell University Rome; Columbia College Chicago to name a few. Ms. Adams has collaborated with the poet Norma Cole on the recent publication “In Our Own Backyard” and has a collaborative book with the poet Leslie Scalapino titled “The Tango” (Granary Books, 2001). She is currently living and working in New York City.
Dean Daderko is a curator based in New York. Some of his recent projects include: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything at EFA Gallery in New York; “This Strangest of Theaters: A Townhall Meeting on Politics and Emotion,” co-organized with Gregg Bordowitz for Roebling Hall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; and “Can I get a witness?” at Longwood Arts Center in the Bronx. He is currently the Guest Curator ofPublic Programs for the 25th Anniversary of Art in General, where he has also presented exhibitions. Daderko has have also curated and presented programs at The Kitchen and Artists’ Space in New York, and the Center for Contemporary Art in Vilnius, Lithuania.