Exit Art wants to tell you war stories through the vision of nine international artists. Love/War/Sex considers memory, history, ornaments, weapons and personal stories. This exhibition connects longing with violence and love with war, imagining the business of war in all its sexual manifestations. As a cultural space, we want to respond to current global conflicts by presenting this exhibition Love/War/Sex, a comment on our culture’s fascination with, and addiction to, war.
Love/War/Sex considers the conflation of those basic human instincts—a toxic combination manifested in images and stories coming out of Iraq. The works relate disparate issues such as weapon infatuation, war nostalgia, and the sexualization of violence to form an overall image of war as a perversely necessary part of our culture.
The exhibition incorporates video, sculpture, wallpaper, and a selection of weapons and military vehicles – the very tools that perpetuate societal shifts and make war possible —on loan from the Military Museum of Southern New England. The walls of the gallery will be papered with personal stories, imagining war conjured from texts.
Jakob Boeskov’s apocalyptic video War Wizard depicts lustful soldiers and their “wizard” enemy as they invade a little boy’s dreams. The “wizard”, who embodies at once Jesus, Osama bin Laden and an Iraqi prisoner, is tortured with sex and violence by dancing soldiers. Margot Herster presents an insider view of Guantanamo politics with This is an introduction tape, a video of the families of detainees telling their relatives to trust the lawyers representing them. Referencing sports and porn as stimulants, Tessa Hughes-Freeland’s ‘educational’ video Watch Out! explains how explicit films can warp the minds of young men.
Fawad Khan fuses car culture with war imagery to create a sexy but violent wall painting that evokes the chaos of a suicide bombing. Ellen Lake’s short film Betty + Johnny combines digital video and home movies shot in the 1930s and 40s to tell the story of a love lost during World War II. Rebecca Loyche’s three-channel video installation, All’s Fair in Love and War, is a disturbing portrait of a weapons specialist who teaches military personnel how to kill. The unnamed subject of the short videos describes in detail the tools and methods employed to kill during combat. Guerra de la Paz presents Crawl, a cloth sculpture of a dying soldier, and The Kiss, an intimate photograph of toy army men in an embrace. Francesco Simeti’s Watching the War combines explosion clouds and images of the war in Afghanistan to create deceptively ornate wallpaper. Juxtaposing images of war and the Iraqi landscape with keg parties and families in America, Nick Waplington’s photographs offer a telling glimpse into life at the war front and back at home.