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Devastation and Depreciation

Gavin Brown's Enterprise at Passerby
436 West 15th Street, 212-206-7321
March 7 - March 22, 2008
Reception: Friday, March 7, 6 - 9 PM

4.5 billion years ago Earth assumed its seat in the cosmos. The sands of time have since trickled through, grinding every effort at preservation and posterity back into its original state: star dust.

4.5 billon years later, humanity is doing its best at immortality. But all our attempts are destined for the same cosmic future. What was roasted with the library of Alexandria? How many illustrated bibles were burned by the Vikings in Northumbria? Not to mention the Visigoths in Rome, or the looters of the National Museum of Iraq. Today we’ve got our very own contribution ready for the grinder: we’ve got our art collections, art museums, art galleries, art market, artists, art advisers, art critics, etc etc; all ascribing hard value to what might become a future artifact; an artifact that will come to represent the best of our here-and-now in some unknown there-to-come.

We’re all only people in the end. People living in that same awesome callous Universe today that was lived in yesterday, and will somehow continue to be lived in tomorrow. The value we imagine onto what we leave behind is an indignant scream against Time and Chaos: For these are the real deciders, the real arbiters. Nothing lasts, nothing matters. The Pyramids will crumble in vast chorus with the Louvre and the Hermitage.

Ground Zeros will come and go and the oceans will boil dry. Until then, let’s embrace and celebrate our place within these spinning gyres. Do not protect. Do not preserve. Pay tribute to erosion and accident: the best appraisers. We’re fucked, and we all secretly love it. And may our art be fucked too. The glib future is coming, so let’s have a preview and see if it is not beautiful. We bring you some fetishes that have started their long journey back to dust.

Artists: Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Prince, Piotr Uklanski, Charles Henri Ford, Elizabeth Peyton, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tony Smith, Andy Warhol, Sarah Lucas

Curated by Darren Bader, Gavin Brown, & Tony Just
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