Joseph Bennett, Untitled (2007), still from video . Courtesy of Dumbo Arts Center.
Curated by Denise Carvalho
Holy Holes: Absolute Stalls is a multimedia exhibition exploring different viewpoints on the relationship between religion, power and economics.This show looks at religion from a humorous, poetic and critical perspective, subverting traditional expectations and inviting the viewer to interact, transform, or reflect on the relationship between religious rituals and consumerist everyday practices.
Among the more general ideas gathered in this show is how religious rituals and dogmas are used to sustain gender and ethnic differences, and to claim absolute power through propagandistic consumerist strategies. The other end of the spectrum is how believers react: whether individually or collectively, intimately or overtly, believing or disbelieving, most of us are caught in the web of religious imagining as receptacles of divine inspiration or intervention, or as messengers of absolute power. Another aspect of how believers react is in the flux of social change through language and culture assimilation, the re-contextualizing and reshaping of language structures which leads to competing and shifting positions of power. Some dogmatic languages remain untouched, while others result from the mixing of sub-cultural trends into the mainstream via the many cultural industries of a free market society.
In this show, absolute messages are equated with anarchic demonstrations, self-conscious humor and a bit of deep reflection, bringing the viewer to a contradictory duality of cathartic interaction and religious critique.
Artists: Brent Wahl, Dylan Mortimer, Grady Gerbracht, Hadassa Goldvicht, Jenny Marketou, Joseph Bennett, Adriana Varella, Angela Freiberger, Gearóid Dolan, Tobaron Waxman, Kimberly Simpson, Karin Giusti, Marcia X, Meirav Leshem, Kwabena Slaughter, and Neil Beloufa. Denise Carvalho is an art critic, curator and independent scholar based in New York City.