Coinciding with Armory Week, Hilger gallery and BROTKunsthalle are pleased to present SEX, DUIs and VIDEOTAPE, curated by contemporary art curator, Claire Breukel. The exhibition, an examination of the changing definition of beauty and shame in today’s pixel-saturated society, will take place at Site/109, a new pop-up exhibition space located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
SEX, DUIs and VIDEOTAPE will feature works by: Daniele Buetti, Clifton Childree, Brian McKee, Martin Murphy, Emilio Chapela Perez, Cameron Platter, Miha Štrukelj, Sara Rahbar and Simon Vega.
The title is a nod to Director Steven Soderberg’s cult classic, Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989), which depicts a central male character filming women sharing their most intimate thoughts about their sexuality. Throughout the movie, unexpected power plays unfold and the camera becomes a tool for withholding information, strategically revealing its story to the viewer by selectively sharing its footage.
Over the past few decades, the medium of video has been responsible for the proliferation of information, shifting the power from an elite few to the masses. The accessibility of video has greatly expanded, and with it, the nature of the footage being produced. No longer reserved for the creation of movies, short films and documentaries. It has become a compulsory component of every digital camera, transforming its normative function of simply capturing snapshots of happy moments in everyday life to that of a constant watchful eye or voyeur. SEX, DUIs and VIDEOTAPE investigates the contemporary fixation with filming and distributing “real life” experiences and how that exacerbates the level of exposure in today’s society.
From the silent films of Charlie Chaplin to the more recent antics on the game show Wipe Out, self-inflicted humiliation has been a constant tool in the comedic bag of tricks; a humor device used to put audiences at ease and to enroll them in absurd activities on screen. This spectacle of humiliation is aggravated by actions of celebrities who earn more air time as “bad behavior” icons
-via videos featuring them having sex, in drunken debauchery and Driving Under the Influence- than for their body of work, stirring in the onlooker a morbid curiosity and, for some, mild admiration. In this time, as we are inundated with an abundance of pixels, data and information streams, we are forced to redefine for ourselves as to what constitutes authentic moments of contemporary beauty, expected behavior and the concept of fame. Thanks to You Tube, reality TV shows and other technology, Andy Warhol’s oft-quoted saying about fame has become a widespread truth. Is everyone’s “15 minutes” the new reality?
The exhibition opens on Monday, March 5 with a reception from 6-8pm. In addition, a series of special events are planned throughout the week. For more information about SEX, DUIs and VIDEOTAPE or the ANASTASIA KHOROSHILOVA – CITIES OF THE SUN cabinet show, please visit: www.site109.com/exhibitions.