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Post Retro

Brooklyn Fire Proof (Richardson)
101 Richardson Street, between Leonard St. and Meeker Ave., 718-302-4702
September 14 - October 28, 2007
Reception: Friday, September 14, 7 - 10 PM
Web Site

“Post Retro” is a group show that examines the historical tendency to reprocess stylistic perspectives.

From the vantage point of the present anticipating a possible future, the works can be addressed from within particular stylistic traditions, which are retrospective in their progression. The show raises questions pertaining to this retrospective phenomenon, and asks what forces might influence a style’s resurgence beyond that of the academic or the critical. It also questions the inherent value of this reprocessing and attempts to account for its frequent historical redundancies.

Post-Retro poses the idea of a stylistic timeline, as a question rather than a rule, i.e., “the 80’s were punk and the 90’s were goth and grunge . . . .So why punk again now?” Within the show’s context another question is raised, i.e., “Is the highly stylish doomed to be dated?” and once dated, . . . “doomed then to reassessment later?” . . .And what timeframe is required for that reassessment to be fashionable? Could there be a new context that falls between the fractures of the fashionable, the current and retrospect? . . .[A post retrospect]? By examining forms of progression within different stylistic timeframes these “timereleased objects” expose and exploit both current and obsolete contexts without the consensual props of the happening or the now. Consequently the works in this show can be considered retrospective—prematurely without the completion of their stylistic life cycles.

Traditionally, it has been the prerogative of the avant-garde to remove the art object from consumer culture through an embrace of “timeless ideals”. Post-Retro is in a sense “twice removed” from consumer culture: once by history and twice by retrospect—its only authenticity exists in terms of its referential properties. It is not a critique but instead a frame of reference exclusive to its own obsolesence. Nor is its retrospective nostalgic. The artists in the show deal in the schmaltzy products of late capitalism with a structuralist logic handed down from modernism, setting up roadblocks to the emotional content of the images they use. The works’ sentimental involvement in the saccharine products of the entertainment industry, while genuine, is mitigated by an awareness of the mechanisms that power that industry. By highlighting this awareness, Post-Retro represents an unidealized view of artists’ participation in consumer culture.

This show includes work by Ricci Albenda, Lauren Beck, Matt Borruso, Fritz Chesnut, Dana Frankfort, Megha Gupta, Anya Keilar, Mark Kostabi, Sean Landers, Justin Lieberman, Jacques Vidal, Monica Moran, Carter Mull, Nina Servizzi, Peter Saul, and Garth Weiser.
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