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Air Kissing: An Exhibition of Contemporary Art about the Art World


Momenta Art
359 Bedford Avenue, between S. 4th and S. 5th, 718-218-8058
November 16 - December 17, 2007
Reception: Friday, November 16, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

Please join us for the opening of Air Kissing: An Exhibition of Contemporary Art about the Art World, curated by Sasha Archibald.

Air Kissing explores the double-bind faced by artists – who are forced to navigate their desire to work (and succeed) in a world they hold in low regard.

Included are works by Alex Bag, Conrad Bakker, Brainstormers, Lizette Kabré with Elmgreen & Dragset, Andrea Fraser & Jeff Preiss, David Hammons, Jason Irwin, Lee Lozano, James Mills, Elena Nemkova, Carl Pope, William Powhida, William Bryan Purcell, Mira Schor, and Amanda Trager.

Using self-deprecation, humor, sharp criticism, and a deliberate mix of high culture with low, the artists in Air Kissing give voice to a number of legitimate grievances about the art world. Works in the exhibition by Andrea Fraser & Jeff Preiss, Elena Nemkova, and William Powhida take up artists’ relationships with collectors; Mira Schor’s paintings compulsively document the lack of studio time for making work; Alex Bag’s video parodies the plight of young art students; and Conrad Bakker and William Bryan Purcell speak to the stratification of institutional funding, particularly the fact that struggling non-profit galleries rely on donations from emerging artists no more flush than the gallery. Carl Pope and Amanda Trager’s works each address the phenomena of art world fame, while the Brainstormers’ graphs and charts make explicit continuing gender inequities in Chelsea gallery exhibitions. Commercial signage by James Mills bespeaks the frenzied art market, as does Jason Irwin’s minimalist cube turned racecar, as well as the behind-the-scenes work of art handlers. David Hammons takes a canonical monograph on Duchamp and rebinds it as the Bible, suggesting (among other things) the art world’s predilection for accepted dictums. And Lizette Kabré’s photographs of the opening celebrations of Elmgreen & Dragset’s Prada Marfa project – a Prada boutique in the Texas desert – poignantly capture the partygoers’ isolation. This insularity highlights the art world’s biggest problem, a handicap that leaves it not only embarrassingly homogeneous, but unaware of its own narrow confines.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcal-5931 to see them here.