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Marguerite Kahrl, Homeland Insecurity

Esso Gallery
531 West 26th Street, 212-560-9728
March 28 - May 3, 2008
Reception: Friday, March 28, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Jennifer Bacon and Filippo Fossati are pleased to announce the opening of Esso Gallery’s first solo show by Marguerite Kahrl, entitled Homeland Insecurity, in the project room.

Homeland Insecurity is an installation work consisting of three artificial industrial hemp plants with an accompanying soundtrack which refers to the contested political history of industrial hemp in the U.S. Running through an electronic filter it transforms the hemp research into a covert, subliminal message—a form of manipulation, concealed from the conscious mind, often used as a tool in advertising and political campaigns.

In 1937, under pressure from the Hearst Paper Division and Dupont, Congress passed a prohibitive tax on the cultivation of one of the nation’s premier renewable resources. Fearing competition to their timber and petrol-synthetic products, the companies sought to cast industrial hemp as identical to marijuana. In contrast to the smear campaign of that era, “Homeland Insecurity” incorporates factual data to counter the soiled reputation of a crop with as yet underdeveloped environmental and economic benefits. The aim of the show is to blend fact and fiction and ultimately inspire the viewer to question our present reality.

Marguerite Kahrl was Born 1966 in Beverly MA and lives and works in New England and Ivrea, Italy. She holds an M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design. A 2007 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Grant, her work has been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries including Weather Report: Art and Climate Change, curated by Lucy Lippard at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO; Workspace Program 2001-2-07, Dieu Donné, NY; Wave Hill, Bronx, NY; Palazzo Rizzo Patarol, Venice, Italy and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy. She will have a solo exhibition in Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, AZ, in 2008.
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