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Trance, Chance, Dreams & The Unconscious

60 North 6th Street, 718-599-4884
June 26 - August 2, 2009
Reception: Friday, June 26, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

SOUTHFIRST is proud to present TRANCE, CHANCE, DREAMS & THE UNCONSCIOUS, a group show of work by Jonah Bokaer, Jesse Bransford, Peter Clough, Ariel Dill, Jacob Dyrenforth, Jack Early, Michelle Grabner & Brad Killam, Rashawn Griffin, Fabienne Lasserre, Elwyn Palmerton, Jeffrey Perkins, Jeremy Sigler, Joao Simoes, Michael Taussig & Juan Bosco Diaz, and Leslie Thornton on view from June 26 – August 2, 2009.

Perhaps the most influential strategies for avoiding mimesis, and certainly the most fascinating. Trance, Chance, Dreams and the Unconscious is about what happens when visual artists, a choreographer, a curator, a poet and an anthropologist work in pursuit of representing the invisible, turn from ocular vision and linear narrative, and begin to surprise with their results. The exhibition includes work which is at once erotic, scatological, strangely colored, comical, ironic and romantic. Although chance was the initial impulse for the show, trance and obsessive repetition, and work based in sound and hallucinogenic experience, seem to have taken over the stage.

With Ariel Dill’s paintings inspired by Johannes Itten’s color theory, Elwyn Palmerton’s obsessive, sometimes drug-driven daily drawing practice, Jonah Bokaer’s chance-based choreography, Jesse Bransford’s acrylic, watercolor and graphite pieces combining dripping and delicate drawings of esoteric symbols, Peter Clough’s video tracking his body’s movements through a dark room in almost-graphite-rendered shades of grey, Jacob Dyrenforth’s embroidered re-presentations of 1970s American cult figures as a recouped and phantasmagoric family, Michelle Grabner & Brad Killam’s suspended silverpoint tondo mobile, Leslie Thornton’s looped prismatic and hallucinogenic three-minute video, Bob Bob, Rashawn Griffin’s crafty and sculptural wall drawing, interviews Jeffrey Perkins conducted while driving a taxi cab between 1994-2001, Jack Early’s songs and free associative oral history of his childhood in North Carolina and early years in the New York art world, and Fabienne Lasserre’s tantalizingly tactile and erotic sculpture.

Anthropologist Michael Taussig has lent the exhibition original drawings and photographs from his historical field work in Colombia, Shamanism, Colonialism and the Wild Man, including drawings by Juan Bosco Díaz; this book was a common point of interest for many artists in the exhibition. In a piece which is at once in the gallery and on-line, architect and curator Joao Simoes uses open-source text code to open up a “ghost” space on his homepage for a curatorial practice making text-based works available “to nerds that surf the codes of websites;” he presents work by Vito Acconci, Fia Backström, Amir Mogharabi, Dan Graham and Gertrude Stein, among others. Jeremy Sigler will read his trance poetry Wednesday, July 8 at 7:30 PM.
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