And/Or Gallery Press Release #18

And/Or Show #18:
Sold On Soylent (Sculpture's Back In Town*)

Guest-Curated by Ludwig Schwarz
Dates: September 13 - October 18th
Opening: September 13th, 6pm - 9pm

Sold On Soylent (Sculpture's Back In Town*)

Though Sold on Soylent (SOS) may be seen as a distress code (a nod and wink to the 1973 science fiction film Soylent Green), in no way does the premise of this exhibition suggest the possibility of a future society gone so wrong that its only answer to maintaining the checks and balances of overpopulation and environmental destruction is to covertly supply its people with food in the form of their recycled brothers. Not to say it's a bad idea really, just highly improbable.

Sold on Soylent is in direct reference to the euthanasia chamber in Soylent Green where Sol suicides, a premature death exchanged for the promise of sights and sounds illustrating the beauty of nature as it once was. The imagery Sol views has the feel of "stock" nature films at their (1970's) finest and certainly more than satisfy his desire for beauty in the form of nostalgia (the film's setting is 2022 NYC). Though sympathetic to Sol's desires, the position here is to consider combinations of the present in the form of images, actions, and sculpture as nature now, "stock" imagery for the future perhaps, beauty notwithstanding.

180 Degree Turn

I first saw Ann Craven's work in 2005 at her solo exhibition in Dallas and immediately became a fan. The paintings were psychically loaded, anchored by representation yet triggered by the play between technical wizardry and conceptual promise. Appearing user friendly (who doesn't like beautifully painted birds, deer, etc.) they looked as though they were made in that vacuum where one focuses so hard on tricking or coercing their viewer they in turn trick themselves. In short, they were seemingly about nothing and everything simultaneously. Shortly thereafter I learned of her shared interest in the film Soylent Green.

I've wanted to turn view one of Ann's bird paintings upside down for some time now and wholeheartedly thank Ann for indulging me. As a curatorial gesture it is a simple tweak, a combination of the "stock" image of prankster installation with a daydreamer's view, that being the narrative of a future where humans float upside down, toward the heavens, looking at pictures. Not to say it's a good idea really, just highly improbable.

This 180 degree turn of one small painting signals a winding of the clock for an installation by a group of artists that embrace nostalgia as an adult embraces an old toy... it's a common story yet personal, theirs to tell. As The Histrionics update some rock and roll classics, their attention to detail is full of affection, making no claims whatsoever that their versions have more value than their predecessors. They're double homages to the pop world and the art world. The artists involved in The Estate of Uma Klick update the past in reverse as they go back to a place that is not truly theirs yet can make it so by way of contributing its history to the present. Though wise to the critical approach of appropriation, this model is left behind. Sure, these artists want to trick you, coerce you, but they're far more interested in tricking themselves. I imagine some of them want to have a good time doing it too.

Oh yeah... sculpture's back.

Ann Craven is a painter living in New York City. This exhibition marks the first viewing of one of her bird paintings upside down.

Danius Kesminas and the Histrionics are a Melbourne, Australia based rock and roll band. With childish fervor, they cover popular songs from the 1970's-90's, rewriting the lyrics to satisfy the consumers of western art propaganda... and do a damn good job of it too.

The Estate of Uma Klick is a fictitious body of work produced by individuals invited to join and contribute to the deceased artist's surprisingly growing estate.

Sculpture's Back In Town, a revision of The Boys Are Back In Town: Thin Lizzy, 1976, from The Histrionics album Museum Fatigue, 2004.

Ludwig Schwarz - 2008 (preferred contact info for publication)

Hours: W 5pm-8pm, Th-Sa 12pm-6pm, and by appointment

And/Or Gallery
4221 Bryan St. Suite B
Dallas, TX 75204

For more info, contact Paul Slocum (gallery director) at 214.676.5347

click images for hi-resolution version

St Louis Cardinal, May, 2008
Ann Craven