CIVILIZATION and its DISCONTENTS


 

CIVILIZATION and its DISCONTENTS
Curated By: Cat Weaver

July 23 - August 28, 2011
Opening Reception: July 23rd, 4:30 - 8pm
Curator Talk: July 23rd @ 4:30pm

New York Art Residency & Studios Foundation is pleased to present Civilization and its Discontents, a group exhibition curated by the winner of the first NARS Emerging Curator Program: Cat Weaver. The exhibition includes work by Nancy Drew, Stephanie Homa, Olek, Kikuko Tanaka and VanillaRoyal.

Civilization protects us, unifies our efforts, and broadens our perspectives. It provides protection as well as the comforts afforded by a shared history and the developments of science. And yet, as Freud pointed out in his seminal work, the price we pay to be a part of civilization is often more than our spirits can bear without resistance or resentment.
With Dada, Pop art, appropriation, and Minimalism artists found ways to stand in the margins of society, and to make images that defied its restrictions while leveraging its iconography. Stepping out of the space cleared by these past genres, new artists are looking into even more extreme methods of breaking free, not only borrowing from the trappings of our civilized world, its symbols, memes and ceremonies, and advertisements, but also treating meaning itself as material for color, texture, and mood.
These artists create a new aesthetic that works because it defies context in favor of pure form and free association.
The artists in this show will present works that are simultaneously loaded with insinuation and free of meaning. Breaking away from the constrictions that are entailed by "making sense," this new art can make bold with the aesthetic joys that came to civilization at a great price. They come off, therefore, as audacious and rude, like children taunting the librarian.

Because they harken to familiarity without the price of full understanding, and they wink at cultural constructs that "look" like those that are usually loaded with meaning, they can play with "originality" and create "inspiration" seemingly by sheer hap. 

Color can be arbitrary, or evocative without ties to any coherent plot or meaning. Rhythms and symbols, borrowed at random can be collaged together to produce a mood or a feeling of meaning that is all the more ecstatic for breaking free of the rules. 

If you've ever worn a T-shirt from a place you've never been, or felt elated by a song the language of which you did not understand, or dared to display a button for its color without paying mind to what it says, then you get it.

- Cat Weaver

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The New York Art Residency and Studios (NARS) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization committed to supporting artists and curators on an international level as well as engaging the local community in Brooklyn and the Greater New York area. NARS provides an array of creative support services and professional development opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists through short-term integrated residency programs, affordable long-term studio spaces, progressive exhibition programs, and engaging public programs. These services operate in conjunction with our education and community outreach initiatives. Our mission is to present diverse platforms on which to nurture creative inspiration and innovative cross-pollination of ideas.


For further information, please contact us at www.narsfoundation.org / info@narsfoundation.org / 718-768-2765.