Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, The Artist's Song, 2007
Corrected: The Elk Gallery show opens Friday.
Who could have expected it? There are 2 openings I can't wait to go to tomorrow night, not on the LES or in Chelsea or Williamsburg, but in Soho! One is the inaugural show, titled The Cult of Personality: Portraits and mass culture, of artist Peter Scott's new gallery called Carriage Trade. As the gallery's about page tells us:
Through presenting primarily group exhibitions, carriage trade will function not as a means to promote the careers of individual artists, but to provide contexts for their work that reveal its relevance to larger social and political conditions prevalent today. A project of the artist / curator Peter Scott, whose exhibitions have attempted to highlight this relevance over the value of any given artists work within the hierarchy of the art market, these projects will intentionally combine well known with lesser known artists, and historical pieces (60s, 70s, 80s) with very recent work. Originally influenced by the approach of magazines like The Baffler and Harpers which combine fact based readings with editorial commentary, Scotts curatorial approach often integrates relevant found material as a means to broaden the scope of an art exhibition by positioning the evidence of everyday experience in direct relation to an artists mediation of social conditions.
Some themes to be addressed in upcoming shows include issues of propaganda in mass media, the effect of neo-liberal policies on the built environment and social relations, as well as the concept of mistaken identity and likeness within the realm portraiture. The location of Soho, a neighborhood that could be seen as a now historical model for the intense gentrification taking place in cities everywhere, provides an appropriate setting for addressing the cyclic nature of urban transformation, (Soho enjoyed a previous incarnation as a high-end shopping district in the mid -1800s during Americas Gilded Age) due to seismic shifts in economic relations.
Peter Scott made one of my favorite things I've ever seen at the Brooklyn Museum -- the "Suspect" piece at the 2004 exhibition "Open House." Read this review by Stephen Maine on artnet.com for a description.
The second is an opening with a performance by Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen whose work James and I saw in Miami at the NADA art fair. It's at the Renwick Gallery.
Correction: Opening Friday
The third is the exhibition "Dropped Frames," described as a "A Collaborative Experiment in Film," at Elk Gallery. We're interested in anything that includes Andres Laracuente and Elizabeth Huey. Admittedly, this one is kind of between the LES and Soho.
[image above is from the invitation JPEG I received from Renwick Gallery.]