Paul Zaloom, The Mother of All Enemies, 2005,
Karagoz shadow puppet show, 1hr 15 min.
Curated by Amei Wallach
Artists: William Anthony, Ida Applebroog, Hideaki Ariizumi, Tamy Ben-Tor, Paul Chan, Michael Combs, Thornton Dial, Matt Forderer, Regina Gilligan, David Hammons, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Peter Land, Melamid and William McLelland, Laura Nova, Walid Raad, David Rees, Skart, Nancy Spero, Art Spiegelman, Marie Watt, Olav Westphalen, Paul Zaloom
February 22 - April 8, 2006
Opening: Wed Feb 22, 6-8 pm
291 Church Street, NYC, 10013
t. 212 431 5270
Directions: A, C, E, N, R, Q, 6 to Canal and 1, 9 to Franklin.
From the Peloponnesian Wars to the Black Death and the war in Iraq, in dire times laughter has always been the best revenge. Laughter dislodges piety and short-circuits programmatic response, and some subjects are simply too big to approach in any other way.
Art Spiegelman coined the term 'neo-sincerity' in passing, and well he should. For more than half a century, most of the art made in sincere response to the Holocaust ranged from banal to inadequate until Spiegelman created his two Maus graphic novels and reinvented the Comix. Comics have from the first been boisterous, vulgar, icon-smashing and sadistic - what better language to confront the unspeakable? They are apt expressions of comedy as it has been practiced since before Aristophanes, though only one of the forms wielded by the artists in this exhibition. In the 1970s and 1980s in Eastern Bloc countries irony was the preferred weapon of writers, artists and film makers in search of an expression capable of delineating the gap between language and experience. In this age of anxiety and rage when people turn to The Daily Show for their news, irony itself has become the official language of power.
A new generation, particularly writers such as Jonathan Safran Foer, Jeffrey Eugenides, Michael Chabon, David Eggers and Zadie Smith, have found it necessary to invent new modes of comedy that skirt the pitfalls of sincerity and the insincerities of irony by drawing on the whole well-worn arsenal of pratfalls, satire, slapstick and shtick. Art Critic Amei Wallach surveys three generations of visual artists who amuse and appall.
Amei Wallach is an art critic based in NYC.
Paul Zaloom's The Mother of All Enemies
See website for tickets, schedule, location
Art Spiegelman, Alex Melamid,
& Amei Wallach
Wed March 1, 6:30 pm