"Hopeful," an exhibition by David Levine.
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn, NY (map and directions here).
Opening reception: Saturday, October 3, 6–8 pm (featuring a performance by Christian Hawkey)
Exhibition dates: October 3–24, 2009
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 12–6 pm
Cabinet is pleased to present "Hopeful," a solo exhibition by Berlin- and New York-based artist David Levine. "Hopeful" explores headshots—photographs of actors looking for work rather than publicity portraits of stars—both as genre and as material artifact. First appearing in the 1950s, these peculiar images routinely disregard conventions of portraiture: the intended viewer, who is in a position to hire the actor, is offered no environment, professional emblems, or trace of social context.
Today, New York City agents alone receive an estimated ten thousand headshots weekly, ninety-nine percent of which are routinely thrown out. What is the ecological impact of this rejected material? And how much waste—not only trashed photographs but also image CDs, demo tapes, slides, and manuscripts—does the culture industry need to generate in order to maintain its meritocratic reputation?
For the opening of "Hopeful," poet Christian Hawkey will stage a collaborative, polyvocal performance of his poem "i am writing to inform you of what i am currently doing," which draws its inspiration from Levine's installation.
A version of "Hopeful" was exhibited at Galerie Feinkost in Berlin in the summer of 2009. [Artforum Pick; Art in America Review]
About the Artist
David Levine's work encompasses performance, theater, installation, and video. His projects, which examine the premises of acting and spectacle, have been seen at Documenta XII (with Cabinet), Gavin Brown's Enterprise@Passerby, Galerie Feinkost (Berlin), Galerie Magnus Mueller (Berlin), the Goethe Institut (Berlin and New York), HAU2 (Berlin), PS122, and the Sundance Theater Lab, as well as more traditional venues such as the Vineyard, Atlantic, and Primary Stages theaters. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Artforum, Bomb, Art in America, TDR, The Village Voice, The Believer, Theater Der Zeit, and Theater Heute, and he has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Kulturstiftung Des Bundes, and Etants Donnes/French Fund for Performance. Represented by Galerie Feinkost, Levine lives in New York and Berlin, where he is the Director of the Studio Programme at the European College of Liberal Arts. He will be giving a presentation on "Hopeful" at Prelude 09 (preludenyc.org) on October 2. [see below]
Featuring exhibitions of both contemporary art and historical materials, as well as an eclectic schedule of talks, screenings, and events, Cabinet's space was inaugurated in the fall of 2008 to extend the award-winning magazine's engagement with art and culture into the public realm. Located at 300 Nevins Street (between Sackett and Union) in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, Cabinet's space is open Tuesday to Saturday 12–6 pm and by appointment, and is fully wheelchair-accessible.
Also, @ Prelude09:
David LevineFriday, October 2
MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER
The CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY10016
Levine's presentation will focus on unsolicited actors’ headshots and cover letters. Specific topics to be covered: the history of the headshot, the economy of the headshot, the demonic & vengeful nature of those hopeful stares, the tragic and transcendent ontology of the unsolicited submission.