It was a pleasure to burn

It Was a Pleasure to Burn featuring Jo Karlins
by The Sun That Never Sets (Vanessa Albury) and Jo Karlins curators
(Jamie Diamond, Elisabeth Smolarz + Lauren Silberman)

Spring/Break Art Show 2017
4 Time Square, NYC
23rd Floor, Rooms 2303 + 2304,
Opening: February 28th from 5pm – 9pm
Hours: March 1 – 6 from noon – 6pm, with VIP Hour daily 11am – noon

Graciela Cassel, Peter Clough, Bradley Eros, Claudia Joskowicz, Jo Karlins, Jennifer + Kevin McCoy, Jeremy Olson, Rachel Rampleman, Kristin Tårnes, John Torreano, Jamie Diamond, Elisabeth Smolarz, Lauren Silberman and Vanessa Albury

Lauren Silberman

The Sun That Never Sets (TSTNS) teams up with Jo Karlins’ curators to present It Was a Pleasure to Burn featuring Jo Karlins. TSTNS (Vanessa Albury) collaborates with Jamie Diamond, Lauren Silberman and Elizabeth Smolarz and to exhibit artworks spoofing reality and twisting it into real or envisioned narratives.

Borrowing the first line of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, It Was a Pleasure to Burn, is inspired by imagination and re-invention, shared themes with the science fiction genre. We love stories about people imagining the world and it’s possibilities, the real, the re-invented and the tailspins refracting from these artistic visions. In the future will books be banned, will shells in our ears guide us, will woodland creatures rule the planet, will authorship become archaic? Both the unknown of the future and ‘the other’ are great fodder for artistic practices. We present two adjacent rooms at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2017 examining some of these questions, a group show and a solo project by Jo Karlins.

In room 2303, Jeremy Olson presents his new video imagining the post-apocalyptic future. Graciela Cassel’s magical reality brings clouds to interior spaces. Kevin and Jennifer McCoy’s photo series from Abu Dhabi presents the imagined luxury interiors that a western travel would want in the mid-East. Bradley Eros blurs the lines between cinema and dream states. Other works by John Torreano, Rachel Rampleman, Peter Clough, Claudia Joskowicz, Jamie Diamond, Lauren Silberman, Kristin Tårnes, Elisabeth Smolarz and Vanessa Albury engage the black mirror phenomenon by reflecting upon reality via the distortions and constructions of the world around us.

In room 2304, we present a special solo project entitled, Killing it, by the international superstar artist Jo Karlins. Truth is in a state of crisis and objective reality infected by a plague. Alternative facts and fake news have led us screeching into the post truth age. Working within the framework of the art fair model and the art market, Artist Jo Karlins expands on the growing diaspora of falsehoods by using subversion and deceit to critique and glorify the tropes, trends and inherent commodification of the art world/market. In an attempt to resist and critique, Jo Karlin’s artistic practice works within this fictional discourse and follows the rich history and tradition of visual artists assuming and mining fictional identities and pseudonyms; from Marcel Duchamp’s female alter ego, Rrose Sélavy, to the many personas of Eleanor Antin to the fictional collective Atlas Group by Walid Raad. This project is, ultimately, a critique and parody of art market trends, the hyper-aesthetization of work and art made for the art market’s sake. Using cheap and readily available materials, Karlins critiques populist art-market ideals; a snow globe, gold toy guns, and a hot pink Elvis. The works critique the thing they glorify, and glorify the thing they critique. Karlins persona assumes a fictional history and artificial reality of the art market darling and the art market audience, empowering the artists to make work as a single unfettered identity, both in and out of step with their traditional artistic practice. In a time of unrest and resistance, Karlins collaborative resistance offers strength though unity and breathes air into the anoxic landscape rained on by the current socio-political climate.

Artists Jamie Diamond, Lauren Silberman and Elisabeth Smolarz have been collaborating on curating exhibitions for the past two years and join The Sun That Never Sets with artist Vanessa Albury for their first join curatorial project.

TSTNS has the pleasure of participating in the previous three SPRING/BREAK Art Shows and have created 9 shows since creating the nomadic video incubator project during a studio visit in 2014. Last year Diamond, Silberman and Smolarz curated “Doppelnamer” at the SPRING/BREAK. In 2014 Diamond and Smolarz curated a group show entitled “Cake Dolls, Gift Bags and Other Things” at Radiator Gallery in Long Island City. Silberman’s curatorial career began while an undergraduate at Barnard College curating shows at Columbia’s student gallery.

These artist-curators approach exhibitions from a heavily conceptual standpoint while melding their individual practices and tastes. With backgrounds in photography, video, sculpture, art history, and critical theory they are concerned with engaging in a dialogue with contemporary concerns and issues in art and culture. The Sun That Never Sets is a nomadic, incubator pop-up supporting primarily video and performance artists from Albury and Rampleman’s community as they rise to notoriety, collectively.


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