Curated by Blair Taylor and Ellen Langan

Javier Peres is pleased to present SACK OF BONES, a group exhibition featuring: Jack Goldstein, Dan Colen, Tara Delong, Dash Snow, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Neil Jenney, Mark Flood, Bill Hayden, George Herms, H.C. Westermann, Bruce LaBruce, Daniel McDonald, Andrew Rogers, Arsen Roje, Agathe Snow, William C. Taylor, Donald Urquhart, Oscar Tuazon, Eli Hansen, Kaari Upson, Sebastian Mlynarski and Banks Violette.

Toted around, thrown in the corner, recovered as relic or disposed of as useless, a sack of bones is unavoidably deformed. It is an apparently dead object subject to the intentions of its creator, or its purveyor, or its consumer, or maybe just its times.

The group exhibition “Sack of Bones” comes from a viewing of Paul Rachman’s 2006 film, American Hardcore, in which Mark Flood appears as an interviewee on the topic of 1980’s punk rock. The tone of the film is reverent, to be sure, but more than an ode, the voices in the film present conflicting parts pride, humor, fraternity, anger, bitterness, nostalgia, and what are often doleful mechanisms for dealing with the here-and-now. That Flood was both part of Hardcore as it existed musically (in 1980 his band, Culturcide, put out their first 7-inch: “Another Miracle/Consider Museums as Concentration Camps”) and has been practicing visual art for over 30 years poses an interesting question: how, if at all, can art be hardcore? By embodying adolescent punk obsession? By miraculous use of irony? By a simple withdrawal from popular territory?

Consider, for example, the tangled ‘attitude problem’ precipitated by Reagan-era punk; there is the myth of a pure strain of FUCK YOU, there is the myth of the majority’s snide perception of its counter-movements, and then, somewhere in the overlap, there is the problematic dilution of any rebellion’s once-potent beginnings (causing cycles of backlash and resurgence pretty much ever after). In the art world this tangle is further convoluted by the relishing of trade and an inherent affluence, elitism and circuitous pandering that can compromise anyone’s well-intentioned we/they stirrings.

The exhibition as a whole may appear deadpan, satirical or pathetic ˆ in any case each of the constituent works turns its back on complacency, and, in doing so, becomes material evidence of resistance (kicking from within the sack). In other words, with all that is stacked against the mutinous artist and the mutinous viewer, hope could lie in objecthood itself.

Peres Projects

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