RELEASE continues my theatrical investigations and critiques of American imperialism, neoliberalism and greed with an installation of paintings, sculptures, apparel, and an original music album.
The exhibition presents my iconic black and gold works on paper that are derived from meditations on text and images sourced from song lyrics, film scripts, Bible verse, advertisements, art history, and personal experiences. The painting, "Marquee #59" reproduces Phillip Johnson's Glass House - minimal to the bone - with a large message across it, saying "Glamourize Your Messes", while in "Marquee #90", "Helplessness" is scrawled on what appears to be a contorted Picasso figure. Dating from 2011-2016, these works amass as an uncanny architecture of signifiers and symbols that call names and recite phrases to create a lexicon of desire and destruction. Despite this distopian view, the playful nature of the paintings transcends their cultural anchors to encourage multiple readings of the text and thus inspire personal reflection and narrative.
The collaborative music album further engages the viewer and the stronghold of meta-narratives of the past, by way of sound and movement. The album, RELEASE, begins its journey with an inquiry into a series of spells that were embedded within the sound waves of a number of popular songs in 1982. These spells were engineered to enter the minds of listeners via their eardrums and dismantle the white supremacist, capitalist, imperialist, and patriarchal pathologies that characterize American domination. RELEASE harnesses club music in order to conjure, engineer, and cast new spells and prompt movement, participation, and subsequently change. RELEASE will be available through wireless headsets, creating an experiential viewing of the paintings and sculptural elements.
The album is distributed digitally and on cassette with Practical Records.
A limited edition vinyl record is produced with Rogaland Kunstsenter.
Musical collaborators include Max Boss, Bendik Giske, Anders Rhedin, Julia Giertz, Kelman Duran, Ingmar Carlson, Lex Brown and Kembra Pfahler.
As with Shimmy Shake Earthquake, RELEASE considers the body and our senses as an agent for participation and change. While the paintings in the exhibition transfix the viewer by way of image and text, the album utilizes music and myth to entrance and disarm the architects of our current social and political constructs.
Spells of the 80's by Jess Arndt