If I could convince a gallery to let me curate a show and persuade some top notch artists to participate in it? This would be my show:
tchk, You Play Too Much
This exercise began as a reflection on my disappointment with the tired rhetoric of identity politics from the 60s/70s. I felt like nowadays it just sounded like an ineffective broken record. Yet, there was something happening within the idea of “postBlack”. Reading up on Freestyle and Frequency at the Studio Museum at Harlem, I discovered the term postblack and the work of Hank Willis Thomas. Shortly thereafter, Lauren Kelley started receiving accolades. And a show was born. Without a title, without a space, and without having seen the work in person, I wanted these two artists facing off.
…And that was it.
Or at least it was, until I stumbled upon Guerra de la Paz through Ruby Mag #19 last month. Their fabric work is beautifully colorful, but their earlier photographs stunned me. And they moved my understanding of Thomas and Kelley from demonizing toymakers for their role in propogating stereotypes and gender roles to using role play as a form of exploration/explanation. Guerra de la Paz also fit in between the male action figures/female dolls spectrum set up by Thomas and Kelley. Their lifesize figural sculpture recalled Daniel J Martinez’ animatronic clones. The specificity of Martinez’ clones counters the faceless Guerra de la Paz figures.
And if there is enough space, I would like to include some sculptural work. I thought of Daniel J. Martinez’s “To Make A Blind Man…” but his more recent piece in the Cairo Biennial works a little better if presented in its originally intended state. Guerra de la Paz’s more recent work is sculptural, so I would include the piece “Crawl” to contrast “The Fully Enlightened…”.
So there you have my group show. It’s just as I imagined it would be.
Maybe I’m still imagining. ?!?
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.
*I am a thief. All images were taken from their respective artists’ websites. Please don’t send G-Man after me.