The Sunken Living Room is an exhibition of contemporary art, most of which was created during the current recession, beginning in 2008. This original, group exhibition will be on view from March 22 – May 25, 2014 at Franklin Street Works. The show’s title simultaneously reflects the interior design phenomenon of the slightly stepped down or “sunken” living room, popular during the last big U.S. recession of the 1970s, and the crash of the housing market during the recession in 2008. Using sculpture, video, texts, drawings, prints and photos, artists working today tackle recession-related topics that include: labor, debt, the collapse of the housing market, post-industrial cityscapes, unemployment, and banking practices.
Artworks will be interspersed with a smattering of pop culture items, furniture, music, and possibly a handful of artworks made during the mid to late 1970s. Elements from the 1970s will draw loosely-woven, intuitive connections between the two economic downturns. Additionally, several of the contemporary works featured are imbedded with references to 70s culture, including: music (funk and disco); workers rights/union slogans; and industrial jobs via denim clothes, steal toed boots or factory uniforms.
Other artworks in the exhibition appropriate the stark, corporate aesthetic of the Oliver Stone movie Wall Street to drive home the role of the financial market in today’s economy. The remaining artists take an individualized approach, overlaying topics such as student loan debt and the housing crisis with personal experiences and self-referential narratives.
With The Sunken Living Room, resonant, often shared, cultural experiences complement contemporary projects in exploring the utopic desires and deflating exasperation of post WWII recession economies.