Control Room presents The Oldest of Rainbows, featuring works by Spencer Douglass, Justin John Greene, Natalie Labriola, Molly Larkey, and Bari Ziperstein.
Marilyn was “seeking the oldest of rainbows — to be herself and unafraid,”
This quote heard in Spencer Douglass’s video “After The Fall,” describes a haunting contrast between Marilyn Monroe, the real woman, and the starlet icon that she became. In the piece we never see an image of her, but instead are subjected to grainy film footage of a toppling high-rise, narrated with Lee Strasberg’s eulogy for Marilyn.
The Oldest of Rainbows explores the decay of a personal, nuanced sense of beauty, as opposed to idealistic conceptions of glamour in popular culture. In contemporary art, the concept of beauty itself can sometimes be controversial. Dave Hickey posits that in recent history conceptual art has cultivated a distrust of appearances. In contrast, fashion continually propagates and reinvents a sexualized beauty, with origins evolving from ancient Greek idealism. High fashion can be viewed as a utopian standard to measure one’s self worth and identity. Personal beauty is more innocent, blissful in its ignorance of cultural expectations. This beauty is vulnerable and is often tragically degraded, wilting under the pressures of public life.
The artists included in this exhibition have contributed works that address the topic of inner and outer beauty from a wide range of perspectives, employing satirical commentary on the figure as well as abstract homages. Their works present a diverse spectrum of media including sculpture, video, painting, drawing, and collage.
The Oldest of Rainbows is curated by Justin John Greene.