Exit Art wants to tell you war stories through the vision of nine international artists. Love/War/Sex
considers memory, history, ornaments, weapons and personal stories.
This exhibition connects longing with violence and love with war,
imagining the business of war in all its sexual manifestations. As a
cultural space, we want to respond to current global conflicts by
presenting this exhibition Love/War/Sex, a comment on our culture’s fascination with, and addiction to, war.
Love/War/Sex considers the conflation of those basic human
instincts—a toxic combination manifested in images and stories coming
out of Iraq. The works relate disparate issues such as weapon
infatuation, war nostalgia, and the sexualization of violence to form
an overall image of war as a perversely necessary part of our culture.
The exhibition incorporates video, sculpture, wallpaper, and a
selection of weapons and military vehicles – the very tools that
perpetuate societal shifts and make war possible —on loan from the
Military Museum of Southern New England. The walls of the gallery will
be papered with personal stories, imagining war conjured from texts.
Jakob Boeskov’s apocalyptic video War Wizard depicts lustful
soldiers and their “wizard” enemy as they invade a little boy’s dreams.
The “wizard”, who embodies at once Jesus, Osama bin Laden and an Iraqi
prisoner, is tortured with sex and violence by dancing soldiers. Margot
Herster presents an insider view of Guantanamo politics with This is an
introduction tape, a video of the families of detainees telling their
relatives to trust the lawyers representing them. Referencing sports
and porn as stimulants, Tessa Hughes-Freeland’s ‘educational’ video Watch Out! explains how explicit films can warp the minds of young men.
Fawad Khan fuses car culture with war imagery to create a sexy but violent wall painting that evokes the chaos of a suicide bombing. Ellen Lake’s short film Betty + Johnny combines digital video and home movies shot in the 1930s and 40s to tell the story of a love lost during World War II. Rebecca Loyche’s three-channel video installation, All’s Fair in Love and War,
is a disturbing portrait of a weapons specialist who teaches military
personnel how to kill. The unnamed subject of the short videos
describes in detail the tools and methods employed to kill during
combat. Guerra de la Paz presents Crawl, a cloth sculpture of a dying soldier, and The Kiss, an intimate photograph of toy army men in an embrace. Francesco Simeti’s Watching the War
combines explosion clouds and images of the war in Afghanistan to
create deceptively ornate wallpaper. Juxtaposing images of war and the
Iraqi landscape with keg parties and families in America, Nick Waplington’s photographs offer a telling glimpse into life at the war front and back at home.