Arts & Sciences PROJECTS presents “Get bitter, and cling to guns or religion or award shows…” a group exhibition curated by Brooklyn-based photographer Carl Gunhouse.
“Get Bitter” continues Gunhouse’s exploration of consumer culture and the failed American dream, themes explored in his recent American Desire exhibition at Arts & Sciences PROJECTS.
Featuring a range of works in photography, video, sculpture, and performance from Tanyth Berkeley, Gina Dawson, Jenny Drumgoole, Calvin Lee and Christine Rogers, “Get Bitter” brings together artists that focus on the intersections between popular culture and the current state of America.
Calvin Lee’s eloquent photographs of images and image-makers in Los Angeles invite you to lose yourself in a carefree world of decadent superficiality, a world distant from ever-increasing unemployment, slumping housing prices and political gridlock. The desire to be connected to the rewards that come to the celebrities who inhabit popular culture are lived out in Gina Dawson’s hand-carved wooden trophies, created while watching award shows. Hollywood dreams can start with the purest of desires and quickly descend into a very dark place, as captured in Jenny Drumgoole’s loving and bizarre performance videos. Yet these illusions of luxury bottom out into our current reality as seen in Tanyth Berkeley’s touching portraits of aging prostitutes, photographed just before the point when age intervenes to bring their desperate last-ditch careers to a halt. Christine Rogers rounds out the show with a disarming video in which she lip-synchs a YouTube clip of a small child reciting the Lord’s Prayer. This familiar bedtime ritual is performed for an unknown internet audience in hopes that some greater power (God help us) will be looking over us in these troubled times.