Allegra LaViola Gallery is pleased to present Stephanie Dodes & Marshall Korshak: We Buy Gold, an installation and video exhibition. Drawing on pop culture sources such as Disney and rap videos as well as consumerism, Dodes and Korshak rib us about our addiction to everything shiny and glittery, presenting us with the beauty of the objects as a foil to the emptiness of our constant drive to acquire them.
Upon entrance to the exhibition the viewer is immediately drawn in by the necessity of removing their shoes to fully participate. Dodes and Korshak have covered practically every surface in the project space with second hand faux fur, creating a warmly sensual environment. As we are drawn into their world we see it is off kilter: the shapes penetrating the space are nearly colliding and force us into uncomfortable proximity with each other and the fluffy protrusions. The collages adorning the walls are overlapping images of gold and jewels, enticing us to buy but offering nothing-- as fake as the fur beneath our feet.
Inside the rooms the video works submerge us further in the bombastic unreality that Dodes and Korshak favor. Girls recite poetry in faint tones and women aggressively gyrate to a mishmash of arrhythmic tunes. The palpable sense of desire allows us to examine the work through the lens of our consumer culture. The women (and girls) in the video work often appear to be cut off from their surroundings: dancing to beats they cannot keep up with, and surrounded by stuff they cannot see. This could be a metaphor for our own blindness, or a superimposing of the all-consuming female over the very things she is supposed to covet. Within this desire is the conflict and convergence of expectations from both a male and female perspective. Our persistent search for the “next best thing”: the newest model, the youngest woman or the perfect man traps us in the endless loop.
Within these blatantly, and proudly, synthetic surroundings we are treated to nuggets of real gold. Dodes and Korshak push us into uncomfortable terrain with the insistence on the illusory glitter of falsehood, making us squirm in our desire for something less obnoxious and blatant. Those moments free us from the usual concerns over what is real, fake or trying too hard and bring us to the heightened awareness of our own needs. Dodes and Korshak push us to the limits of knowing what we need versus what we want, and where to draw the line that seems so difficult to find.
Stephanie Dodes lives and works in New York City and is a graduate of San Francisco Art Institute’s MFA program and NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Her work has been exhibited internationally including NADA Art Fair, Miami (2011); Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico (2011); St. Cecilia’s Gallery, New York (2011). Stephanie is currently a participant in the Bronx Museum 2012 Artist in the Marketplace program. This is her second collaborative exhibition with Marshall Korshak.
Marshall Korshak lives and works in New York City and studied political science and film at the University of Colorado, Colorado. He has exhibited at St. Cecilia’s Gallery, New York (2011), NADA Art Fair Miami (2011); and 179 Canal, New York (2009) as well as being the owner and co-director of Blank Space, Brooklyn. He is an original member of Class Struggle. This is his second collaboration with Stephanie Dodes.