EFA Project Space announces The Emo Show, a dynamic curatorial experiment conceived of and organized by artist and curator Jaishri Abichandani. The Emo Show brings together a compelling group of NYC based curators of color who have been asked to present artists’ work based on its personal, emotional impact.
Love, Valor, Grief, Humor, Wonder, Fear, Revulsion, Anger, Tranquility.
An essential component of Indian classical dance is Navrasa, the use of various facial expressions to elicit the above-mentioned feelings or states of being in an audience. Classified by the Hindu Sage Bharata (cica 500 AD) into the highly evolved aesthetic Rasa theory, it’s principles applied to music, theatre, literature, cinema and visual arts; acknowledging the emotive power of art as central to its creation and presentation. Rasa is a sanskrit word that means "juice or essence" - in the world of Indian aesthetics, every artwork had a dominant emotion that was evoked upon encountering the work. The construction of art work in any genre had highly formal and conceptual (read symbolic) rules for its construction, including creating coded systems where specific colors represented distinct states of mind and emotions.
The Emo Show brings together a diverse group of New York City based curators to apply the principles of the Rasa theory to contemporary artwork they have encountered. They have been tasked with selecting three artworks created by emerging or mid career local artists that have elicited a strong emotional response in them - ideally releasing the curator from professional and institutional agendas to respond to their private feelings about certain bits of art. The curators have worked collaboratively with their peers over the last 9 months to determine the final list of artworks included in "The Emo Show". This has involved a rigorous process of viewing each work together to determine the dominant emotion that it has elicited within us, in order to find the resonance between a diverse array of works. The artworks will be presented in groupings by the emotions they represent,- on walls that are painted with the respective color associated with the emotions to extend and amplify them. The aim will be to provide the viewers a rich emotional landscape to traverse as they pass through works that elicit love, to anger, to sorrow.