Priska C. Juschka Fine Art is pleased to present Sick, Sick Wind, an installation by Jade Townsend revolving around a constructed pig-shaped, winged battleship, marking his third solo exhibition at the gallery. After having first set sail on August 13, 2009 at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park as part of Duke Riley’s Those About to Die Salute You — a naval battle performance modeled after the Roman ‘Naumachia,’ in which the Emperor would flood the Coliseum and force condemned prisoners to engage in bloodsport as a way of diverting the masses from impending socio-economic collapse — Townsend’s ‘pig’ battleship runs aground, transformed into a full gallery installation. Complete with masts and canons to resemble a beached decaying Spanish galleon, the giant wooden vessel appears marooned and abandoned in an incongruous interior landscape — left to rot in the indeterminate space in which it has disembarked.
Consistent with his past work, this sculptural installation stems from a combination of ingrained sources; Townsend pulls obscure references from history, literature, pop culture and song lyrics, and restructures them, forging a new configuration from the resonating parts. Comparable to stringing excerpts together from different books to transform the narrative, the work re-contextualizes the disparate elements to form a coherent entity — alluding to the increasing difficulties of raising protest against the pervasive greed within the global capitalist system. Its citizens seem to be left alone in the debris of a global shipwreck, fighting for resources and never ceasing to compete within an economic system that creates division and discourages collaboration.
Jade Townsend was born in Iowa and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BFA from Iowa State University in Ames, IA and an MFA from Hunter College, New York, NY. His installations have appeared in numerous exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, including Chelsea Visits Havana as part of the 10th Havana Biennial, Museo del Bellas Artes, Havanna, Cuba; Born Between…, Cress Gallery, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN; The Peekskill Project, organized by the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY; Nature Interrupted, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY; Waste Not, Want Not, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY and Born Between Piss and Shit, Art of This Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. Most recently, Townsend participated in Duke Riley’s Those About to Die Salute You at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY.
The artist would like to give a special thanks to Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, Kitty Joe Sainte-Marie, Duke Riley, The Queens Museum of Art, Alberto Magnan, Dara Metz, Jamison Brosseau, Sheldon Moyer, William Powhida, Kevin Lips, Jimmy from the Abandoned Ice Rink, Bryan Derballa, Hansraj Maharawal, Tom Robinson, Yumi Nakamaru, Manu Sawkar, Topshelf Dave, Sarah Merenda for their support with this exhibition and Michael Petersen for, above all else, probably saving his life.