The Carnival at the End of the World
Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick's latest project concerns a fictitious cabaret troupe, the Truppe Fledermaus, who travel the countryside staging absurd and inscrutable performances in the abandoned landscapes beyond the town's edge. To create this 'Theater of Memory', the Truppe are as apt to commemorate the passing of an unusual cloud as they are to be found documenting their own attempts to flee the rising waters of a warming planet, or using black humor to comment upon mass extinction. In addition to using this concept to address ecological themes, Kahn & Selesnick also use it as a metaphor for the manner in which seemingly inexhaustible quantities of information are disseminated to us in the modern world.
Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn have been collaborating as Kahn/Selesnick since 1988 on a series of complex narrative photo-novellas and sculptural installations. They were both born in 1964, in New York City and London respectively and both are British citizens. They met at Washington University in St Louis where they collaborated informally from 1982-86 as photography majors. After graduation and a couple of years of showing their art separately they migrated to Cape Cod, Massachusetts to work on an evolving series of projects, some painting based, some photo based, all involving fictional attributions and narratives.