Cult of the Ruin Closing Reception and Performance
Cult of the Ruin: Strategies of Accumulation features 12 emerging artists from the U.S. and Europe working in video, performance, sculpture, installation, watercolor and food. What binds these disparate projects is the persistence of appropriation, re-enactment, material accretion – as strategies – to address the perceived gap between records of the past and our present experiences. Over 20 years have passed since critic Craig Owens posited this gap as a site for allegory. In doing so, Owens defined a branch of postmodern art practice by the artist’s allegorical “impulse” to return to outmoded forms and systems – or ruins – to reinvigorate their contemporary value. Taken together, the works in this exhibition evince contemporary deviations from his original theory. And yet, their re-making of Owens’ allegorical impulse keeps the original theory alive.