Perfumed Nightmare

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Perfumed Nightmare

526 West 26th Street
2nd Fl.
New York, NY 10001
September 22nd, 2011 - October 22nd, 2011
Opening: September 22nd, 2011 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

212 - 627 3363
Tues-Sat 10-6


Marvelli Gallery is pleased to present Perfumed Nightmare, a group show of seven artists. The exhibition takes its title after the eponymous 1977 film by Kidlat Tahimik. The film’s protagonist, a bus driver from a village in the Philippines and the self-appointed president of Wernher von Braun club, tells an ironic and humorous story of his own fascination with the US and its technological progress, and subsequent disenchantment with the two. In the film, poetic and romantic images of tropical foliage, farming animals, traditional bamboo huts, playing children, and village manual workers create a contrast to the verbal commentary that praises cars, chewing gum, and spaceships.

The show stems from the idea of the tropics and their multiple implications—physical, natural, economic, cultural, political, and imaginary. But the tropics become only a starting point that allows the artists to develop their visual, conceptual, and formal interests further. The result is the works in sculpture, photography, painting, and video that forgo the image of fragrant luscious paradise. Just like in the film, perfume here serves as a metaphor of transformation: the objects are perfumed-up, or, in some cases, intentionally devoid of romantic gloss. A pineapple turns into a 19th-century ewer or an abstract print; a green plant becomes part of a stale bureaucratic office environment; a primitive architectural structure gets flattened into modernist grid. The works share formal and visual affinities, creating an indirect and non-linear dialogue with one another. Through all these modernist abstractions, objects of everyday use, symbols of popular culture, minimalist structures, a perfumed nightmare of the tropics can be lurking.

For further information or images of the works in the show, please contact Kendall Anderson at 212 627 3363 or

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