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© Courtesy of the artist & American Contemporary

4 East 2nd Street
New York, NY 10003
January 11th, 2013 - March 8th, 2013
Opening: January 11th, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

east village/lower east side


I don’t always write statements about my work, but when I do, I prefer to start sentences with “As an artist.” As an artist, it is thrilling to go through customs and be asked what I do. Nothing else charges me with such agency then when the customs official asks me directly "what is your occupation?" I do not get insecure or try to prove myself by giving them a rundown of my CV. I just look at the agent and say "artist" in a way that only a real artist can, with dignity and open-endedness.
We are used to hearing people described as being, like an artist. Though I've yet to hear someone described as being an artist when it comes to time management, which, might actually be what artists are best at. Phil Spector was like an artist the way he made his musicians play songs over and over and didn’t record anything until they were completely exhausted and ready to call it a day, only then would he hit record. Neil Young was also like an artist the way he had his engineers start recording even before he stepped into the studio, because he knew that the first thing he did would be brilliant. I wonder if Phil Spector’s musicians stormed out of the studio the way Neil Young burst in.
Soft Laws are often unspoken and contain aspirational goals by providing an incentivized framework for adhering to a certain code of conduct, e.g. the Lower East Side gallery culture of being open on Sundays. Isn’t it funny how one might advocate for a prickly person by saying that they are just “wired differently”? That can excuse a lot of difficult behavior.
American Contemporary is delighted to present Joel Holmberg’s first solo gallery exhibition. He has previously exhibited at the New Museum, New York, NY; Outpost, Norwich, UK; The Museum of the Moving Image, New York, NY; The 9th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, CN, The Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT, Espace Gantner, Belfort, FR and will exhibit at Kettles Yard, Cambridge, UK later this year. He is a member of the web based collective Nasty Nets and studied at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA and Yale University, New Haven, CT.