Love is the End of Art

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Love is the End of Art

548 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011
May 5th, 2009 - May 16th, 2009

(212) 989-7700
Tue-Sat 10-6


Zach Feuer Gallery is pleased to present a performance by Momus in collaboration with performance artist Aki Sasamoto. For two weeks, Momus and Aki will perform from Tuesday through Friday, 2-6 pm and on Saturdays from 12-6 pm.

In Love is the End of Art, Momus will take the dual roles of art critic and unrequited lover, framing and critiquing Aki's performance (which involves lectures, potatoes, stretched utensils, and bungee elastic) with a narrative that slips awkwardly between the abstract and the specific, the public and the private. Dressed as a kuroko, a kabuki stagehand, Momus will hover over Aki's performance like a ghost, occasionally breaking off to sing along with a track from Martin Rev’s strange 1996 album “See me Ridin”.

Aki will completely ignore Momus, as a kabuki actor ignores the stagehands bustling around. She originally created her piece within the insular environment of her psyche, where the only type of love she was concerned with was platonic love for her mother. She did not consider how others might frame her. Love is the End of Art exists between Aki’s personal intention and Momus’s interpretation.

This performance, in which one actor frames and commentates on the actions of another, and one layer of improvised fiction relates to another, will play with the portable theatrical space any performer creates around herself, the invisible barrier that separates performer from audience like an invisible shield. It will also reference Vito Acconci's work in the 1970s, in which embarrassingly personal themes became the basis of an improvised performance poetry addressed to a "you" character. Acconci’s single-channel videos from the early 1970s often explore this territory, and Momus hopes Acconci’s lustful, vulnerable, abject persona will be present in the characters he performs for Love is the End of Art.

The title of the exhibition holds a double meaning: end can mean both "finish" and "goal", implying that sex, or love, is both the culmination and the negation of art, which thrives on indirection and Duchampian "delay". In the psychoanalytical idea of sublimation, culture is produced by the repression of instinctual energies such as sex and violence. To exist, culture must channel these primal energies, avoiding their direct expression. It's a tightrope act; at any moment, sexual love could be the end of art. Yet it cannot be absent from art either.

Born Nick Currie, Momus began recording under his current artist name in 1986 and has since released nearly 20 albums. He has been performing and producing work for art institutions since 2000 and has been in exhibitions and performance installations at Blow de la Barra and the Southbank Centre in London; the Baltic Mill in Gateshead, England; the Secession in Vienna; the Whitney Museum and Swiss Institute in New York; and the MOCA in Los Angeles. This is his third exhibition at Zach Feuer Gallery.

Aki Sasamoto is a New York based, Japanese artist who works in performance, sculpture, dance and installation. Sasamoto completed her MFA at Columbia and has recently exhibited at the Yokohama Triennale 2008, Japan; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; Exit Art Gallery and Chocolate Factory Theater, New York. She is co-director of Culture Push Inc.