The Horror Show
Chicago, Ill. --- The Horror Show -- an exhibit exploring the possibilities for horror in a post-9/11 world – is headed for New York this summer.
A meditation on horror in paint, sound, video, interactive sculpture, photography and film, “The Horror Show” opens at New York’s Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, www.dorsky.org, on August 7 and runs through Sept. 2. It is curated by a husband-and-wife team of Northwestern University professors David Tolchinsky and Debra Tolchinsky, whose artistic propensities lean toward the macabre.
The exhibit -- which last year was at the Chicago City Arts Gallery -- asks viewers to reflect on fear at a time when media violence and public numbness make such reflection difficult.
It explores the attraction of horror as a centuries-old staple in art and literature. Among its works is a series of photographs of cake slices by artist Jeanne Dunning. The slices look enticingly delicious until one realizes they're covered in mold. Also on display is a series of haunting photographs of a young girl who, according to artist Christopher Schneberger, developed the ability to levitate after losing her legs.
The Tolchinskys -- who teach courses in horror writing and horror film production at Northwestern’s School of Communication -- say the exhibit is less about eliciting a scream than about "looking at horror from the inside out.” "As curators, we not only looked for works which were disturbing or provocative, but works that dialoged with one another," says Debra Tolchinsky, assistant professor of radio, television and film.
To chilling effect, “The Genius of Coolwhip,” an installation by Jeffrey Sconce embeds the words of a would-be sexual predator from NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” in upbeat dance music. Not far away is Josh Faught’s work in coffee, pen and ink titled “The First Person I Ever Came Out to Was a Convicted Sexual Predator.”
Debra Tolchinsky’s own work illustrates themes of perception, deception and self-truth that are threaded throughout "The Horror Show." The curator/artist in a work entitled “The Man In the Mirror” presents a large glicee print of what appears to be a naked and ghostly Michael Jackson. Next to the print is a mirror where the viewer glimpses his/her own reflection only to have it swallowed up by another Jackson image that then becomes engulfed and snuffed out in smoke. According to Tolchinsky, “Jackson epitomizes the horror of seeing a public reflection and simultaneously no reflection at all.”
“The Horror Show” also includes works by Jean Marie Casbarian, Renate Ferro, Brian Getnick, Melissa Grey, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Stephen Nyktas, Dan Silverstein, Brad Todd, David Tolchinsky, Ellen Wetmore and Craig Yu. A catalog, with essays by Jeanne Dunning, Laura Kipnis, Timothy Murray, Jeffrey Sconce, and Pam Thurschwell, accompanies the show.For further information about “The Horror Show,” visit www.dorsky.org or call (718) 937-6317.