ROCK N’ ROLL FANTASY
CURATED BY DARIA BRIT SHAPIRO
Rock n’ Roll Fantasy reacts to today’s bizarre times of reality TV and readymade superstars, where fame is easily bought and sold and the price is merely one’s identity. Like the music business and American Idol pop-stars, today’s artists have seemingly found a formula to transform themselves into megastars. This poses further issues: Are we in love with the song or the ruby-red lips it issues from? Are we sacrificing talent and reaffirming a cult of personality, instead? Are we more concerned with the artwork or the artist?
Rock n’ Roll Fantasy is not about mounting an exhibit, but rather about putting on a show – brimming with debauchery, high style, fabulous death and irrational obsession – revealing stylish content with an unsettling social beat. Each artwork is carefully chosen to represent an element quintessential to the aspiring rock star.
The Fantasy starts at the sidewalk, in (VideoBox) with William Cordova’s DVD, SAY ANYTHING (Or How They Stole the Box but not the Boom), looping footage from the classic 80’s film. Just inside White Box’s street-level window, Jeremy Earhart’s Plexiglas and string art installation recalls 80’s cassette tapes; perpetually in progress, the artist will add new elements to this site-specific work each week of the show. Walking down the ramp through a club-like entrance into the White Box space, smoke machines, spotlights and black lights welcome viewers into further fantasies.
Matt Bradley’s unique, handmade cardboard interpretations of famous guitars (The Misfits, Kiss, Prince) and heavy-metal drum kit of notebook paper and tape could blow over at any second, while Jeremy Earhart’s BURN OUT, AND FADE AWAY transforms psychedelic album art into a glowing, black-lit Plexi shrine. Luis Gispert’s video and installation, PONY SHOW, flashes random photos from the internet in time with egomaniacal D.J. Jam Pony’s 90’s dance beats, framed by handmade, heart-shaped pink and green speakers.
Kathe Burkhart, recalls her time in L.A. with fellow art ‘bad girl’ Lydia Lunch, dressing the wall with her old 80’s punk clothes: leather, spikes, bustiers and boots. Goran Tomcic pays homage to Elton John’s “Rocket Man” with ZERO HOUR, NINE A.M., an installation of two stools covered in holographic collage; one stool is stacked with holographic gift boxes, like empty promises. Piled up, the only force holding this installation together is gravity, reminding us of the inevitability of coming down after being “high as a kite.” Batman+Batman provide tour memorabilia in the form of JOHN CAGE COLLECTOR PLATES, scarred with cigarette smoke, while Lee Everett’s DESIRING MACHINES are old-fashioned gumball dispensers equipped with rock star temptations: porn, cigarettes, pacifiers and pills.
Finally, Amelia Biewald’s orgy pads, named for the New York Dolls’ LOOKING FOR A KISS, are hand-upholstered velvet cushions depicting black stallions and naked women. Viewers can lounge along with the sexy imagery, space-out or make-out amidst the ‘smoke and mirrors’ that Rock n’ Roll Fantasy provides. Everyone is invited to suspend reality for the duration of this exhibition and partake in our Rock n’ Roll Fantasy.