Maverick, Magician, Muse
Curated by Sydney Vernon and Gardy St. Fleur
June 17 – July 16, 2022
Gaby Collins-Fernandez, Henri Paul Broyard, Delphine Desane, Khari Johnson-Ricks, Anjuli Rathod, Zuri Scott, Nicholas D’Ornellas, M. Florine Demosthene, Sydney, Vernon, Sam Lindenfeld, Lorna Williams, Enzo Iwase, Xxavier Edward Carter, and Kaloki Nyamai
There are twelve conventional literary archetypes: Innocent, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Lover, Caregiver, Jester, and Sage. There are a dozen astrological signs, each with its own sets of strengths and weaknesses, and there are about 150 diagnoses in the DSM. Such categories are set out to cage the individual by defining them with a slate of false boundaries. We adopt definitions for ourselves and for others, and then we act in accordance with them. You can be, I would argue, whatever you want, whenever you want. Can artists problematize the archetypes so often set before us? This show emphatically argues yes. Several truths can exist at once. In each of us lies a symphony of expression and contradiction that weave together our narratives of selfhood. Rather than confining ourselves, let’s instead employ a model of limitless transcendence. The work in this exhibition posits an alternative pattern for what is possible. With figures and forms that float in and out of the picture plane, it denies immediate legibility, champions close looking, and pushes the boundaries of selfhood. The vision is an omniversial one, in which the individual is a chimeric mash-up of endless possibility. Influences come and go throughout: gaming culture, fantasy, reality, Surrealism, Deconstructionism, Modernism, theocracy, and more. Here, artists create a future in which we can meld with our dreams—let us be tricksters; let us be architects of desire; part human and part unknown. Here, we are stepping away from the baseness of rigidity with its undue suffering and moving towards a constellation of potentialities. How many possible endings can there be, and how many beginnings?