Mike Bourscheid, Frantz H.B., 2020 (detail)
31 January - 12 April 2020
opening reception: 30 January 6 - 8pm
talk: Deborah Edmeades, 28 March 3pm
Karilynn Ming Ho
Names underlined, bolded or italicized above correspond to the three installations as part of 'Crocodile Tears.' Please be advised that as the exhibition evolves, this order may shift between the above artists. Additional artists will be added and some artists will appear in multiple installations. The second installation will officially open 7 March with a performance by Lucien Durey & Bess Durey. The third opens 29 March, with a talk by Deborah Edmeades on 28 March.
We are in crisis. This is our unapologetic position.
What are the limits of the gallery? How can it cast a deeper or wider net as a receptacle for information, experimentation and context? How can these details or scenarios continue to fold into and expand the architecture of the gallery?
Crocodile Tears is a pan-generational exhibition that mines the charged theatrical nature of our everyday, sharpening vital critiques around our increasingly corporatized communities. It centres the absurd in conversation with the human and activates the performative body within political realms. Through painting, sculpture, audio, video and performance, these artists unravel constructions of identity, community and belonging into a tension between that which is felt and that which is feigned.
The title of the exhibition evokes an ancient allusion that crocodiles might weep while devouring their prey. Crocodiles do have glands that produce tears to lubricate the eyes as humans do; however, they don't necessarily cry with emotion. The myth appeared in print in The Voyage and Travail of Sir John Maundeville, circa 1400: "In that country - there are many crocodiles - These serpents slay men, and then, weeping, eat them.” It isn't until the 16th century that we find 'crocodile tears' used in its current figurative conception. Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of York and of Canterbury, used the phrase with the implication of emotion and sincerity in 1563 (re-published in Strype's Life of Grindal, 1711): "I begin to fear, lest his humility ... be a counterfeit humility, and his tears crocodile tears."
This exhibition is presented in three parts, shifting and pausing between select groups of artists. It also begins a redevelopment of the gallery’s identity, celebrating its third year in operation. New infrastructure will be launched in 2020 to bring in a larger world into our white cube, studio, kitchen and garden, prompting a deeper thinking about art and existence.
Crocodile Tears is the third exhibition presented by the gallery that considers intensifying mechanization and industrialization. SOOT (16 December 2017 - 21 January 2018) and Apparitions (23 August - 7 October 2018) preceded Crocodile Tears. Out of ashes, we had ghosts. And with time, we come back to seeds sprouting from our compost with limitless possibility and intersection.