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There is Only After | Art Exhibition

Feb 09 | Thu |
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Opening event: 4-9 pm, live music at 7 pm

‘There is Only After’ is a group exhibition of visual arts including painting, sculpture, video, and installation, alongside an interview-based zine. New works consider the art of repair in a paranoid age.

From Covid to TikTok and more, “post-pandemic” humans have become accustomed to living with a panoply of viral cultures. Quarantining has catalyzed our participation in virtual worlds that present a “better you, better them, a better life.” The endless pursuit of a "better image" keeps us confined to a path of insatiable consumption that does more to bolster capitalism than nourish us, feeding the rotten roots underneath illusory prosperity.

But from the safety of the air-conditioned bedroom—where isolation begets fever dreams that recount our worst memories, remixing them in the blaring vivacity of cartoon iconography—just continuing to exist supersedes any previous ambitions. The bar for our own exceptionalism has become confusingly low and high at the same time, and the future looks like a black hole.

So, do we surrender to monotonous cycles of horror? Or could acts of care, which shine a light upon a speculative future that is at once messy, curious, and cherishable, be an alternative? This exhibition considers the gradation of surprise, carefully seen through a reparative lens:

…to read from a reparative position is to surrender the knowing, anxious paranoid determination that no horror, however apparently unthinkable, shall ever come to the reader as new; to a reparatively positioned reader, it can seem realistic and necessary to experience surprise. Because there can be terrible surprises, however, there can also be good ones. – Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Artists in this exhibition take kaleidoscopic positions on paranoia and each finds their way to acknowledge and eventually move across the canyon of despair that at one point seemed like a dark certainty. Of their positions, some question – how might we reframe trauma, savor that which lays waste, or encounter gnarled joy?

To consider reparative positions from diverse points of entry and where they might lead, the artists have interviewed practitioners across disciplines, activists, and others in conversation with their works in the hopes of building a communal bridge. These exchanges are available in a roundtable zine made collectively by the artists to accompany the exhibition.

Artists include Ashleigh Abbott, Aliya Al-Adwani, Katie Chin, Henrik Nordahl, Nat Peterson, Pauline Rossignol, Shay Salehi, and Shining Zhu.

This exhibition is endorsed and funded by The New School’s Office of Research Support.

Venue: Gallery MC

549 West 52nd Street, 1st & 8th Floor Map