Evil Is Interesting
March 23 - April 21, 2012
1765 S. Laflin, St.
Chicago, IL 60608
antenapilsen (at) gmail.com
Featuring work by Frank Pollard, Mike Lenkowski, Lorna Mills, Sarah Weis, Bill Talsma, Elizabeth Suter, Judy Oesterreicher, Micki Tschur, Sarah Legow, Industry of the Ordinary, Holly Streekstra, Samantha Ocasta, Jeffrey Grauel, Tony Kapel, Computers Cult, Maitejosune Urrechaga and others. False Love 'zine with texts by AA Bronson, Michael Workman, Dan Gleason and others..
"Fascism … also stands for an ideal or rather ideals that are persistent today under the other banners: the ideal of life as art, the cult of beauty, the fetishism of courage, the dissolution of alienation in ecstatic feelings of community; the repudiation of the intellect; the family of man (under the parenthood of leaders)." –Susan Sontag, Fascinating Fascism
This exhibition interrogates the seductiveness and glamour of evil. Evil, after all, is adept at projecting a certain kind of charm. We cherish the antics of our TV and motion picture villains in all their insouciant brutality and eroticized violence. But evil can also exert a subtle charm in the allure of its ability to feign a release from life's problems. Accepting the Faustian bargain of evil offerings requires a willingness to enter into a complicity with that evil, and to sacrifice the ideals of the "good life" that we aspire to. It is arguable that consenting to evil is always an intimate choice, with the goal of manipulating its victims into rejecting their own self-worth and, in consequence, to giving away control over the direction of their own life-course, now subsumed in service to evil. This can take place on the level of an intimate personal relationship, as in the instance of a rakish seduction, or on the level of an entire culture, as the history of fascism has shown.
Borrowing from a diverse range of artists from Filippo Marinetti, Rirkrit Tiranamija, Yves Klein and Wyndham Lewis, the exhibition space will be converted into a domestic backdrop against which objects, activities and more will form a totalized artistic environment. Visitors will be invited to interact with this environment while performances are conducted in the manner of a teatro totale. The question of the allure of evil will be interrogated both in objects that compose the environment, in performances both interactive with the audience, and in those acted out as if no audience were present. Video documentation of these performances will be presented following their presentation, and presented thereafter as a documentary component of the exhibition.