Group Show featuring Guerra de la Paz
curator Papo Colo

Run Dates: December 1st 2007 - January 26th 2008
Opening Reception: Saturday Dec. 1st 2007, 7-10 pm

Exit Art Art
475 10th Avenue, corner of 36th St.

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Exit Art wants to tell you war stories through the vision of 9 international artists. Love/War/Sex considers memory, history, weapons and personal stories. As a cultural center, it is our mission to reflect what is going on in our society. We want to respond to current global conflicts by presenting this exhibition, Love/War/Sex, a comment on our culture’s fascination with, and addiction to, war. The title itself demonstrates the paradox of what war is, a combination of emotions, passions and idealistic convictions. Love/War/Sex considers the conflation of those basic human instincts—a toxic combination manifested in images and stories coming out of Iraq. This exhibition connects longing with violence and love with war, imagining the business of war in all its sensual manifestations. War, love and sex demand the same thing - commitment, and the purpose of this exhibition is to tell the story of these relationships.

The installation of Love/War/Sex, conceived by Papo Colo, is an innovation in exhibition design and presentation, in part for its inclusion of real weapons of war. Choosing these objects, these “readymades”, and applying their historical contexts to the exhibition, creates an environment that provokes, surprises, assaults and confronts you with the real tools of war. They are not simply objects on display; they were intended to kill people in battle. Hearkening back to Leonardo da Vinci, who designed weapons for a living, exhibiting the weapons as art we also enjoy the extraordinary craftsmanship and design of these killing machines.

Another installation approach was to wallpaper the exhibition space with texts of personal experiences of the war. This allows the viewer/reader to evoke images from the text. Here, the force of the narrative replaces the object and gives the viewer another kind of visual imagination, creating a sacred space for meditation. Taken from newspapers, magazines and soldiers’ blogs, these chronicles make one think of war in terms of intimate personal stories. The juxtaposition of these weapons and the wall papered texts creates a stage for the exhibition and the public. The exhibition incorporates video, sculpture, wallpaper, and a selection of weapons and military vehicles on loan from the Military Museum of Southern New England in Danbury, CT. Artists presenting are Jakob Boeskov, Margot Herster, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Fawad Khan, Ellen Lake, Rebecca Loyche, Guerra de la Paz, Francesco Simeti, Nick Waplington

Jakob Boeskov’s apocalyptic video War Wizard depicts lustful soldiers and their “wizard” enemy as they invade a little boy’s dreams. The “wizard”, who embodies at once Jesus, Osama bin Laden and an Iraqi prisoner, is tortured with sex and violence by dancing soldiers. Margot Herster presents an insider view of Guantanamo politics with This is an introduction tape, a video of the families of detainees telling their relatives to trust the lawyers representing them. Referencing sports and porn as stimulants, Tessa Hughes-Freeland’s ‘educational’ video Watch Out! explains how explicit films can warp the minds of young men. Fawad Khan fuses car culture with war imagery to create a sexy but violent wall painting that evokes the chaos of a suicide bombing. Ellen Lake’s short film Betty + Johnny combines digital video and the 1930s and 40s to tell the story of a love lost during World War II. Rebecca Loyche’s three-channel video installation, All’s Fair in Love and War, is a disturbing portrait of a weapons specialist who teaches military personnel how to kill. The unnamed subject of the short videos describes in detail the tools and methods employed to kill during combat. Guerra de la Paz presents Crawl, a cloth sculpture of a dying soldier, and The Kiss, an intimate photograph of toy army men in an embrace.ssss

  Installation View: Love/ War/ Sex, Exit Art, New York, NY. 2007. Images courtesy of {CTS} creative thriftshop, New York, NY.

Francesco Simeti’s Watching the War combines explosion clouds and images of the war in Afghanistan to create deceptively ornate wallpaper. Nick Waplington’s photographs juxtapose images of war and the Iraqi landscape with keg parties and families in America to offer a telling glimpse into life at the war front and back at home.

about the artist:
Guerra de la Paz is the composite name that represents the creative team efforts of Cuban-born artists, Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz. What began as an idea for two individual artists to share a working studio in Miami's Little Haiti, has become an ongoing collaboration that has evolved into constant experimentation, manifesting into a body of work that spans over eleven years in a variety of formats. The recipient of the 2008 SCOPE Foundation Grant for artist project “Under the Banyan Tree,” they are are represented in the Saatchi Collection (London), 21C Museum Foundation (Louisville, KY), Frost Art Museum (Miami, FL), Miami Art Museum (Miami, FL), and The Cintas Fellows Collection.

about the gallery: Exit Art is an independent vision of contemporary culture, prepared to react immediately to important issues that affect our lives. Exit Art does experimental, historical and unique presentations of aesthetic, social, political and environmental issues. They absorb cultural differences that become prototype exhibitions. Exit Art is a center for multiple disciplines. The gallery is a 25 year old cultural center in New York City founded by Directors Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo, that has grown from a pioneering alternative art space, into a model artistic center for the 21st century committed to supporting artists whose quality of work reflects the transformations of our culture. Exit Art is internationally recognized for its unmatched spirit of inventiveness and consistent ability to anticipate the newest trends in the culture. With a substantial reputation for curatorial innovation and depth of programming in diverse media, Exit Art is always on the verge of change.
Guerra de la Paz, Crawl 2004, mix media sculpture with assorted clothing, 20x24x39in (51x61x100cm)
Images courtesy of {CTS} creative thriftshop, New York, NY.

Guerra de la Paz, Joe Series (The Kiss) 2005-07 archival digital print, edition of 10, 11x14in or 30x40in (28x36cm or 76x102cm) Images courtesy of {CTS} creative thriftshop, New York, NY.
Installation View: Love/ War/ Sex, Exit Art, New York, NY. 2007. Images courtesy of {CTS} creative thriftshop, New York, NY. Installation View: Love/ War/ Sex, Exit Art, New York, NY. 2007. Images courtesy of {CTS} creative thriftshop, New York, NY.