Image above: ©Anne Berry, Monkey in Greenhouse, 2013. Courtesy of Baxter St. at CCNY.
Baxter St at CCNY presented on March 5th, The Three Traumas a group show curated by Jorge Alberto Perez presenting works by Anne Berry, Teresa LoJacono, and R. Hardwick Weston.
In Specters of Marx, Jacques Derrida returns to Freud’s concept of the three traumas inflicted on human narcissism that continue to haunt modern subjectivity, the three intellectual revolutions that have de-centered the ego: the cosmological trauma (the Copernican subject no longer stands at the center of the universe; the biological trauma (the Darwinian subject is no longer at the apex of evolution); and the psychological trauma (the Freudian subject possesses an unconscious and is no longer master even of himself). For Derrida, Marxism not only completes the dismantling of anthropocentrism, but combines all three traumas to deal a final blow to human narcissism.
Jesse Cesario and curator Jorge Aberto Perez on the opening night at Baxter St. at CCNY.
The specter of the three traumas haunts the work of the three artists presented in the show, each of which reflects one or more of the narcissistic wounds that decenter modern subjectivity.
COPERNICUS // R. Hardwick Weston – Photography, Collage
Hardwick Weston’s work is an accumulation of fragmented gestures that by its form questions our capacity to fully comprehend the origin myths of Judao-Christian belief systems while simultaneously placing the viewer in a position of observing a celestial event. Working from his own photography Weston layers his large mandala-like works as ebullient emanations from a central source that is both grounded, literally, in the Holy Land and in the Bataillan notion of general economy. The work duplicates and replicates itself to grow within the restricted economy of belief, but ends up becoming a glowing emanation of light in its own halo like the sun we once thought encircled us.
R. Hardwick Weston at Baxter St. on the opening night. Artwork ©R. Hardwick Weston, Ein Fawwar/ Al-Kauthar," collage, 2015, 72”x72".
DARWIN // Anne Berry – Photography
Though shown in surroundings that suggest restriction and captivity, the representation of our Simian cousins in Anne Berry’s portraits of primates do not suggest their plight as ‘other’ but quite startlingly intimate a complex inner life similar to our own. With a range of expressions that begin with the glint of an intelligent soul behind the eyes, it is not too far a leap to empathize with what appears to be longing, curiosity, sadness, defiance, loneliness…
©Anne Berry, Spider Monkey. Courtesy of Baxter St. at CCNY.
FREUD // Teresa LoJacono – Photography
Teresa LoJacono’s images have a casual intimacy about them with a counter weight of psychological content. Each image hints at a confessional moment captured in the quiet solitude of the artist’s mind. Often turning the camera on herself the sense of loss is palpable – loss of youth, loss of loved ones, loss of connection to the broader world… Her images indicate both an ongoing questioning of self but simultaneously the self’s undoing. This de-centered position from which LoJacono draws inspiration generates images that appear like scenes in a dream, documented with a degree of emotional detachment.
Teresa LoJacono at Baxter St. on the opening night. Artwork ©Teresa LoJacono, Vultur Gryphus, 2011.
©Teresa LoJacono, In that moment, 2010. Courtesy of Baxter St. at CCNY.
The exhibition is part of a series of guest-curated exhibitions at Baxter St at CCNY resulting from an open call for proposals, and is made possible in part by generous support from public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
Baxter St. at CCNY on the opening night.
All opening images by Paul Mclaren.