London U.K. - b.Dewitt is pleased to announce You amuse me / I frighten you, an exhibition of the two solo projects "Mountain” by American artist Tyler Eash and "Pearl” by American artist Christopher Hinojosa. Curated by Camille Bréchignac, the exhibition will present newly commissioned works across various mediums.
You amuse me.
Oh, no, I don't. I frighten you. That is why you talk about saving me.
(Jean Anouilh, Antigone, 1944)
A critique of the current paradigm of identity politics, You amuse me / I frighten you initiates its point of departure from the perceived demand for sustained reenactments of ‘authentic’ experiences and states of revolt. The legitimacy to critique is seemingly performed through an authentication of explicit, “authentic” displays/presentations of lacks of privileges or injuries that serve as testimonies of grievance. The speaking subject’s experience is turned into evidence of a lived documentation of the political then explored through exhibitionary gestures of abstraction and display. Raw life experience is re-presented and re-performed for the gaze of the audience, irrespective of the subject’s willingness to make this gaze the primary theme of the work.
The solo projects negotiate an interplay of authenticity/inauthenticity at the core of representation itself. Recognising the potential burden of a display of authenticity, Eash and Hinojosa blur the lines between the two. Both ask whether the unauthentic might be a tactic to obscure checks of authenticity thus allowing the subject greater authority.
Uncovering the raw experience of objectification, Hinojosa’s “Pearl” utilises photography, installation, and performance to question the innate performativity of self by questioning the substance of the Western standards of class, gender, wealth. Hinojosa meets the viewer’s gaze with their own subjectivity and utilises the suspension of disbelief as a method of normalising the trans body and experience. Hinojosa reverses the viewer-viewed power dynamic by using the gaze as a weapon with which to reclaim the self. The works will be presented on a bespoke solid-ash table by French designer Léonard Kadid.
Eash’s “Mountain” employs tactics of theatre through sculpture, video, and performance, as a means to both embody as well as assume roles beyond the limits of Eash’s lived experience thus granting the flexibility to simultaneously assume power as well as allude to the artifice of power itself. Appropriating the aesthetic of neoclassicism, the works strategically engage both theatre and Neoclassic form; making it aware of its own artifice and intentions of manipulation. Eash’s solo project also features a special collaboration with Pierre-Yves Morel an expert faux-marble finisher.
Tyler Eash (b. 1988, Marysville, California, USA) lives and works in London. He is currently in the final year of his MFA at Goldsmiths, University of London and completed his BS at University of California, Davis. Eash has exhibited across both the U.K. and the U.S. Forthcoming exhibitions include Penny Dreadful at Seventeen Gallery, (London, U.K., 2019). Most recent exhibitions include Allusion to a body that is no longer present at Swiss Church and for Kunstraum and Block Universe (London, U.K., 2018); A Handful of Uncertainty and Joy at Chalton Gallery, (London, U.K., 2017).
Christopher Hinojosa (b. 1992, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA) lives and works in London. He is currently in the his final year of his MFA at Goldsmiths, University of London and completed his BFA at Maryland Institute College of Art. Hinojosa has exhibited across the U.K. and the U.S. Most recent exhibitions include Penny Dreadful at Seventeen Gallery, (London, U.K., 2019); Water jets were used at the four corners of the building at Art Academy, (London, U.K., 2018).
Camille Bréchignac is a contemporary art curator based in London. She currently holds a position as Associate Curator at Kunstraum. Most recent exhibitions include Allusion to a body that is no longer present at Swiss Church and for Kunstraum and Block Universe (London, U.K., 2018); as well as the forthcoming Liminal Worlds at Draw Art Fair (London, U.K., 2019).
The exhibition will also be accompanied by an artist-in-conversation 7 June at 7PM, final performances 9 June at 7PM, as well as an essay commission by Nottingham Contemporary curator Cédric Fauq.
Founder & Director, b.Dewitt Gallery
*Special thanks to Kunstraum, London
*Supported by Arts Council