1719 N 5th St, Philadelphia PA, 19122
David Aipperspach, Lea Cetera, Hugh Hayden, Gregory Kalliche, Caitlin MacBride, Ryan McCartney, Paul Rouphail, Jonathan Santoro, Matt Savitsky, Meredith Sellers
Curated by Jonathan Santoro and Meredith Sellers
June 9, 2018 - July 6, 2018
Opening Reception 7-10pm, June 9, 2018
“Alas, I am dying beyond my means.”
In a 1961 episode of the popular television series The Twilight Zone entitled “The Midnight Sun,” a shift in earth’s orbit causes our planet to pass closer to the sun - a change that will inevitably result in a planetary climate too hot to support life. Society crumbles as order disintegrates, mass migration to cooler climates ensues, systems of communication break down, and resource shortages are sudden and rampant. Inside a sweltering New York studio apartment, an artist paints the sun in repetition as it approaches closer every day, a casual observer recording her own demise in a futile creative act.
As the effects of climate change and socio-political putrefaction become increasingly severe in our present reality, we continue to make empty gestures towards the possibility of a sustainable future. We cope with feelings of futility by investing in #selfcare and designed living: instagrammably-perfect minimal apartments, pour-over coffees, and holistic workout regimens serve as a temporary reprieve for the aspirational class. As cultural tastemakers and harbingers of gentrification, artists are also implicated in this form of aspirational living, occupying a morally nebulous position. Creativity persists, whether in contrast to or in distraction of our increasingly precarious position.
In this exhibition, The Midnight Sun, artist-curators Jonathan Santoro and Meredith Sellers have crafted a stage set of sorts in the image of a studio apartment, making works in conversation with artists David Aipperspach, Lea Cetera, Hugh Hayden, Gregory Kalliche, Caitlin MacBride, Ryan McCartney, Paul Rouphail, and Matt Savitsky. The exhibition conceives an atmosphere of indulgent distraction and comfortable desperation, utilizing the language of popular lifestyle blogs and Pinterest boards serving up #interiorinspo posts of highly designed, composed spaces. Questions arise about artistic purpose, cultural capital, delusion, and idleness in the space of the domestic uncanny.
About the curators:
Jonathan Santoro and Meredith Sellers are artists living and working in Philadelphia, PA. They have engaged in a number of collaborative projects including hosting If You Leave: A Panel Discussion on Artist Retention in Philadelphia (2014) through the St. Claire’s “Homeschool” program, co-curating the exhibition Chewing the Scenery (2016) at Crane Arts, and The One in the Other (2016), their collaborative installation as part of Unlisted with Lord Ludd.