Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure

Curated by Katie Geha

Cooper Battersby
Emily Vey Duke
Jenny Perlin
Deborah Johnson
Siebren Versteeg
Melissa Scherrer

July 26 – August 23, 2008

Please join us Saturday, July 26 (8-10pm) as Art Palace presents Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure. The exhibition, curated by Katie Geha, presents videos by New York artists Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke, Jenny Perlin, Deborah Johnson, Siebren Versteeg, and Melissa Scherrer. Drawings by Melissa Scherrer will be on view in the front galleries.
In our time of globalism, where the mass market and the media constantly and relentlessly gauge who we are and how we live our lives, many people have turned to a variety of forms of introspection in search of their spiritual selves and a sense of authenticity amidst all the white noise. Ironically, merchandizing has tapped into the yearnings behind this return to the individual and to nature. Products are now marketed as “green.” Self-help books tout the power of positive thinking, and sales claims blur the boundaries between the search for self and the loud blare of capitalist mass consumerism.
A common question the works on view seem to ask is how do we straddle these impulses; how do we reconcile the individual and the collective?
This suite of videos and drawings examines spirituality and materiality in light of our media driven culture. The works mix nature and psychedelia, yogic chants with teenage angst, and dystopian fair rides with a hand-written history of the mall. Exhibited together, the works reflect the anxiety and weirdness of our contemporary moment.

About the artists:
Deborah Johnson is a multi-media artist living in Brooklyn New York. She has designed and performed live visual accompaniment, for music groups including Sufjan Stevens, Wilco, Lambchop, Calexico and Chocolat & Akito.

Siebren Versteeg is an artist working in Brooklyn, New York. He has exhibited at the Rhona Hoffmann Gallery, Chicago; Bellwether Gallery, New York; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; and the Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia. A solo show at Max Protetch, New York will open in the fall.

Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke have been working collaboratively since 1994. Their work has been exhibited in galleries and at festivals in North and South America and throughout Europe, including the Walker Center, Minneapolis; The Banff Centre, Banff; The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, The New York Video Festival, NYC, and The European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruck. Duke and Battersby are currently teaching at Syracuse University in Central New York.

Melissa Scherrer grew up in Milwaukee, WI. Recently Scherrer’s work has been shown at Cinder’s Gallery in Brooklyn, Artist’s Space in New York, and The Transmodern Performance Festival in Baltimore. Her work is part of the permanent collection of the Ulrich Museum. Scherrer currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Jenny Perlin’s 16mm films, videos, and drawings have been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Kitchen, New York; The Drawing Center, New York; P.S.1, New York, The Whitney Museum of Art, New York; CCA Wattis, San Francisco, and the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, among others. Perlin lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.