The Arsenic Waltz by Joseph Imhauser


CONDO Mexico City

April 14 – May 5, 2018

In Victorian England, some wallpapers and fabrics were dyed with arsenic to achieve luminous colors —emerald being one well-known example. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people died from exposure to these lethal compounds even though some were aware of the dangers. In 2018, we also suffer from an over-exposure to lethal and seductive illusions. Layer upon layer of sweet poison engulfs and consumes our dwindling wisdom of reality by way of screens, media, and silver spoons of algorithmic thought. Illusion steals balance from our lives and replaces it with aesthetic comfort. This fetishization of surface leads toward a delusional path – one forged by greed and desire – for flawlessness, for godliness, for purity and power.

In this body of work, wallpaper is stripped bare from the imperfect walls they hide and is forced to stand on its own semantic merit for the world to see. These wallpapers are left alone for the most part to reconcile their only purpose. The illusions quietly directing our reality are laid bare. Interior #118 ACT (2017), shares one simple message – ACT. To act is to transform and alchemize the illusions that consume us into becoming thresholds of change. It is our duty and our privilege to question reality and its boundaries; shaking loose from the illusions embedded between each layer, and progressing as active agents in balance with the existence of both.

interior 118 (Act) 2017 web


JOSEPH IMHAUSER (Missouri, USA, 1981) is an artist and musician whose projects oscillate between choice and chance, giving way to new definitions and combinations to occur. Imhauser received his BFA from CalArts in 2005 and MFA from NYU Steinhardt in 2012. He currently teaches at NYU Steinhardt. His most recent awards and residencies include One Room Practice, Practice, New York (2016); YoYoYo Initiative Travel Grant, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, Los Angeles (2014); and the Franco-American Cultural Exchange Fellowship, Fondation Carla Bruni, Paris (2013). Recent exhibitions and performances include Intoto 6, Fondation d’Enterprise Ricard, Paris, France (2018); Poetics of a Wall Projection, Prattsville Art Center and Residency, Prattsville, NY (2017); The Book of the WORD, Helsinki Contemporary, Helsinki (2017); Gemtactics, Marc Straus Gallery, New York, NY (2016); Rican/Struction: Abraham Cruzvillegas & Amigos, Galería Agustina Ferreyra, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2016); Todo en Orden, Celaya Brothers Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico (2016); C’est de L’eau at Anti-Aufklärung, Point Éphémère, Paris, France (2016); A Various Sundry of Itemized Gifts, Teatro Munganga, Amsterdam (2015); Exit: Cartographia de la Creatividad, Museo de Arte de Sinaloa, Culiacán, Mexico (2015); Cannibalism Alone Unites Us, Widow Jane Mine, Rosendale, NY (2015).

 

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