press release

I loved the desert, dried orchards, faced shops and tepid drinks. I dragged myself through stinking alleys and, eyes closed, I offered myself to the sun, the God of fire… Rimbaud, A Season in hell

On June 24, I-20 will present its third group show, Rimbaud, guest curated by Max Henry. French Symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud is the archetypical anti-hero known for his visionary poetry, rebellion from social convention, and journeys to unexplored lands. The works in the show allude to Rimbaud’s life while remaining firmly rooted in contemporary art currents.

Artists in these works retreat into a labyrinth of personal, idiosyncratic realms distrustful of the surrounding post-9/11 culture of corruption, violence and dissonance. A sense of Rimbaud’s “otherness” and “derangement of the senses” is conveyed. You might say that the doomed “poet maudit” anticipated much of today’s geo-political dislocation, and, as “seers” the artists in this show reflect the present day conditions.

For the exhibition, in place of master narratives we get (through a variety of media and styles) what visually amounts to the irregular cadences in Rimbaud’s free verse. This is information-age Romanticism with multi-faceted ties to literature, music and painting.

In the role of egoistic creator the artist constructs a surrogate otherworldly iconography. The overall working methodology is not a pastiche but a distillation of technologically induced overload. There is a reaction of the social disorder with historical antecedents. Voicing the monstrous, the remote, the absurd and the decadent, the artists in Rimbaud transcend the inadequacy and guilt of the moment.


only in german

Kurator: Max Henry

mit Andisheh Avini, Tracey Baran, Stefan Brüggemann, Milena Dragicevic, Köken Ergun, Janine Gordon, Daniel Guzman, Esther Harris, Karen Heagle, Charles LaBelle, Juan Matos Capote, Keith Mayerson, Fiorenze Menini, Paul P, Erik Parker, Poka-yio, Sam Samore, Josh Smith, Kelley Walker