press release

This exhibition is inspired by the 1995 Vito Acconci / The Mekons performance at the Dia Center for the Arts, New York, titled “Theatre Project for a Rock Band”. Acconci designed the performance space, which was hexagonally divided into 6 parts, each pie containing both the members of the audience and a single band member. That performance was structured architecturally and temporally around the idea of the radical punk band, The Mekons, playing an hour-long song, first individually, then in various combinations, and ultimately together, with Vito Acconci’s narrative voice filling in the intervals between the music.

Using the conceptual framework of the Dia performance as inspiration, this exhibition will investigate the relationships between a group of artists who all share a radical approach to their medium — be it through concepts, paint handling within the traditions of abstraction, or unconventional use of sound, architecture and photography. Over the years this group has shown together in numerous group shows, mostly in Europe, where their work found wide support from various cultural institutions. For this show Acconci will again provide the voice for the exhibition with an audio piece replaying the 1995 “Theatre Project for a Rock Band” narrative, which is once again broken up into six parts. During the silent breaks, the works of John M. Armleder, Olivier Mosset, Chuck Nanney, Steven Parrino and Sam Samore will metaphorically act as stand-ins for musical elements of The Mekons.

Since the 1960s, Vito Acconci, has been a leading creative force in conceptual and body art and has consistently investigated the boundary between the body and public space through different media. John M Armleder, painter, sculptor, and at times critic and curator, has had numerous international exhibitions including the 1986 Venice Biennale. In 2006 he had a retrospective of his works on paper at the Institute of Cotemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA. His show “Too Much is not Enough” is currently on view at the Kunstverein Hannover, Germany. Olivier Mosset is one of the founding members of the Radical Painting Group. He has exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe and the United States since the 60s, first appearing in the 1964 Venice Biennale. His work is currently on view at two Paris institutions — Palais de Tokyo and Fondation d’entreprise Ricard. For “Music is a Better Noise” currently on view at PS1, Chuck Nanney, created a site-specific sound piece for one the building’s stairwells. He has had more than 60 solo and group shows including exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Steven Parrino, an abstract artist with a punk-minimalist sensibility has had 37 one-person exhibitions since 1984. Steven Parrino’s retrospective was organized at Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland in 2006, the same year his work was included in the Whitney Biennial. A show of Parrino’s work is planned at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris in 2007. Sam Samore, conceptual photographer, has exhibited internationally since 1990 at institutions such as the Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland, Fondation Cartier, Paris, and the 1995 Venice Biennale. His show “Suicidist” is currently on view at PS1, New York. He will have solo shows in 2007 at Galerie Gisela Capitan, Cologne, Germany and in May at D’Amelio Terras, New York.

The loss of history makes them constantly curious and continuously horny…
Vito Acconci, John Armleder, Olivier Mosset, Chuck Nanney, Steven Parrino, Sam Samore