Kick the Can't

From the gallery press release...

Jack the Pelican Presents
487 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Gallery hours: Thursday – Monday, 12-6pm

Kick The Can’t
July 17 – August 2, 2009
Opening reception: Friday, July 17, 6–9 pm

Uri Aran
Max Galyon
Jonathan Paul Gillette
Liz Linden
Jonathan Monk
Isabel Schmiga
Kant Smith
Julia Weist

Curated by Christine Hou and Melinda Braathen

Isabel Schmiga, Slip , 2006, fig leaves, metal, 37 × 32cm
Isabel Schmiga, Slip, 2006, fig leaves, metal, 37 × 32cm.
© Photo: Vahit Tuna

“…if any action can be made out to accord with the rule, then it can also be made out to conflict with it.” – Paolo Virno

Kick The Can’t
is a group exhibition featuring the works of international and New York-based artists. The title of the exhibition alludes to the game, Kick the can, in which players are faced with one objective: to kick a guarded can without being tagged. The can sits there tauntingly, beckoning the players to strike. In order not to be caught, the action cannot be predicted; the player must devise a tactic that is both uncharted and perfectly timed. The can facilitates deviations, while each failed attempt draws attention to the uncertainty of the action. Kick the can functions as a metaphor for the joke. Jokes arrive in the threshold between the norm, what should exist, and what actually exists—this slippage is where much humor is generated. Isabel Schmiga’sSLIP is a play on the fig leaf as a common art historical reference used to conceal embarrassment or obscenities. Schmiga upends this commonly used trope by cutting the leaves into the shape of hands, suggesting something other than what was initially intended. In Kick The Can’t, each of the artists use a particular language to build from a conventional known, or as Paolo Virno calls it in Jokes and Innovative Action: For a Logic of Change, "a normal everyday frame of life.” Jonathan Paul Gillette’s upside down rainbow overturns a common symbol along with it is varied meanings, casting inquiry to its form and exhaustive history—in short, a more satisfactory sign.

Jonathan Paul Gillette, Upside Down Rainbow, 2009

Kick The Can’t approaches the joke as being codependent with the norm. The joke grafts itself onto the norm and reforms it, calling to focus humor, questions, and a new mode in which to perceive the everyday.

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