Folding the Black Flag is "an exploration of Nihilist Poetics formed through collaborative installation and an extended series of 'Performance Not-Happenings' from New York City to Miami. The exposition is an attempt to 'fold' both in the sense of pack-up/give-up abandon, and of rehistoricization and temporal revisionism - to actively create a new past by reorganizing and layering its facts (can the Dadaists, for instance, be written onto the Black Panther Party?)..."
Though this collaboration between James Concannon and Kalan Sherrard at Space Mountain might be heavy on extolling the absurd nature of the contemporary art scene, they do it under the guise of deconstruction. As they explain in their acerbically lengthy manifesto, "to 'fold' is to diminish, to package and reshape, to layer and reform, but also to abandon, give up, and jump ship."
That might be true, but the continued folding of say, a piece of paper, will eventually strengthen that paper exponentially.
The basic tenet of the work is the "folding" of Dadaist absudist philosophies. In yet another layering of the "folding" mythos, the artists will have their constructions "hypertextualized" in a Noise Opera; "the paintings, intervened items, text assemblages and combines of the polycephalous AOS body simultaneously desacralize and reify the crumbling detritus of self-cannibalizing refuse-culture into a phoenix of asocial third gender euphoria. Anti-Object. Anti-Art. Anti-AOS."
While I can't be entirely sure of the intention of absurdist proselytizing, it's evident that there's a lot of tongue-in-cheek social commentary working here. A black flag signifes anarchy; it's a symbol of hardcore punk; it's an iconic Raymond Pettibon image. It's also a killer of roaches and assorted vermin.
"Our interventions and anti-celebrations effective throughout the fairs act as capstones, creases, and tears onto the progressive folds we are effecting in the temporal drift. Each physical item is also a crease, moving steadily towards a monistic plurality, a strata of polarized integration, from which it will be possible to launch a series of deadly blows against the present and clear space for an actual human project whether that be interstellar becoming, an immortalized consciousness, the euphoric void, etc..."
Imagine then -- if only to share in the absurdist joy of this anarchist exercise in the "vacuous and venom-filled Miami art fairs" -- that these two artists will be operating around Miami. Imagine that the "black flag" being folded is:
An abandoned town in Western Australia.
A symbol of piracy.
A defunct British newspaper.
Greg Ginn's personal plaything to ruin.
A Vietnamese militia.
Then imagine the instances mentioned before as all-occurring, all-encompassing, all-artsy, all-Miami, all-AOS, all-Concannon, all-Sherrard, all-Space Mountain. Imagine that art does not have to take itself too seriously even if it sounds like the most serious game in town. Imagine it all happening here, at once, now. There's no giving up, there's no jumping ship -- there's only strength in the continued existence of the arts.
"Folding the Black Flag" at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 5, at Space Mountain, 8363 NE Second Ave., Miami. Call 862-AOS-INTL (267-4685) or visit spacemountainmia.org.
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