Endorsed by Curators:
Charles Olson's first one-man show in NYC Oxymoronson the Road to Collective Insanity ofDiorama sculptures will be at the Pleiades Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, October3-28, 2017 onTuesdays to Saturdays 11 to 6
Opening receptionon Thursday, October 12, 5-7pm. Closing partyon October 28, 3-6pm. Charlie will be sitting the gallery and occasionally playing the guitar on the last two Fridays and Saturdays, October 20,21, 27 and 28.
Passive aggressive, virtual reality, fake news.Oxymoronscan bring levity to lies and make them sound matter-of-fact. They also symbolize our age of mendacious information sowing confusion and mistrust of the very notion of objective facts.This simple rhetorical trick has become a potent political weapon, and in our polarized society, honest and openpublicdebateis nownearly impossible.In recent decades much artistic talent focused on deconstructing cultural assumptions and language. Now it seems theres little leftto build with. Everything is true orfalsedepending on the assumptions of the hearer.
If insanity is defined in part as deviations from a groups generally accepted behaviors, is collective insanity possible or just another oxymoron? Could a group who supports laws and policies that undermine its own ability to make a living be considered collectively insane?If only a minority within the group recognized the contradiction, who would consider whom insane, and who would suffer the consequencesof the judgment?
The sculptures in this exhibit suggest the agony of these questions butoffer no answers, no relief.Some of the sculptures are cathartic, some are confused, but they all bear some edge of anger. Such emotions may not resolve the social problems weve created or allowed to develop, but at least the emotions are sincere, and thats a fact. Artistic inspirations for them include the dioramas in natural history museums (of course), Henry Moore (for his nature-inspired forms), Georgia OKeefe (for her skill with scale), SueCoe (forherpassion and politics) and Kara Walker (forherirony, humor and politics) among many others.