“The kernel, the soul—let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual valuable material of all human utterances—is plagiarism.” -Jonathan Lethem
“I fake it so real that I’m beyond fake.” -Courtney Love
“Ever wondered what an authentic experience felt like? You know—a feeling that you were reasonably sure was yours’ and yours’ alone; a gesture that didn’t inevitably collapse into a set of chiches; having an idea that didn’t already have a citation index attached to it; the premise that you, your thoughts and your actions were in any meaningful way unique? I keep thinking at some point in my past, I must have had an authentic feeling—but certainly not lately. For the most part, I–like most artists I know–have come to an uneasy peace about the whole thing, figuring that “mediation is me” and besides, authenticity is so twentieth-century. But I continue to be haunted by one particularly troubling aspect of this equation: if authenticity is now accepted in most quarters as a cultural construct rather that an existential truth, then how the hell do we recognize sincerity anymore. Or is sincerity, like its corollary authenticity, contingent on a world outside ourselves? And if so, what does it mean for individuals who produce work based on notions of intuition and self-expression?
The exhibition has taken as its premise the idea that sincerity is a contested term in contemporary art practice. All of the artists chosen for the exhibition have in some way addressed the challenge of the authentic in a particular way, each coming to the problem with a specific critical strategy. A number of works in the show address a certain longing for a graspable authentic experience that seems somehow just out of reach. There are others for whom our thoroughly mediated world of experience is what constitutes the “new” authentic. Still others see authenticity as simply a social construction, and thus the act of addressing it in art is, at its core, ironic. Together, the works in this exhibition provide an intriguing snapshot into the challenge of being an artist–and in essence locating the self–in this complicated thing we call contemporary art.”
– John Kissick
Steven James Brown
Jenna Faye Powell
Anthony F. Saad & Alek Grguric