Carlye Packer is pleased to announce the new summer series Cherry’s organized by Anna Frost.
Cherry’s will present a string of exhibitions and projects over the coming months, the first is Archon
Fever by Liz Quezada-Lee and Chris Johst.
The new collaborative works of Quezada-Lee and Johst take a virtual corporate-productivist hammer
to the Surrealists’ beloved cadavre exquis: Lee and Johst each contribute images sourced from
social media posts, fragments of memes, clip art, etc. to a Figma board.
Pulling from one another’s image-horde, the cadavre is passed back-and-forth, activating something
like an app-based Third Mind. The resulting images are transferred to metal by means of an analog
technique reminiscent of Rauschenberg’s.
Quezada-Lee’s early work directly registers a matrix of raw feeling and art-historical tropes. To
create it she carefully made up her face and cried real tears into pillows, couch cushions, and velvet,
mounting the results on canvas to create Turin shrouds of actual emotion autorendered in facepaint.
This emo AbEx suggests the frozen pathos of Bas Jan Ader or open-wound honesty of Tracey Emin.
A more recent body of work is composed of gigantic hand-made armored ‘stripper heels’ and steel
bunker-like shoes with razor-wire-esque defensive perimeters.
Johst’s recent show “Lord, Honey, You’re a Ghost” examined 19th and 20th Century masculinity
and its discontents through the lens of America’s faded frontiers: kitsch Americana, boys’ toys,
Precious Moments® hummels, and Westerns, rendered via holography, 3D printing, vacuum-formed
‘paintings’, and electronic displays with scrolling 3D printed text. A ghostly, holographic Tom Sawyer
paints a seemingly endless line of fence posts that roll ceaselessly off a 3D printer chugging away in
the exhibition space. Johst’s work, like Quezada-Lee’s, derives much of its force from an “untimely”
tangle of neo-atavisms and cutting-edge materials/techniques.
The new works have as their basis similar material and thematic monstrum. Quezada-Lee constructs
a hybrid scepter/stripper pole with wings echoing those of Hermes’ caduceus from metallic 3D
filament while Johst 3D prints a taped-together tower of crushed cans in emulation of the drinking
game “Wizard’s Staff”. The works’ crosscutting–an untimely mixture of the ancient and the
contemporary and their programmatic actualization of the virtual–align in a variety of ways across the
matrix “for-and-against'' power. They suggest not just Diderot’s monstrous “being(s) whose duration
is incompatible with the existing order. “ but also Dick’s warning (monere) that: “the Empire never
It is possible, even likely, that virtual imaging/engineering apps and their extensions–automated tools
that bring screen-based phantasms into three dimensions–are introducing a new, radical plasticity
into the onto-epistemological manifold that we call the ‘real’.
The forces of desire that have historically occupied so much inner phase-space, as well as the virtual
realms of literary and artistic production (sci-fi, fantasy, 'pataphysics, and Surrealism especially) are
paving the way for an unprecedented outpouring of dreams into what Breton described as “the
poverty of the real”, pointing towards “a fantastic world superimposed on reality.”
Exhibition text by Scott Benzel.