Pushing Up Daisies

Group show

03.27.2018 - 04.27.2018

A group exhibition presenting works by Leslie Baum & Allison Wade, Dan Devening, Anastasia Douka, Sacha Ingber, Billy James Joyce, Matt Mancini, Lior Modan, and Dan Rizzo-Orr


Dear Ana,


Ryan came up with “Pushing Up Daisies” while I was desperately searching for a title for the show. Late at night, I was systematically going through books of poetry. Olson, Stein, Ginsberg… none of them revealed a thing to me. He came back home, took his shoes off, asked what I was doing, and came up with the title. I did not know what it meant, pushing up daisies. He explained that it’s a nice way to say that someone is about to die; “soon, I will be pushing up daisies.” Why death? We spoke about Ginsberg. I damaged one of his books, that is, Ginsberg’s, that Ryan owns, “Gay Sunshine Interview.” Dipped it in water, that yellow thing. Ginsberg talks there about gayness; gayness as in sexual orientation, and as in happiness. Carefree happiness that touches madness, madness that arrives with freedom. Then he told me about that movie that Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie directed, a mediocre -though pretty fun to watch- movie with Ginsberg and Kerouac, and others, called “Pull My Daisy.” The film’s title is taken from a poem by Ginsberg, Cassady, and Kerouac, from around the late 40”. It is said that “Pull My Daisy” was written in the “exquisite corpse” style, though I think that the poem was written while the three were dictating and transcribing it. Here are few lines:


Pull my daisy
Tip my cup
All my doors are open Cut my thoughts
For coconuts
All my eggs are broken Jack my Arden
Gate my shades
Woe my road is spoken Silk my garden
Rose my days
Now my prayers awaken


Ryan is against Press Releases. Perhaps “against” is of a too harsh term here; he finds them useless. I tend to agree with him. Press Releases seem to operate as a signifier shortcut. “Don’t bother to think about the work – we will tell you what it’s all about.” And there must be always “about”! But, why? Why there must be “about”? When and why did we forget, that art can be; be without references. When did we lose “it is what it is”? So here it is. The artists in this show share few things, though they carry distinctive practices. Releasing themselves from the world as it is, from the net of the referential, they work without, or rather outside of language. Instead of pointing back, they draw new vectors. It is a skill that necessitates unlearning. Unlearning, forgetting, silencing noises; truly difficult abilities to conquer. There, one finds herself in darkness, with no clear ground and no ego to affirm. There are no mirrors, therefore the death that I brought up earlier. Death, because these artists are committed to a continuous transformation. Also, they don’t give a fuck about the marked. I mean, they would love to sell more and so on, but they do what they do regardless. Lastly, death, because they are not afraid. Like the daisies, their work is stupefying in its beauty, while also troubling and sometimes gross.


We hope you will enjoy the show, Ruslana and Ryan.



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