Pas de Deux

Pas de Deux

Dreamsong presents Pas De Deux, a group exhibition featuring work by Kim Benson, Moyra Davey, Justine Di Fiore, David Goldes, Jay Heikes, Alexa Horochowski, Pao Houa Her, Ruben Nusz, and JoAnn Verburg.

In his short story, Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote (1939), Jorge Luis Borges discusses the reproduction of a seminal text far removed from the historical and social context of the original. Menard, the titular character, channels his own experience to precisely rewrite chapters of Cervantes’ Don Quixote without directly copying the text. Of course, the Quixote as written by an early twentieth century Frenchmen carries far different meanings and connotations than the Quixote as written by a 16th century Spaniard, and to Borges, Menard’s conceptual project invites a new manner of reading: 

"Menard has (perhaps unwittingly) enriched the slow and rudimentary art of reading by means of a new technique – the technique of deliberate anachronism and fallacious attribution. This technique fills the calmest books with adventure. Attributing Imitatio Christi to Louis Ferdinand Céline or James Joyce – is that not sufficient renovation of those faint spiritual admonitions?"

Discursive questions surrounding authorship and context lie at the root of Menard; the same have been contemplated throughout the history of art. As in literature, time is all important: contemporary art exists in a Heraclitean swirl of discussion and context that is constantly in flux. Jay Heikes writes,

"Every artist works relentlessly to shed the irresistible references of their idols, some more than others, but those influences never truly go away. They are ghosts that forever haunt the artist and without constant exorcisms they become too seductive to ignore, usually grabbing hold every once-in-a-while for a Faustian pas de deux - a bargain that is a simple one; material pleasures over spiritual ones, resulting in a derivative, didactic conduit instead of an original, abstract belief system. But maybe originality is overrated or a flat out myth..."

With references to Giotto, Michelangelo, Morandi, and Paul Thek, among others, the artists in Dreamsong’s summer group show explore what it means to appropriate another artist’s work, either directly or slyly, wholesale or in part, and how distinctions between homage, facsimile, commentary, subversion, and criticism bend and shift, allowing the past to be ceaselessly reread in the present.f system. But maybe originality is overrated or a flat out myth..."

Gallery Hours:
Wed-Sat 12-5pm 

Image: David Goldes, Under the Sheltering Sky, 2024. Graphite, molding paste, black gesso on paper. 27 x 22 in. 

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