Week Two: You Can Fly!

by Corinna Kirsch on November 12, 2013 Dream Exhibitions

Josephine Wall, "Ocean of Dreams."

Dream Exhibitions is a new weekly series that asks artists, writers, curators, and other creative types what unrealized exhibition they’d like to curate. Each week, we publish three to five new submissions. Everyone’s invited, so dream a big dream, and send it our way. (Corinna Kirsch, corinna@artfcity.com)

This week, get ready for some near-ready curatorial proposals that seem to be lacking just one thing—a space—and a list of fifteen exhibition titles.

Phillip Niemeyer, designer, artist, and filmmaker

A list of dream exhibitions:

  • Boobs and Puppies
  • Circles With Nipples
  • PAINT! and Its Discontents
  • Lick a Picasso
  • Look Behind You
  • Paint-Eye-View
  • Clean Pillows (Swedish Interactive Sculpture)
  • Wax Figures of First Romances
  • A Diorama Depicting the Life of Everyone Currently Alive
  • You Can Fly!
  • One Liners: American Minimalism & Jokes
  • Fucking Computers
  • Klee Glee
  • Symbols of Symbols
  • Pointless: Art in Zero Dimensions
Alex Teplitzky, curator and blogger at Tout Petit La Planète

As much as I loved the 1993 exhibition at the New Museum, I came away with two concerns. First of all, the show gave almost no indication of what it was like to live in 1993 outside of the art world. (I was reminded of an art history professor who, when one of his students brought up the Cory Arcangel work referred to in your first “Dream Exhibitions” post, admitted he had never heard of Mario or Nintendo.)

Secondly, it made me realize that cultural nostalgia has almost no institutionalized, IRL space to assert itself—aside from the Smithsonian, which is a good example, but here I’m interested in non-state-run nostalgic exhibitions, i.e. gallery spaces for nostalgia. My idea for a show is 1992: Flattops, Supercross, and Achy Breaky Hearts.

As the media and the Internet churn up, spit out, and obliterate constant news items and cultural phenomena, it’s too easy to forget what seemed to define a now awkward year like 1992. These moments aren’t forgotten because they are forgettable; on the contrary, I posit that pop cultural items of 1992 are just as relevant and defining today as many of the artworks in 1993 proved.  Reviewing a list of notable/non-notable events, it’s incredible that they could ever be forgotten in the first place:

  • George H.W. Bush is televised falling violently ill at a state dinner in Japan, vomiting into the lap of Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa; he then faints.
  • 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.
  • Ice-T announces that the controversial track “Cop Killer” is being pulled from Body Count’s self-titled album.
  • Shanda Sharer is tortured and burned to death in Madison, Indiana by four teenage girls.
  • Supercross was all the rage.
  • Sinéad O’Connor stirs up controversy when she rips up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live.
  • Um, hello? End of the Cold War (January 26)?
  • Achy Breaky Heart” released.
  • Nirvana’s Nevermind album goes to No. 1 in the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.
  • Barney and Friends debuts on PBS.
  • Microsoft releases Windows 3.1.
  • Watts riots happened.
  • “A Land Apart From Time,” a.k.a Dinotopia, released.
  • LOL Ross Perot participated in the nationally televised Presidential debates.
  • The first SMS message is sent over the Vodafone GSM network in the United Kingdom.
  • Shit, I just can’t get “Achy Breaky Heart” out of my head.


Alison Feldish and Derek Frech, founders of Who Wore It Better

Our ideal exhibition is a physical culmination of our web-based research project whoworeitbetter.info. Like the website, the exhibition would present visually similar works by different artists that have expanded on, borrowed, shared an idea, or used similar language to different ends. A broad range of artists would be selected to illustrate the problems of originality as an end goal, as well as the importance of idea exchange and influence. With unlimited funding, we would be able to show established and historical works alongside contemporary and emerging work.

The gallery would be bisected along the center of the space creating symmetrical exhibitions that would allow the visitor to experience two different versions of the same show.

Courtenay Finn, curator, Art in General

To use an entire issue of Artforum as a vehicle for an exhibition in print. It would be a one-off in a year of regular issues, an anomaly—a missing “October.” I would want to keep the cover design and their font the same, but have the entire magazine to play with, without ads, reviews, or texts.

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