David Levine

Galerie Feinkost

Desire for success is as integral to the economy as money. The same applies to the so-called cultural economy. Both, however, evince a yawning gulf between expectation and return. The number of those who just about get by—let alone “make it”—is dwarfed by the armada of unknowns who labor for years, agonize, and fail. Nevertheless, with sheer tenacity, they write yet another application and throw themselves at the mercy of the market for the umpteenth time. David Levine’s exhibition “Hopeful” picks up precisely from this point: Its only materials are applications written by actors to a New York theater agent, unanswered and thrown away. Since May 2005, Levine has literally been pulling them out of the trash, collecting, and cataloguing them.

And so the walls of the gallery are full of cover letters, envelopes, and, most strikingly, more than two thousand head shots, simply sorted into

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