new-york

Kathryn Garcia

Venetia Kapernekas Gallery

Since the beginnings of modernism, popular culture has fetishized the artist as bohemian other. The professionalization of the contemporary visual artist’s life notwithstanding, the stereotype of the starving, lunatic artist endures. The shopworn cliché has (usually posthumously) functioned as a merit stamp for artists as diverse as Kafka, van Gogh, Syd Barrett, and Sun Ra, and it is blithely reiterated in films like last year’s Séraphine. The very discomfort caused by experiencing art of the mentally ill is also the reason for its exotification. In One-Dimensional Man, Marcuse argues, “Non-conformity with the system itself appears to be socially useless.” Except, it seems, for the purposes of voyeuristic spectacle.

Kathryn Garcia’s exhibition, curated by Sarvia Jasso, was the first in a series of shows at Venetia Kapernekas by artists dealing with the “aesthetics and fabrication of madness

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