Forthcoming Exhibitions - Jack the Pelican Presents

Kick the Can't
Curated by Christine Hou and Melinda Braathen

Opening Friday July 17th
7 to 9pm.
Runs through August 2nd.

“…if any action can be made out to accord with the rule, then it can also be made out to conflict with it.”

– Paolo Virno

Kick The Can’t is a group exhibition featuring the works of international and New York-based artists. The title of the exhibition alludes to the game, Kick the can, in which players are faced with one objective: to kick the can before being tagged. The can sits there tauntingly, beckoning the players to strike. Seeing that the action cannot be predictable, the player must devise a tactic that is both uncharted and perfectly timed. The can facilitates deviations, while simultaneously all of the failed attempts draw attention to the uncertainty of the actions that occur. Kick the can functions as a metaphor for the joke. Jokes arrive in the threshold between the norm, what should exist, and what actually exists—this slippage is where much humor is generated. Isabel Schmiga’s Slip is a play on the fig leaf as a common art historical reference used to conceal embarrassment or obscenities. Schmiga upends this commonly used trope by cutting the leaves into the shape of hands, suggesting something other than what was initially intended. In Kick The Can’t, each of the artists use a particular language to build from a conventional known, or as Paolo Virno calls it in Jokes and Innovative Action: For a Logic of Change, "a normal everyday frame of life.” Jonathan Paul Gillette’s upside down rainbow overturns a common symbol along with it is varied meanings, casting inquiry to its form and exhaustive history—in short, a more satisfactory sign.

Kick The Can’t approaches the joke as being codependent with the norm. The joke grafts itself onto the norm and reforms it, calling to focus humor, questions, and a new mode in which to perceive the everyday.

Artists featured:
Uri Aran, Max Galyon, Jonathan Paul Gillette, Liz Linden, Jonathan Monk, Isabel Schmiga, Kant Smith, and Julia Weist

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