Why hello there, dearest Filthy Dreams readers? What’s that? Where have I been? While I know I’ve been slightly ignoring you, faithful Filthy Dreams readers these past couple weeks, it’s been for a good cause because I’ve been installing my newest exhibition–a group show Night Fever at Pittsburgh’s Future Tenant. The show focuses on disco and its aesthetic legacy and opens this Friday, July 7 from 5:30PM to 10PM. If you’re in Pittsburgh, come!
More in the press release below:
Pittsburgh PA— July 7th, Future Tenant will be opening its newest exhibition, Night Fever, curated by art writer and co-founder of the blog Filthy Dreams, Emily Colucci.
Night Fever examines the aesthetic legacy of disco through a diverse multigenerational group of local and national contemporary artists who engage with the bygone era of mirror balls, disco divas, and transformative nights of dancing. While disco and its cultural impact have often been brushed off as too artificial, too commercial and too kitsch, Night Fever will emphasize Alice Echol’s assertion from Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture that “disco…broadened the contours of blackness, femininity and male homosexuality.” The artists in Night Fever use disco to create a rich dialogue about the communities, performances and self-fashioned identities that emerged through the music and clubs.
Through a variety of mediums, Night Fever ranges from Bradley Wester’s abstractions that capture the utopia of disco clubs through reflective materials and disco balls to Devan Shimoyama’s photographs documenting a shimmering performance of remembrance on Fire Island, and Scott Andrew’s decadent and fantastical site-specific window installation. Other works take inspiration from iconic disco singers and songs including Pacifico Silano’s juxtaposition of Olivia Newton John with images from vintage porn magazines that construct new narratives about lost generations of gay men, Androxx’s update on the disco-era clone look with lyrics from songs like CHIC’s “Le Freak” and Gabriel Martinez’s Anthology, a painted ode to Donna Summer’s musical catalogue. Hilary Harp and Suzie Silver take a cue from the cover of seminal disco producer Patrick Cowley’s Megatron Man in their campy video “Robot Love,” while Adam Milner’s video strips the collective club experience down to its very essence–a singular body dancing.
“Overall, the exhibition aims to question,” says curator Emily Colucci, “What does it mean to look back at disco in 2017, forty years after disco began to reach its peak with the releases of Donna Summer’s sultry and strangely futuristic ‘I Feel Love’, The Village People’s debut album, and The Bee Gees soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever? Disco, to me, seems to come from a distant idyllic era. Art that engages with its legacy tangles with a sense of nostalgia and loss, as well as a celebration of the music’s transcendent excesses.”
This exhibit is open to the public July 7th through August 13th, 2017, with a free opening reception to be held from 5:30pm to 10pm on July 7th, coinciding with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s summer Gallery Crawl. The reception will feature complimentary beverages by Future Tenant’s generous sponsor, Straub Beer and food by Future Tenant’s generous sponsor, Mad Noodles.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
EMILY COLUCCI, born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, is a New York-based arts writer, curator, and co-founder of Filthy Dreams (www.filthydreams.wordpress.com), a blog analyzing art and culture through a queer lens and a touch of camp. Emily is the recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital|Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Filthy Dreams. Interested in the intersection of nightlife and visual cultures, she previously co-curated Visual AIDS’s annual exhibition Party Out Of Bounds: Nightlife As Activism Since 1980 at LaMaMa Galleria, as well as its satellite installation Courtship Disorder by John Walter in London’s White Cubicle Toilet Gallery at the late George & Dragon Pub.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
SCOTT ANDREW is a multimedia artist, working predominantly in video, installation, performance, and new media. His works are inherently collaborative in nature, spanning many modes of inquiry, processes, and themes that adapt based on the nature of the collaboration, and the artists with whom he is in conversation. Some of the overlapping themes from his solo work that blend into his collaborative projects include portals to other worlds, voids and vortexes, dominance and submission, and speculative fantasies. Scott is a co-founder of the Institute for New Feeling, and co-producer of TQ Live!
ANDROXX is a New York-based photographer inspired by how deeply a pop song can resonate and how lyrics and words can be presented as lessons. Working with some of the world’s most beautiful faces and bodies, Androxx released his first piece “I’ll Be Your Mirror” in 2012. It quickly became an Internet sensation, and soon Androxx’s work was mentioned by Interview Magazine, Time Out Magazine and more. His work has been presented in both solo and group shows at Jadite Galleries New York and featured in publications such as 1883 and Schön.
HILARY HARP AND SUZIE SILVER have collaborated since 2003, creating a range of projects including objects, installations, videos and performances. Drawn to exotica, science fiction, tall-tales and pre-digital special effects, they create D.I.Y. spectacles by combining technical sophistication with humble materials. They have exhibited their objects and installations throughout the U.S. Their videos have screened at festivals all over the world.
GABRIEL MARTINEZ is a Cuban-American native of Miami, Florida based primarily in Philadelphia, PA, as well as Miami and New York, who works largely with photography, performance, and installation. He has created performance-oriented events and installations for various venues including: in Philadelphia at the Institute of Contemporary Art, The Fabric Workshop & Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Art Alliance and Nexus Foundation for Today’s Art; in New York at White Columns, Franklin Furnace, Exit Art, Thread Waxing Space and the Scope Art Fair at Lincoln Center; and in Miami at Miami Art Central and Bernice Steinbaum Gallery. Gabriel attended the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in 2003, and received his MFA from Tyler School of Art in 1991 and BFA from UF in 1998, both in photography.
ADAM MILNER treats his personal life like an anthropologist might treat another site or culture: observing, interviewing, collecting, and archiving, carefully but somewhat distanced. These resultant archives, driven by a sense of longing and desire to grasp personal moments of intimacy or vibrancy take the form of performances, drawings, and interventions which reveal a personal vulnerability while examining broader politics of relationships and intimacy. He has exhibited at the Warhol Museum, the Aspen Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Casa Maauad, Flux Factory, Gildar Gallery, and David B. Smith Gallery. He received his MFA from Carnegie Mellon University.
DEVAN SHIMOYAMA received his BFA from The Pennsylvania State University in Drawing/Painting (2011) and his MFA from Yale University School of Art in Painting/Printmaking (2014). Devan has exhibited throughout the United States, including at Samuel Freeman Gallery in Los Angeles, CA; Lesley Heller Gallery in New York, NY; BravinLee Programs in New York, NY; the Northern Illinois University Art Museum, in Dekalb, IL; Alter Space, San Francisco, CA; Emmanuel Gallery, Denver, CO; and internationally in Realities in Contemporary Video Art at the Fondation des Etats Unis, in Paris, France. He has upcoming solo exhibitions with David DeBuck gallery in New York, NY (November 2017), Samuel Freeman Gallery in Los Angeles, CA (January 2018) and the Warhol Museum (Summer 2018). Shimoyama has been featured in publications such as The Los Angeles Times, The Creator’s Project on Vice, New American Paintings (Volume 105 & 116), Pinwheel, Filthy Dreams, and Saatchi Art’s ‘Best of 2014’. Born in Philadelphia, PA, Devan is currently full-time faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, and lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.
PACIFICO SILANO is a lens-based artist whose work is an exploration into lost histories of the LGBTQ community. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he received his MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts. His work has been exhibited in group shows, including at the Bronx Museum of the Arts; Tacoma Art Museum; The Zuckerman Museum at Kennesaw University, Context, Miami; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam; and ClampArt, New York City and solo exhibitions at ClampArt, New York City, Baxter Street Camera Club of New York and VOLTA NY. Reviews of his work have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, Artforum, VICE, Time Out NY and The New York Times. A selection of his work will be included in the exhibition “Fantasy America” at The Warhol Museum in Fall of 2018.
BRADLEY WESTER’S visual art evolved out of performance, then painting, into a hybrid-practice that combines painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, and photographic digital imaging into larger works/installations. His current body of work, DISCOurse, examines the ‘Queer’ utopian impulse of disco via the disco ball’s fracturing and reordering of the ‘straight’ reflection. His upcoming solo, DISCOurse #3, will be at Yellow Peril Gallery in Providence RI July 1—August 20, 2017 and he has been featured in solo and group shows in the U.S. & Europe, which include Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York; Yellow Peril Gallery, Providence; and Margalef & Gipponi, Antwerp. Born and raised in New Orleans and based in New York and Rhode Island, Bradley is also a writer–his “Brothers Katrina”, one chapter in a book in progress, won the 2016 Fresher Writing Prize for Best Creative Nonfiction.
ABOUT FUTURE TENANT
FUTURE TENANT is a non-profit art space located in downtown Pittsburgh at 819 Penn Avenue dedicated to showcasing the work of emerging artists through exhibitions that offer a cutting-edge perspective on the Pittsburgh art scene.
FUTURE TENANT | 819 PENN AVE. PITTSBURGH, PA 15222