Franklin Street Works opens Kool-Aid Wino, a group exhibition curated by Brooklyn-based writer and critic Claire Barliant, starting with a reception 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. Artist Aki Sasamoto will perform at 7 p.m. The exhibit runs until Sept. 22.
The exhibition explores the “foregrounding of mistakes and missteps in contemporary art practices.” It features works by Anne Carson, Choi Dachal, Frank Heath, Owen Land, Rotem Linial, James Merrill, Alice Miceli, Jenny Perlin, Aki Sasamoto, as well as an ikat silk suzani made in the early1920s. I
The show starts with the widely accepted premise that artistic process relies on trial and error. You try something, you mess up, you move on. But what if you stay with that mistake, or that troubling passage, and make it the focus? What if you let it be awkward, an irritant, wiggle it like a loose tooth or pick at it like a scab that never quite heals? What if, instead of being one (quickly deleted) step toward success or resolution, the error becomes the climax and the denouement—an end point in itself, or even a goal? Hence the title Kool-Aid Wino, which comes from Trout Fishing in America by poet and author Richard Brautigan, who deliberately fudged words while writing in order to invent new ways of saying things.
Barliant, who lives in New York City, has had various jobs including stamping words on rubber bands (when she worked for an artist who sold soaps, perfumes, and rubber bands with words stamped on them in upscale shops like Barney’s and Moss), fact-checking for the Village Voice, packing up props for a Wes Anderson film, and numerous editorial gigs at art magazines. Today she writes, edits, teaches, and curates.