La Petite Mort Gallery presents
SHOOT ME, PLEASE
Paintings & Shooting Range Posters By Peter Shmelzer.
Co-curated by Adam Barbu & Guy Berube.
July 4 - 27 , 2014 / Vernissage Friday July 4 / 7 - 10pm
Live Vinyl Tunes by DJ Chris Jabbour
The impulse to mark is in essence a violent one. And the preemptive strike of the transference of thought onto material is not unlike the travelling of a bullet. This is not to say catastrophic or murderous. Rather, that the artistic gesture begins along an impossible, always already gone, euphoric moment before actions have consequences.
Shoot Me, Please presents a unique artistic intervention by Peter Shmelzer onto 8 vintage New York City shooting range posters specially selected from La Petite Mort Gallery’s private collection. The works map a space for competing forces of (un)reality: In situating Shmelzer’s distinct form of surrealist hyperrealism onto the target, we flirt within the space of the double negative. The simulated is the real. No surface is mundane or apolitical.
Shmelzer’s figures perform themselves in a kind of transcendental space as always already unreal. And however paradoxically, it is along the fault lines of this slight rhetorical displacement that they become real again. At its heart, Shoot Me, Please considers the ways in which art offers a space for refuge and resistance to the contexts in which materials and objects of vision are said to belong, and as such, questions the ways in which they very practice of art exists beyond the logic of physical violence
Shoot Me, Please works on a decided antagonism against the proliferation of self-congratulatory private and public cultures of violence (in which we are absolutely complicit). By pitting the base value of ‘simulated’ violence in dialogue with the artistic instinct to mark, Shoot Me, Please works to unearth, in the most basic sense - of form - the social norms that educate our cultural of violence in the first place.
The supposedly unviolated space is a space that waits - in whichever capacity. However, we can only be sure that the subsequent trajectory of the ‘violent’ mark is productive in changing the stakes of the binary logic of creation/destruction, good/evil, liberated/regulated.
‘Revenge’ is a phallus-y. Its manifestations are symptomatic of collisions along the unresolved (read: unresolvable) burdens of history that we carry into the present: at once conscious and unconscious, material and memory, of our own and of others. An act is never simply simulated. And consequences are never centralized. The bullseye melts beyond its own marked boundary.
- Written by Adam Barbu for La Petite Mort Gallery.