Things Fall Apart: Curated by Franklin Sirmans

18 March - 23 April 2005

After four years, the annual group show at moniquemeloche is a tradition. However, this year we invited Franklin Sirmans, NY-based independent curator and cultural critic, to take the helm and we are pleased to present Things Fall Apart.


Things Fall Apart is a multi-media exhibition featuring the work of a diverse group of artists including William Cordova (NY), Rashid Johnson (Chicago), Izima Kaoru (Japan), Nikki S. Lee (NY), Katrina Moorhead (Houston), Aaron Romine (Paris), Jacqueline Salloum (NY), Larry Scott (Baltimore), Jeff Sonhouse (NY), and Roberto Visani (NY). Taking its title from the famous novel by Chinua Achebe, (who was quoting William Butler Yeats’ famous poem “The Second Coming” (1921), the exhibition is also inspired by the further textual riffing of The Roots 1999 album of the same title. In its most basic premise, the show deals with dissolution in myriad forms, from the post-war and post-colonialism subjects of Yeats and Achebe respectively, to the plethora of associations likewise in our present moment. In the work of the ten artists assembled here, the dissolution of relationships, both personal and political, are brought to the fore from romance narratives to the commodification of the art object. The paintings, drawings, photographs, videos and objects strategically question the future while distinctly considering the past from portraiture to pop.


Cordova (drawings) recently received his MFA from YALE and is currently artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum of Harlem. His residency last summer at Art OMI in NY resulted in a new film project that was shown later in the Fall of 2004 at Locust Projects, Miami.


Johnson (sculpture/video) currently has solo show Production of Escapism at IMoCA Indianapolis and will be in the Prague Biennial 2005 and the Trienal de Luanda 2006 in Angola.


Kaoru (photos) “Landscape with a corpse” series may be familiar as the main image of Paris Photo 2004 and in The New Yorker Jan 2005. Kaoru first published the first parts of this series under the title “Serial Murders of Actresses” in his own fashion magazine “Zyappu” in 1994.


Lee (photo) was recently included in White: Whiteness and Race in Contemporary Art, International Center of Photography, NY and will have a solo show at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO 2005 


Moorhead (sculpture) is one of the artists representing Northern Ireland at the Venice Biennale 2005. She is a graduate of the Core Program, Glassell School Houston and will be an artist-in residence at ArtPace San Antonio in 2005.


Romine (painting) LA schooled and NY based artist familiar from the SuperReal show curated by Lauri Firstenberg at the 1st Prague Biennial has produced one of his few (4-5 year!) exquisite paintings about intimacy for the show.


Salloum (video/collage) 1st recipient of Chicago’s Palestine Film Festival Completion Fund Award 2004 and had her short film Planet of the Arabs included in the Sundance Film Festival 2005 & the NY Underground Film Festival 2005.


Scott (drawings) Baltimore-based curator of Xandos Gallery and creator of the loose art collective Comzee, may be on the forefront of a new movement of black art on the East Coast called “Art Noir Eleve” or “High Black Art” according to award winning journalist and screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper.


Sonhouse (painting) a 2004 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grants award winner, was recently in The Whole World is Rotten:Free Radicals & the Gold Coast Slave Castles of Paa Joe at Jack Shainman Gallery, NY.


Visani (sculpture/drawings) a 1997 Fulbright award winner was recently included in The Whole World is Rotten:Free Radicals & the Gold Coast Slave Castles of Paa Joe at Jack Shainman Gallery, NY. He completed a major site-specific installation at the Brooklyn Public Library in 2004.

Franklin Sirmans is a New York based independent curator and cultural critic whose accolades include co-curating the seminal show One Planet Under a Groove: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art, serving as editor of FlashArt Magazine, and writing for The New York Times, Newsweek International, International Herald Tribune, Essence Magazine, Grand Street, Flash Art, ArtNews, Art in America, Sculpture, and NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art. He is also one of the curators for the exhibition Basquiat that opened last week at the Brooklyn Museum with forthcoming catalogue and traveling venues in Los Angeles and Houston.