Virus 2020


VIRUS 2020, curated by Danny Vinik, is a cherry bomb lobbed across the cesspools of political divide and poisonous Internet chatter. It is a stark call to STOP the inaction, STOP the virus, STOP the warrior police, STOP allowing Internet algorithms to polarize us.

A group show, a testimony, burning embers to remind us that life is dangerous beginning with Mario Garcia’s harsh juxtaposition of spectral elements that evil and unrepentant clowns might use to seed the passageways of our weakest bodies with a nightmarish organism, calling to mind a sort of info booklet ware, tattered zines now finally displayed on a gallery wall.

Then we turn to Michael Berman’s trilogy of stillness: poisonous snakes skinned and left glistening on tenterhooks, an empty swimming pool, fetid water, graffitied to hell and back by the desert messengers, and there is life at the border, the drug deal gone bad – who died behind that mask? A novel virus? Jesus for our sins? Chapo? Perhaps it was Hamlet, poisoned by a malevolent head of state. Gosh does that sound familiar?

Kevin Black’s Hamlet is a Shakespeare we’ve never seen before. “Unbated and Envenom’d” exists all at once in the privacy free state, data spectacularly managed for you on the Elsinore Sport’s Network. Who will drink the poisoned pearl? No you don’t have the antibody.

We have no one to blame but ourselves.  Just as the lack of Internet accountability is spreading panic around COVID-19, it’s emboldening extremists lurking on the web, like pathetic white supremacist counter insurgents frantically stoking the fires of racism. Turn on the lights and send the cockroaches fleeing back to the drain. We want to expose the dangers of echo chamber thinking, of rewarding sensationalist content, of letting Zuckerberg and Google control what you consume, of giving up your agency in times when you need it most. STOP virus. STOP police. STOP poison. STOP.