Faculty member Laura Parnes at Ida Schmid

© Laura Parnes, from Tour Without End

© Laura Parnes, from Tour Without End

Opening Reception: September 7th, 7-9 PM
Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Justine Kurland, Susan Lipper, Laura Parnes
Opening Reception: September 7th, 7-9 PM
September 7 - 30, 2016

Aspirational longing in the dusty privilege of holy, holy, holy.

You, defender of sharp edges shimmering in that mirage, the screen is high and blank, the glass is broken, the stage empty, and the snake knows her name.

Revelation, forgotten vehicle get me there, intrepid and meticulous, your femme fatale reductive and cool, fill my tilting horizon.

Beguiling middle winds blow round in Bethlehem.

You seem prone to visceral precision, a champion of impulses, inevitable passion, a paradoxical guide of peripatetic insatiable meandering yielding irrigated ditches. Loosed upon and hatched resonance, books found, she praying, praying to broken curves, her sedulous clairvoyance ripe with solitary muses crawl now out of that perceived wasteland, she crawls. Utopian refuge and secret conduits sculpting on your knees, said camera round neck, itinerant observations hold true. Your violent sun pluck my strings, revolution come future hither, come now. While lashes shutter in the turbulence of your wake dripping sweat, an engine roars.

Blazoned and sufficient she stands stage left singing hallelujah, no happy birthday.

My ghost murmurs a slow refrain. Three sirens slouching.

The center cannot hold. No it was not holding.

Desolate yearning, road trip of internal voices that craft and guide the eye and touch the hand. Photography, yes, slouching to the place in her, I, she, we, is it real or imagined? The velocity of my stars gather, escaping the core of that black hole, a daughter's hope and recognition, only existence, no lost religion. Three women linger in the hypnotic rhythm of a migratory process of visual fixations. Shifting in the deep, a well, between state-lines, and oceans traversing, Joan Didion gasps in provocation, words, the landscape pulls, the phoenix rises, you find the bird again, she kisses the fox full with open mouth as he crosses the road.

Articulated visions, America, subdue that aching, I can’t get that Monster out of my mind, Ginsberg arching. Turn up the volume, east to west and east again, Eden slips, she tethers, angels provoke, embrace filtering hoards, inspire, posturing, here we go slouching, slouching towards the light.

My analemma looks for your sun.

Ida Schmid,
Brooklyn, New York

Justine Kurland has become known for her utopian photographs of American landscapes and the fringe communities, both real and imagined, that inhabit them. A lifelong nomad, Kurland has been taking photographs during cross-country journeys that reveal the double-edged nature of the American dream. She presents a reality where utopia and dystopia are not polar opposites, but rather fold together in an uneasy coexistence. A selection of photographs from Sincere Auto Care and recent never before shown works will be included in the exhibition.

Susan Lipper is mostly known as a maker of books. Lipper’s work consists of constructed series originating from journeys throughout the United States. These synthetic road trips take the form of subjective travel journals and visual diaries. Her artistic persona resembles something of a tourist, seeker or refugee. What is a constant though is that the viewpoint stems from a liberal, female artist from New York City. It is Lipper’s practice to work both within and against the documentary tradition. She recognizes documentary as a constructed mode of representation and sees her works as docu-fictions. She questions whether America can fulfill its Utopian promise. In travels since the Eighties, she has traced the path of Manifest Destiny from the East Coast to the West, from the Appalachian forest to the Californian desert. In addition, she has picked up the gauntlet thrown down by Deborah Bright in her famous 1985 essay “Of Mother Nature and Marlboro Men,” in which she asks why the art of landscape photography has remained so identified with the masculine eye. Four silver gelatin photographs from Susan’s most recent series, The Desert Series, will be on view.

Laura Parnes is an artist whose work engages strategies of narrative and experimental film and video art to craft loose narratives of trauma and repressed memory around mass-culture experiences and youthful rites of passage.

Two video excerpts from Laura Parnes Tour Without End a multi-platform project will be installed at Ida Schmid. Real-life musicians, artists and actors are cast as alternate-universe-rock star versions of themselves, a core group of players improvise based on semi-scripted scenes. Many of these outsized performers are legendary personalities in the history of DIY venues for visual and performing arts in NYC and beyond. Archetypes playing archetypes, the combination of formally composed shots and handheld camera work makes the viewer aware of the construction of the project as the players move in and out of fictionalized characters and real life—the film moves in and out of non-linear narrative and historical document.

Centered on the fictional band “Munchausen,” the narrative revels in their complex band dynamics as they endure the strain of touring, collaborating and the process of aging while immersed in a youth driven DIY music scene. The players From Tour Without End include: Lizzi Bougatsos (Gang Gang Dance), Jim Fletcher (NYC Players), Kate Valk (Wooster Group), Matthew Asti (MGMT), Alexandra Drewchin (Earth Eater), Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum), Gary Indiana, Kathleen Hanna (The Julie Ruin), Nicole Eisenman, JD Sampson, Kembra Pfahler, Brontez Purnell and Johanna Fateman.

1 Ginsberg, Allen. “Footnote to Howl,” from Howl and Other Poems,1956.
2 Yeats, William Butler. “The Second Coming,” 1919.
3 Didion, Joan. Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1968.
4 Didion, Joan. “I Can’t Get That Monster Out Of My Head,” from Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1968. 5 Milton, John. Paradise Lost, Book 1, 1667.

IDA SCHMID is a curatorial platform that mounts exhibitions, events, and performances.