At the exhibit "Hopeless and Otherwise," the main point is that it's depressing to live in this country right now. Curator Valerie Imus quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald to describe how the contributing artists deal with it: "One should ... be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise." In the gallery, nine artists and three collectives contribute to the strong show of historicized, observant, skeptical optimism. Our favorite (because we also rely heavily on absurdism-as-therapy), is Nathan Lynch's All the President's Noses, 2000-08 the artist X-Actoed the nose out of every newspaper image of the president he could find until he just couldn't do it anymore. The Noses display features poster-sized blowups of noseless Bush photos, a Lucite case with stacks of the tiny newsprint originals, and boxes of the noses themselves. Elsewhere, Alison Pebworth shows a righteous banner-painting, Genesis in the Retort, in which Native Americans are transmuted alchemically into George W. Bush, whose distillate is psychedelic and human. A number of conceptual video projects meditate on change, and two accompanying events sound anything but hopeless: a film and video screening called "Global Honking Ground" (June 24 at YBCA) and the light show "Baby Boomers Fucked Everything" (July 3).
May 23-July 3, 2008