Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bad Moon Rising 3

Co-curated by NAIL, Jan Van Woensel and guests
January 19 - January 31, 2009

I fear that we are becoming a nation which simply sits in front of a television screen and orders its lives at the press of a button or mouse. There is in the internet the potential for destroying ourselves.
-- David Hope, Archbishop of York, April 2000 (news.bbc.co.uk)

This latest incarnation of the traveling exhibition Bad Moon Rising takes the form of a series of emails as well as an exhibition at Boots Contemporary Art Space, St. Louis. Individually curated by the members of NAIL, the emails will showcase artworks in a variety of media, from video to web design to found objects and more, exploring and expanding on the artistic possibilities of a form of communication that is often taken for granted. In many ways, the vehicles for this project, email and the internet, embody the spirit of Bad Moon Rising. A powerful tool for education and research, the internet can also expose us to predators, steal our identities, and spread dangerous or unwholesome images and video. On the internet, America's more subversive and iconoclastic citizens find community and the perfect, anonymous speaking platform. Religious and political figures' warnings of the web's latent evils are all but drowned out by praise for its perceived commercial and educational benefits.

The Bad Moon Rising project exposes some of the dark sides of the world's self-proclaimed greatest nation: the United States of America. With the election of a new President in November 2008, people are optimistic about the future of the USA's national and international politics, economy and warfare. Nevertheless, the country's continual increase in unemployment, poverty, the financial downfall, expensive and unreliable health care, equal rights and overpriced education are problems that are yet to be resolved. Offensive, annoying, naughty and whimsical, Bad Moon Rising helps to reminds us of some of the most disturbing facts of the USA's past and present. Through a selection of artworks, artifacts and a-historical references, major themes such as politics, religion, society, family, war and the media are disturbingly portrayed, casting a dark shadow over the USA's promised ideologies of freedom and prosperity.

Bad Moon Rising is a traveling group exhibition conceptually designed by New York-based curator Jan Van Woensel which premiered at Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, in Jan - Feb 2008. Bad Moon Rising 2 was a one-night only exhibition at ISCP in New York, which took place on September 12, 2008. The 3rd and most recent incarnation of Bad Moon Rising opened at Boots Contemporary Art Space in St. Louis, MO, and is co-curated by Jessica Silverman and Jan Van Woensel with the assistance of Kara Smith.


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