KAHN & SELESNICK
& The Carnival At The End Of The World
Exhibition Dates: October 31 – December 31, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, November 7, 6:00 – 8:00 P.M.
Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick are back at Carl Hammer Gallery with their usual seemingly limitless bag of tricks. As photographers, storytellers and sculptors, they build substantive, sprawling narratives spiced with magic and oddity. Truppe Fledermaus is visual pictorial storytelling at its best, with a storyline which revolves around a troupe of traveling entertainers trying to cope with present-day environmental disasters set in an era which aesthetically recalls Germany at the end of the Weimar Republic and into the Third Reich. Through their use of dozens of staged photographs, posters, costume designs and imposing sculptures, Kahn and Selesnick paint a bleak scene through the efforts of this batty troupe’s engagement with the environment.
Structured to be read as photographic diaries, the images created by this collaborative team transport us to intriguing places non-existent in each of our own lives except in our wildest fantasies. We become captive to the adventure, danger, and survival that secretly propel us through the hum-drum of daily regimentation. The photos are filled with a lyricism both playful and serious. Often intentionally over-written, whimsical, tongue-in-cheek, campy, and purposely self-conscious, Kahn and Selesnick’s characters make no concession to the absurdity of their out-of-sync encounters. The storytellers also make no concessions to straightforwardness, leaving the viewer feeling like the protagonists, led on forever, continually tantalized with small clues, and snatches from this or that linked together by the immensity of the preposterous situations in which the characters are photographically captured.