Galerie Paris-Beijing | Paris
62, rue de Turbigo – 75003 Paris, France\
The two shows titles bring up the lyrics of the American military tune Taps (“Day is done, gone the sun… God is nigh”) and announce the irony and the caustic humour of this New Yorker artists duo, comprised of sculptor Lauren Was and painter Adam Eckstrom.
Ghost of a Dream documents and critically explores the futile hopes and dreams of contemporary materialist society that is constantly on the search for a newer, better life. Lauren and Adam mine popular culture for real people’s discarded dreams, such as old lottery tickets, romance novels, baseball cards, trophies, art postcards or so-called “nudie cards”. These escapist objects form the material from which the artists re-create the faded hopes and dreams into large-scale immersive installations, sculptures, collages, videos or text-based work. Some of their works evolve into get-rich-quick promises and fruitless investments in the unpredictable system of gambling; others remind with irony and a little cynicism the ephemeral dimension of perfect romances, so often destined for delusive ends.
For the video installations Day is done (2013) Lauren and Adam scoured through numerous hollywood films to amass a digital archive of sunsets that play on loop on countless television sets. Sunsets represent the moment of perfect, lasting romance, yet rarely live up to what the promise… Critically exploring the role of the media in creating and fostering such fantasies in society, they confront us with our own habits of seeking comfort and hope for perfect love in movies. Their immersive work hauntingly reminds us that many of our fantasies and dreams, creating a bright future that will never exist, make us lose much more than we will ever gain.
Their title work for the show, Ghost of a Dream’s newest video Gone the Sun (2014), is playing with expectations and actualities. “THE END”, which fades in and out of this 60 layer video work of sunsets, has dual associations: the apocolyptical and the “happily ever after”. The tension they achieve between the idea of a “happy ending” and the “end of days” relies heavily on the discordant audio, which combines epic melodies intentionally composed to pull on our heartstrings and elicit emotional compliance into a confusing and agitating cacophony. The piece captures the anxiety of our times: overstimulation, relativism and the flattening of meaning.
Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom were both born in the USA and met while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Eckstrom received a MFA Painting (Honors) in 2005 and Was a MFA Sculpture (Honors) in 2004. Their collaboration began in 2006 when they became intrigued by the question of what people dream about when they buy a lottery ticket. They founded the collaborative Ghost of a Dream in 2007 and a year later made their first piece in the Easy Money series, The Dream Car.
Their work has been exhibited in Europe, China and int the USA and also has been featured in The Guardian, The Independent, Time Out and ArtForum.com among other publications. Ghost of a Dream have had various residencies in Germany, Switzerland, USA and France. The collaborative has been the recipient of the 2013 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the Jerome Foundation grant and received the first annual Young Masters Art Prize in London in 2009. They have had solo exhibitions notably at the Hunterdon Art Museum, New Jersey (2012) and were featured in group shows at the Courtauld Institute of Art (2009).
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