Dash Snow – Freeze Means Run
Greenwich, CT November 8th to March 12th, 2016
Dash Snow – Freeze Means Run
The Brant Foundation Art Study Center is pleased to announce Freeze Means Run, the first US solo exhibition of work by Dash Snow since 2006. Freeze Means Run will include an expansive amount of artwork across disparate media: over 100 Polaroid photographs (many on view publicly for the first time); sculpture; installation; film; and collage, including the iconic 45-part work, Fuck the Police (2005).
Snow (1981–2009) was an enigmatic figure at the center of the downtown New York art scene shaped and influenced by post-9/11 upheaval. He is known as a member of a community of young artists, including Rita Ackermann, Lizzi Bougatsos, Dan Colen, Brian Degraw, Marc Hundley, Terence Koh, Hanna Liden, Klara Liden, Nate Lowman, Adam McEwen, Ryan McGinley, Agathe Snow, Emily Sundblad and Aaron Young. As we start to gain enough distance to look back on this tumultuous period in New York City, Snow’s body of work emerges as the most politically charged of the group. Freeze Means Run gathers works that reveal a vehemently anti-conformist character, distrustful of mainstream rhetoric and seeking instead to construct a cocoon of both annulment and intimacy in an uncertain era.
On view for the first time in eight years, Book Fort (2006-2007) is perhaps the most important large-scale sculpture of Snow’s career, and certainly the most emblematic of the artist’s counter- cultural bent. The piece evokes a recluse’s fort or hideout, its walls constructed with books that proffer the fringe philosophies Snow found relevant and radical. The sculpture pairs solitude with engagement in a way that has become all but obsolete thanks to the rise of the digital age (eschewed by Snow at all costs) and social media in particular.
Additionally, Book Fort points to Snow’s collage process, which involved surrounding himself with a mass of extracted text and imagery from obsessively collected book and print media sources that the artist then slowly settled into place in his works on paper, wood and other found material. Snow’s collages can take the form of ransom notes, poetic offerings from a conspiracy theorist, or a kind of exquisite cultural corpse. Like his Dadaist forbears, Snow’s suspicion of power manifest visual explosions of power’s supporting logic.
Freeze Means Run also re-stages Snow’s largest installation work, Untitled (Penis Envy), from 2007. For this piece, Snow engineered an environment and performance to question notions of flippancy and exploitation as well as experiences of humor, pleasure and compensation. The film component of this piece underscores Snow’s talents as a director of human action; what might appear serendipitous or casual in his photographs and films is frequently the result of considered staging.
Snow masked the deliberateness of his constructions by framing them inside of a loose technical approach that favored immediacy over refinement. This is certainly true of the two other films on view: Familae Erase (2008) and Sisyphus, Sissy Fuss, Silly Puss (2009). Shot on Super8 film and edited “in-camera” (meaning without any postproduction revision), these thematically divergent films both demonstrate Snow’s insistent juxtaposition of the beautiful and the difficult. InSisyphus, Sissy Fuss, Silly Puss, the artist is guiding his partner, Jade Berreau, and their daughter, Secret, across natural and industrial landscapes in upstate New York that are alternately pastoral and treacherous. Familae Erase, shot inside the artist’s Bowery studio, is a pastiche of handmade – and often abject – special effects and choreographed actions, which, taken as a whole, chart Snow’s deep dedication to the contiguousness of the lived moment and art making.
“Dash’s great talent was to construct perfectly on the fly, to manipulate his materials and his environment and the energy of those around him just enough to reflect something that feels even more true. I can’t think of anything harder to do than that – nudging the art just enough, laughing a little at the idea of trying to ‘make something raw,’ and extracting rawness in the process. How do you acknowledge the impossibility of trust while eliciting trust? It seems like a skill from a different time.”
– Blair Hansen, the Dash Snow Archive
Freeze Means Run is organized by the Brant Foundation Art Study Center and the Dash Snow Archive, with the participation of Dan Colen, Hanna Liden and Nate Lowman.
Dash Snow was born in 1981 in New York, and the city remained at the center of his life and his artwork until his death in 2009. He was a street kid from his mid-teens, writing graffiti with the IRAK crew and becoming part of a group of artists who would define the post-9-11 art scene in New York: Dan Colen, Ryan McGinley, Hanna Liden, Agathe Snow, Nate Lowman, and others. His output as an artist began with Polaroids of the city and of his friends, and soon expanded to 35mm photography, free zines and posters, neo-Dada psycho-political collage and assemblage sculpture, and finally haunting Super8 films. Across all of these artistic modes,Snow’s anachronistic style and poetic, anti-establishment paranoia provided a bracing connective tissue.
Snow’s artwork was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, as well as in exhibitions at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the MACRO Museum in Rome, the New Museum in New York, and most recently at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt and the Staatliche Kusnthalle in Baden-Baden.
"Freeze Means Run" The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, CT
Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany
"Dash Snow", part of Three Amigos group series, curated by Massimo De Carlo - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma, Rome, Italy"Dash Snow Movie List", Andrew Roth, New York, USA
"God Spoiled A Perfect Asshole When He Put Teeth In Yer Mouth", Peres Projects, Los Angeles"The End of Living... The Beginning of Survival", Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany
"Silence Is The Only True Friend That Shall Never Betray You", Rivington Arms, New York, USA
"Moments Like This Never Last", Rivington Arms, New York, USA
"Nach dem frühen Tod", Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany
"Privat/Privacy", Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
"Parallel Perceptions”, New York City Opera, New York City, USA
"HOME ALONE: The Sender Collection, The Sender Collection, North Miami, USA
"Permanent Trouble. Kunst aus der Sammlung Kopp München“, Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg, Germany
"Mind the Cracks! Collages from the Museum and from Other Collections”, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Markus B. Mizne Gallery, Israel
"Visions of the frontier”, curated by Robert Wilson, IVAM, Gallery 7, Valencia, Spain
"Story without a name“ curated by Blaire Taylor, Peres Projects, Berlin, Germany
"Babylon - Mythos und Wahrheit“ / „Babylon - Myth and Truth“, Pergamonmuseum, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Germany
"The Hidden“, Maureen Paley, London, Great Britain
"Materialized: New American Video and...”, curated by Kathy Grayson, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway
"I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl", Asia Song Society, New York City, USA
"Nest”,Dan Colen and Dash Snow, Deitch Projects, New York City, USA
"Jalouse“, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
"Cabinet of Curiosities“, The Journal Gallery, New York, USA
"Come, come, come into my world“, curated by Andrew Renton, Ellipse Foundation, Cascais, Portugal
"Defamation of Character”, P.S.1, New York, USA
"Partial Recall“, Lehmann Maupin, New York, USA
"American Concentration Camp”, The Proposition, New York, USA
"Survivor“, Bortolami Dayan, New York, USA
"Day For Night”, Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
"Good Bye To All That“, Rivington Arms, New York, USA
"USA Today”, Royal Academy of Arts, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
"Live Through This: New York 2005“, Deitch Projects, Miami, USA
"Interstate“, Nicole Klagsbrun, New York, USA
"With us against reality, or against us!”, Willy Wonka Inc., Oslo, Norway; Galleri S.E., Bergen, Norway
"Session the Bowl“, Deitch Projects, New York, USA
"a NEW new york scene“, Galerie du Jour Agnes b., Paris, France
"Don‘t Be Scared“, Rivington Arms, New York, USA
SISYPHUS, SISSY FUSS, SILLY PUSS, 2009
Black & white and color video projection from Super 8 original
00:16:38, looped, no sound
All artwork © Dash Snow
Courtesy of the Dash Snow Archive, New York City
In 2007, Snow and his partner, Jade Berreau, had a daughter, Secret Snow, and the artist’s work shifted focus toward his young family. The piece on view here, depicting Berreau with their daughter, is one of the last artworks he completed before his death. Shot on five reels of Super 8mm film at dusk, the piece follows the mostly nude mother and child through uninhabited fields, gravel pits, and wooded glens in upstate New York. In keeping with Snow's general disregard for virtuosity, the film moves in and out of focus and light, offering a grainy and hallucinogenic vision more akin to a distant memory or daydream than to documentary material. The title derives from images in the film of the two figures making their way up precarious mounds of rock and dirt like the eponymous mythological king, doomed for eternity to push his boulder up a hill only to watch it roll back down.