Jaime Warren, You Are Not Alone: Self-Portrait as Michael Jackson in a recreation of the Genealogical Trees of the Dominican Order

Jaime Warren, You Are Not Alone: Self-Portrait as Michael Jackson in a recreation of the Genealogical Trees of the Dominican Order

TOGETHER FOREVER  Peter Fankhauser + Jaimie Warren

June 9 – August 27

Opening June 9th: 6-9pm, Performative artist talk: 8pm Moderated by Risa Puleo

Together Forever, opening Friday, June 9, at Darger HQ, will feature work by Peter Fankhauser (Omaha, Nebraska) and Jaimie Warren (New York, New York) and will be on view through August 27.  The opening reception will be 6:00 to 9:00 pm, with a performative artist talk at 8:00 pm, moderated by Risa Puleo, Curator-in-Residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art.

The notion of immortality authenticates itself in repetition.  We survive after death only inasmuch as our names are repeated.  The memory of our desperate foibles, stunning defeats, or ill-earned victories must first become the stuff of casual conversation: we the long since dead, becoming legends.  Like Marilyn Manson said, "...the key to longevity--and immortality, in a sense--has to do with transformation."  Stories travel and narratives transition with every shift in representational format.  Michael Jackson will forever be the world's biggest star, worst sex offender, or most innocent son, depending on who's doing the telling.  Together Forever pays homage to the act of remembering in its beautifully misshapen forms and perfect fallacy.

In Jaimie Warren's highly collaborative, community-based work, she memorializes her fallen heroes and totems of imagined affinity by conscripting remade images of her childhood idols into the canon of art history. Falling somewhere along the road between Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Neverland Ranch, ad hoc set design and vocal numbers become potent metaphors for immortality in Warren's videos.  Expendable materials become irreplaceable narrative tools and expendable lives are enshrined in 1080p hi-def digital showboating.  Freddy Mercury, George Michael, and Michael Jackson, in ratted out wigs and well worn body suits, remind us of forgetting--forgetting the wild, enduring infatuations of youth.  Warren draws her friends in close to sing and sway beside her in visually overloaded tributes to collective remembering.

Peter Fankhauser's “Justice of Decline” is an alternative reading of Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West or The Downfall of the Occident, as told from the perspective of Anna Nicole Smith through photo, video, and text based works.  Smith's genius for tragic comedy becomes a vehicle for the repudiation of tradition, or the ultimate negative freedom--no democracy; no ownership.  The memory of her life plays out as unlimited optimism, undermining and destroying itself through repeated slurred affirmations of self-love, always colored by doubt. Her decline immortalizes our own with each retelling and every wayward step.

Jaimie Warren (b. 1980, Waukesha, WI) "comes across as a force of nature, or at least pop culture" according to Roberta Smith of the New York Times, " whose work brims with messy promise. [Her photographs] indicate a talent for color and tactility (to say the least) as well as for rough-edged transformation that combines aspects of the work of Cindy Sherman, Sandy Skoglund and Alex Bag while channeling the spirits of Leigh Bowery, Divine and George Grosz.”  She is a 2017 Brooklyn Arts Council SU-CASA Artist-in Residence, a 2016 Maker’s Muse Awardee, a 2015 fellow in Interdisciplinary Arts from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a 2015 Abrons AIRspace resident.  Warren is also featured artist in ART21's documentary series "New York Close Up", and she is the recipient of a United States Presidential Scholars Program Teacher Recognition Award.  She lives and works in New York City.

Peter Fankhauser (b. 1980, Lincoln, NE) is a committed member of the MTV generation, brought up on television: music on television, television on film, film on the internet. Narrative’s mutation across different media platforms has become a recurring theme in his work and a primary preoccupation. He received an MFA from CUNY-City College in New York City and has shown at independent and alternative spaces nationally and abroad including Judson Memorial Church (New York City), Death By Audio (Brooklyn), Silent Barn (Brooklyn), AC Institute (New York City), and the Meltdown Festival (London). He currently lives and works in Omaha, NE.  

Together Forever  is part of a series of collaborative and experimental projects facilitated by Darger HQ.  Darger HQ connects Nebraska contemporary artists to the world by creating collaborative working opportunities between local artists and national and international artists with related practices, and develops partnerships that benefit artists by providing new means of support through combined private and non-profit sources. Darger HQ also educates, enriches and exposes the community to some of the most innovative contemporary art being produced today.

This program is funded in part by Humanities Nebraska, Nebraska Cultural Endowment and the Nebraska Arts Council.