PHOTOGRAPHY BY SLAVA MOGUTIN
UNIVERSITY OF DISASTERS
Right before Abi asked me to write this, I was chatting with my friend Chris who had just seen this show up at Bortolami Gallery. Naturally, I asked what was good? Was it cunt? Should I be excited? He told me “Slava Mogutin’s pieces stood out against the other works as predominantly gay (see artwork pictured), other work seemed less so,” but Slava told us that it wasn’t “really a gay show, but the artist lineup is amazing and Stefania Bortolami is a notorious lesbian.” ‘University of Disasters’ is curated by Matthew Grumbach and pulls from the gallery’s permanent collection. Work from Jack Pierson (who shot GAYLETTER’s first cover), Barbara Kasten, Sara Grace Powell, and many more — which serves as a subtle nod, albeit insult, to Trump and his gratuitous usage of the word “disaster.”
I read a bit more on the show and found the philosophical origin engaging. Now if only I could stop calling the gallery Bel Ami… “The philosopher and cultural theorist Paul Virilio describes the University of Disasters as a global convocation to commence a collective reflection on limits.’ [Trump’s] rhetoric stokes fear, but also implies closure where there remains possibility. To fall for his unfounded claims is to implicate oneself in the destruction of institutions that are only imperfect insofar as their work is always incomplete.” For those unsettled by lofty art-speak, the show is a response to our president’s well known idiocy and seeks to remind viewers that art’s work can never be done. We’ve all got more to say. Trust.
ON VIEW NOW THROUGH APRIL 22, BORTOLAMI GALLERY, 520 W. 20th ST. NY, NY.