Fine Arts Faculty Johannah Herr to Open Solo Show


The New Gallery

March 10, 2018

On view by appointment through March 31.

7:30 PM

127 Tompkins Ave

Brooklyn NY 11206

New work by Johannah Herr and Frank

In professional wrestling, kayfabe is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as “real” or “true”, specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature. Kayfabe has also evolved to become a code word of sorts for maintaining this “reality” within the direct or indirect presence of the general public.

“There are people who think that wrestling is an ignoble sport. Wrestling is not a sport, it is a spectacle… the public spontaneously attunes itself to the spectacular nature of the contest, like the audience at a suburban cinema… The public is completely uninterested in knowing whether the contest is rigged or not, and rightly so; it abandons itself to the primary virtue of the spectacle, which is to abolish all motives and all consequences: what matters is not what it thinks but what it sees.”

— Roland Barthes Mythologies

American mythology is predicated on the idea that America is exceptional— exceptionally diverse, exceptionally ingenuative, exceptionally educated, exceptionally democratic, and above all, exceptionally meritocratic. How does this conception of the American Dream— the idea that anyone, regardless of race, religion, gender or socioeconomic status can, with smarts, hard work, and lot of gumption realize their dreams of wealth and power— continue to survive in the face of all evidence to its contrary? And how do we, across the political spectrum, continue to hold this myth of American greatness in our hearts? The only logical answer is that wether or not this dream is “real” is of no importance. Like a wrestling audience, we too abandon ourselves to the primary virtue of the spectacle. And like wrestling itself, fairness is a genre, not an actual constraint.