SACCHARINE curated by Ana Finel Honigman and Nadja Veblen
Artists: Awst & Walther, Maxime Ballesteros, Bruce la Bruce, Jules Kim, Terence Koh, Sameer Reddy, David Nicholson, Alex McQuilkin, Sue de Beer, Amie Dicke, Antonia Dias Leite, Zhivago Duncan, Cecile Evans, Amir Fattal, John Kleckner, Heiko Laschitzki,
Laurel Nakadate, Jen Ray, Dean Sameshima, Aurel Schmidt, Britta Thie
SACCHARINE examines “intimacy” in its various guises - sincere, induced, fabricated or imagined. The artists on view will show work expressing the priceless nature of their own intimate connections or the intricacies, boundaries and implications of selling artificial intimacy.
“Nadja Veblen” is the pseudonym of an academic who Honigman befriended in England. She is a highly educated 28-year-old British-based feminist scholar who is funding her degree working as an escort. Nadja’s real identity will remain a mystery, but she will curate as her doppelganger.
Nadja Veblen’s given name evokes Andre Breton’s surrealist novel about an elusive muse. Her surname refers to the economic theory of “Velben Goods” - the notion that a luxury commodity’s value increases as a result of its price, as opposed to the principle that the price is a reflection of its inherent, or even perceived value. This theory postulates a possible explanation for the fluctuating “value” of Veblen’s sexual and emotional services. Veblen’s experiences in selling “intimacy” can also mirror the arbitrary, emotionally invested and complex pricing of art. These ideas will be developed within the on-line catalogue interview between Honigman and “Velben.” The on-going website for the show will also include original essays by Shamim M. Momin and Anthony Haden Guest, and an interview between Honigman and Prof. Martin Kemp. The art itself will explore forms of romantic and sexual intimacy, including the artists’ own ability to achieve intimacies with their viewers.