As a curatorial practice, Cherry & Lucic focuses on exhibiting mid-career and established artists in a space that is resonant with the physical and economic precocity common to artistic practices. Areas of artistic production, such as basements, warehouses and studios, are recalled by the dilapidated garage that houses Cherry & Lucic in Northeast Portland. For the Portland Biennial, Merlin Carpenter’s Poor Leatherette will be restaged by Cherry & Lucic.
Originally exhibited at Berlin’s MD 72, Poor Leatherette stages luxury goods like retro fridges, DJ equipment, baby prams and Ducati motorcycles in various non-allegorical tableaus. In doing so, Carpenter aimed to confound the artistic value of the readymade with the disengaged capital value of leisure commodities. During the re-staging of this show, the luxury goods of Carpenter’s original exhibition will be replaced with the ‘trash’ goods available to the economic realities of an independent curatorial project.
Tying this exhibition to the palatable institutionality of Disjecta, as well as the monetary success of Merlin Carpenter’s own artistic practice, Cherry & Lucic aims to perform institutional practice as a means of highlighting contemporary art’s disengagement from political realities. By removing the luxury sheen of Carpenter’s original work, theories of labor and commodity practice will be replaced by the realities of commodities’ afterlife and the unachievable nature of luxury success for the majority of peoples. A novella based upon the curatorial practice of this show will be presented alongside the physical exhibition.