January 15 – February 15, 2016
Curated by Jason Lazarus
Press: Creative Loafing
Dreamcatcher was the debut exhibition of Coco Hunday. Excerpts from a review and a visit by Rebecca Solnit (last image):
“…Some of the more unlikely objects you’ll ever see proposed as art comprise the centerpiece of Ben Fain’s solo exhibition, Dreamcatcher. One is a commercial vinyl van wrap printed with photos of erect penises downloaded from the Internet, cut and peeled off the van and mounted to a gallery wall. At first blush, the piece is grotesque. Maybe I’m revealing too much about my own sexual predilections, but who really wants to see hundreds of engorged cocks blown up to larger-than-life proportions, their hairless pink testicular skin gleaming on puckered vinyl? (I’ll take my engorged cocks one at a time, thank you. Two, three at a time tops.) Cranking up the absurdity, Fain collages these dick pics into shapes including a humanoid figure and a dinosaur resembling a cross between a T-Rex and a boxing chicken. He adds a few floating vulvas to the mix, and gives over the rear van panel to a saccharine stock photo of a mother and baby.
After the shock of the pornographic wears off, Fain’s piece slowly oscillates between the conceptual and the intuitive; the former, a wickedly funny smash-up of American marketing mania and sexuality in the age of the Internet, the latter an inscrutable dream object where Photoshop meets the Freudian unconscious – or, as Fain prefers, the Lacanian phallus (an object linked to symbolic power rather than biological sex.) Fain weaves adroitly between the two modes, creating objects that are at once witty and unsolvable – things that stick with you, whether you want them to or not.
A theme emerges in another piece: a shopping cart loaded with dead palm fronds and branches adorned with small pen drawings of a man breastfeeding a baby, drawn on junk mail envelopes…
To create the van wrap, Fain enlisted a local fabricator. To construct a video in the exhibition that pays homage to a spam email he received last year, he hired half-a-dozen animators and performers through Fiverr, an online creative gig market where workers vie to create everything from television commercials to mobile phone apps for $5. Using the email’s nonsensical text as a script, Fain commissioned segments narrated by a talking dog, an animated space alien, and a (live) ventriloquist and dummy. Strung together, the segments comprise a trippy video poem that left me feeling a combination of repulsion and admiration for the Internet culture of visual garbage and penny labor.” -critic Megan Voeller, 2016