By Nicole Disser, ill.
November 11 2015
Agathe Snow Is Blowing Into The Journal Gallery
Agathe Snow, whose work often blends performance with immersive multimedia installations, is opening a new show, Continuum, tonight. This is the Corsican-born artist’s first solo exhibition at Journal Gallery in Williamsburg. Snow is the ex-wife of the late Dash Snow (they married when he was just 18 years old) whose pal Ryan McGinley has some new photos up, incidentally, in a show called Winter at Team Gallery.
In 2007, Agathe Snow transformed the James Fuentes Gallery in Chinatown into the belly of a whale for No Need To Worry, The Apocalypse Has Already Happened… The installation supposed a post-apocalyptic scenario in which gallery goers were trapped inside the beast, amongst ocean trash and sea-weathered knick knacks. Snow set up a barter system of sorts where she invited visitors to bring small gifts to exchange for whatever she had on hand.
That show speaks to Snow’s various interests in human endeavor, community, and anti-establishment action. We admire her interest in sea-faring, end-of-the-world scenarios that manage to be whimsical without veering off into, er, Swoon territory.
The artist’s statement for Continuum, however, hints this will be a deeply personal show. Snow writes, of her son:
He wanted to know how I would live forever. I thought his question was him facing his mortality. I was digging into ancestry. I told him he was a true American boy, a first generation mother and twelve generations on his father’s side, and that by growing and asking questions he made the first settlers proud, that through him they still lived, and like them I would survive my body’s demise through him. But no dent in his unease.
Once again, Snow returns to the idea of life after death, or life after epic disaster. She writes of “new humans” spreading over the earth by 2050, but asserts that maybe her son is an early arrival. She’s attempting to deal with this essentially unfamiliar being who is nonetheless part of her, by making art, of course, but work that also attempts to understand him.
I think totems would do the trick. I start making shapes. They more and more resemble the monsters in the Pokémon cards.
Aside from the above video, details about what exactly the work will look like are scant. We can bet there’s going to be a rather haunting installation, but one that embodies Snow’s special knack for extracting a certain sweetness and faith in the human spirit from the foggy depths of the unknown.