Michael Tharp's ALLEGATION (THIRD RAIL) Makes Debut in LIMINAL RECLAMATIONS at SPRING/BREAK Art Show Today
Allegation (Third Rail), artist Michael Tharp's 15-projector tour de force, makes its timely and controversial debut in Liminal Reclamations-a group exhibition curated by Amy Kisch of AKArt Advisory and Tracy Causey-Jeffery of Causey Contemporary-at the aptly-themed PublicPrivate SPRING/BREAK Art Show curator-driven art fair. Paired with a child's model train set, the video installation features Woody Allen's 15 Oscar-nominated films running simultaneously (inverted with sound) on the walls of the 3rd-floor coat closet of the schoolhouse known as Old School in SoHo.
This year, the fair's PublicPrivate theme explores the "high visibility of the self in the 21st Century every-day" and the balance between privacy and the "digital strip-tease" in which average people are compelled to engage. Tharp's work takes on the recent, uncomfortable, and emotionally-charged NY Times online-published open letter from Dylan Farrow in which she accuses her father Woody Allen of sexually molesting her as a 7-year-old child in a closet-like attic, in front of a train set. The letter's February timing coincided with Allen's very public Golden Globe lifetime achievement award and Oscar nomination (his 24th).
A 'Third Rail' is defined as the rail that powers an electric train or a subject that tends to be avoided because of its offensive or controversial nature. The artist Michael Tharp has stated that for the PublicPrivate theme, he wanted to address an all-too-real contemporary issue, about which many feel strongly. "It's about as heavy and uncomfortable a topic as you can get. It's universally damning. And since none of us were there that day, what compels us to believe one way or the other? There are few directors more prolific and closely linked with their films than Woody Allen. Many of them are brilliant and full of humor. If the allegations are true, are we still allowed to laugh? Can one-or should one-separate the man from the filmmaker and the films?" Woody Allen has vehemently denied these allegations in the past, and the NY Times published a rebuttal by Allen himself. So what is the truth, and where does that leave us, the audience?
About Michael Tharp: Michael Tharp is a New York based painter, sculptor, and multi-media artist. His work involves gaps in knowledge, the interplay between the known and unknown, and the semiotics of sense-making. His mediums include video installations, wooden freight pallets, and search engine screen captures. He attended Princeton University and has exhibited at Marianne Boesky, Family Business, Anonymous Gallery, Show World, Sundance, Eyebeam, and The Seattle Center of Contemporary Art.