Harry Benson CBE. Judy Garland, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1965. Archival Pigment Photograph. Courtesy of Barrett Barrera Projects.


February 8, 2018 - March 10, 2018
Opening Reception: 6-8p February 8
Des Lee Gallery, 1627 Washington Ave.

The Des Lee Gallery present XOXO, a group exhibition curated by Jessica Baran, featuring work from Barrett Barrera Projects' collection as assembled by Susan Barrett. The opening reception will take place from 6-8p February 8. Gallery hours are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 1-6p and by appointment.

"I need anything, anything that will stop me from living in the kind of death the bourgeois eat, the death called comfort."—Kathy Acker, from In Memoriam to Identity

X marks the spot, the kiss, the nixing-out; O is the void and the hug, the encircling gesture that says that's it and, all together, I love you truly but casually. The artworks in this show burlesque common strategies of evoking authenticity, using intimacy and self-revelation as methods for unmasking the constructedness of status quo identity.

Susan Sontag writes, "To perceive Camp in objects and persons, is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater."

This work "camps" gender, race, class. It writes fictions of the self that become both reality and myth. Employing parody, homage, cut-up, and collage, these pieces quote familiar character typologies, then strip-tease their constituent parts. They are skillful fakes full of real historical grandeur, empty icons made genuine by their excess, and somber survivors of pathological glamour and the power of desire.

The exhibition features artworks by Zoe Buckman, Nicole Eisenman, Fantich & Young, Chantal Joffe, Terence Koh, Marilyn Minter, Toyin Odutola, Cindy Sherman, Mickalene Thomas, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, among others.

About Barrett Barrera Projects

Founded in 2014 by Susan Barrett (BA86/BFA86, MArch94), Barrett Barrera Projects is a multidisciplinary consulting company specializing in art, culture, and contemporary fashion. Representing national and international artists who blur traditional disciplinary boundaries, Barrett Barrera Projects also organizes exhibitions for travel that assert nontraditional media as historically and artistically vital. With its affiliated commercial art space, projects+gallery, Barrett Barrera Projects brings regional, national, and international artists to St. Louis. The gallery serves as a laboratory for experimentation by its represented artists as well as other leading contemporary practitioners.

About Jessica Baran

Jessica Baran is the associate director of curatorial and program development at Barrett Barrera Projects. She has curated exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, COCA, the Charlotte Street Foundation, fort gondo compound for the arts, and White Flag Projects, among other venues. She holds a BA in visual art from Columbia University and an MFA in poetry writing from Washington University and is the author of three full-length poetry collections. With Ted Mathys, she co-curates the 100 Boots Poetry Series at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. She is currently a lecturer in the Graduate School of Art.