George Egerton-Warburton “Penal Cafe”

Shoot the Lobster

poster for George Egerton-Warburton “Penal Cafe”
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When Saddam Hussein invaded his oil-rich neighbor, Kuwait, in 1990, the US led a multi-national military coalition, which included Australia. The country from down under joined the US again in 2003 to aid in the removal of Weapons of Mass Destruction that were suspected to be in Iraq. This “Australian occupation” stretched 1990-2014. One symptom of this occupation was the creation of a special US work visa, which benefits Australians exclusively, and now represents 15% of the combined total of annual visas awarded to the United States. As borders became harder, border mobility became a reward of war.

Now, a flow of Australians arrive consistently to the US on work visas every year, and their special visa is renewable, indefinitely. The wave of border crossers has brought with it one particularly interesting niche: Australian café culture. For Penal Café, George Egerton-Warburton has created a mise en scène café. The installation consists of colonies of chairs and tables; spaces of retrenchment and self-surveillance, where precarious laborers pay to work for themselves.

Part of the set includes two paintings that are inspired by scenes in history: the Lindt Café siege, and Degas’ Scene of war in the Middle Ages (1865). The café “tables” are like penal machines; sort of self-censoring weapons of war, replacements for men, or sex machines, that move kinetically and constantly. As if manifesting from the complicated cocktail of shame, pathos, and pride that makes up Australia’s convict-settler history, the artist has wrangled chairs, stools, benches, and some sheep, appropriated from local Australian cafés.

This is George Egerton-Warburton’s first New York solo exhibition.

George Egerton-Warburton (b. 1988 Kojonup, Australia) Selected exhibitions include: Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (forthcoming, 2019); Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart, (2018); Chateau Shatto, Los Angeles, (2017); Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles (2017); Pillow Torque (with Lauren Burrow), The Physics Room, Christchurch (2016); Big Trouble, Human Resources, Los Angeles, curated by Megan Plunkett, (2015); Shanaynay, Paris, France (2015); Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth (2014); Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, curated by Max Delany, Melbourne (2013).

Media

Schedule

from April 05, 2019 to May 12, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-04-05 from 18:00 to 20:00

Website

http://www.shootthelobster.com/ (venue's website)

Fee

Free

Venue Hours

From 12:00 To 18:00
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays

Access

Address: 138 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002
Phone: 212-560-0670

Between Broome and Delancey Sts. Subway: F/M/J to Essex Street

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