Daniel Hesidence “Carrier”

Salon 94 (3 E 89th St.)

poster for Daniel Hesidence “Carrier”

This event has ended.

What’s in a title? War and Peace? On the Origin of Species? Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)? Daniel Hesidence’s exhibition at Salon 94 bears the title Carrier, and while titles of art shows often gesticulate meaning but are in fact meretricious—that $10 SAT word itself feels like holding the kilt—this one actually does a neat trick of signification. It’s hermeneutically useful. The first association that came to mind was “carrier pigeon,” though probably I’d confused the homing and passenger pigeons, the former so useful throughout the ages in warfare, and the latter, tellingly, extinct. Military connotations give way to scientific ones, for instance genetic carriers, DNA, and the “history” of disease. “A carrier is an individual who carries and is capable of passing on a genetic mutation associated with a disease and may or may not display disease symptoms.” Biological and historical heredities are mirrored. “At the time of your appointment, we ask you some questions about your family history and ethnic background.”

Over the last decade, in all sorts of areas within “culture,” the ideas and affects of Existentialism have returned with a vengeance in the high intellectual sphere and a much more pop sort of version of the high intellectual sphere: Camus, Sartre, and de Beauvoir are back in Bad Faith business among academics and pundits. Can painting lag behind? The carriers for Clausewitz as well as Mendel and their innumerable spawn allude to the two great existential crises of our rightfully beleaguered moment: nuclear annihilation and the cataclysmic loss of species. The dinosaurs are an ever-replete trove of history and reference and data, memory and metaphor: “This slippage seems unavoidable when discussing the extinction of the dinosaurs, and here Brusatte is no different from his predecessors. In reality, nuclear war may be closer than ever, but the threat of it has been superseded by the growing realities of climate change, and so an extinction that was once used as a parable about the devastating consequences of a nuclear conflict has been adapted to address more pressing fears. The end-Cretaceous event proved fatal to most living things, but not all of them. Why did no dinosaurs, large or small, survive it? This is ‘a key question,’ Brusatte writes: ‘We want to answer it particularly because it is relevant to our modern world. When there is sudden global environmental and climate change, what lives and what dies?’ In the case of the dinosaurs there are, it seems, two answers”.



from January 19, 2022 to March 05, 2022

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