Past Exhibition

  • Dash Snow

Freeze Means Run

Greenwich, CT November 8th to March 12th, 2016

Dash Snow: Freeze Means Run

The Brant Foundation Art Study Center is pleased to announce Freeze Means Run, the first US solo exhibition of work by Dash Snow since 2006.  Freeze Means Run will include an expansive amount of artwork across disparate media: over 100 Polaroid photographs (many on view publicly for the first time); sculpture; installation; film; and collage, including the iconic 45-part work, Fuck the Police (2005).

Snow (1981–2009) was an enigmatic figure at the center of the downtown New York art scene shaped and influenced by post-9/11 upheaval. He is known as a member of a community of young artists, including Rita Ackermann, Lizzi Bougatsos, Dan Colen, Brian Degraw, Marc Hundley, Terence Koh, Hanna Liden, Klara Liden, Nate Lowman, Adam McEwen, Ryan McGinley, Agathe Snow, Emily Sundblad and Aaron Young. As we start to gain enough distance to look back on this tumultuous period in New York City, Snow’s body of work emerges as the most politically charged of the group. Freeze Means Run gathers works that reveal a vehemently anti-conformist character, distrustful of mainstream rhetoric and seeking instead to construct a cocoon of both annulment and intimacy in an uncertain era.

On view for the first time in eight years, Book Fort (2006-2007) is perhaps the most important large-scale sculpture of Snow’s career, and certainly the most emblematic of the artist’s counter- cultural bent. The piece evokes a recluse’s fort or hideout, its walls constructed with books that proffer the fringe philosophies Snow found relevant and radical. The sculpture pairs solitude with engagement in a way that has become all but obsolete thanks to the rise of the digital age (eschewed by Snow at all costs) and social media in particular.

Additionally, Book Fort points to Snow’s collage process, which involved surrounding himself with a mass of extracted text and imagery from obsessively collected book and print media sources that the artist then slowly settled into place in his works on paper, wood and other found material. Snow’s collages can take the form of ransom notes, poetic offerings from a conspiracy theorist, or a kind of exquisite cultural corpse. Like his Dadaist forbears, Snow’s suspicion of power manifest visual explosions of power’s supporting logic.

Freeze Means Run also re-stages Snow’s largest installation work, Untitled (Penis Envy), from 2007. For this piece, Snow engineered an environment and performance to question notions of flippancy and exploitation as well as experiences of humor, pleasure and compensation. The film component of this piece underscores Snow’s talents as a director of human action; what might appear serendipitous or casual in his photographs and films is frequently the result of considered staging.

Snow masked the deliberateness of his constructions by framing them inside of a loose technical approach that favored immediacy over refinement. This is certainly true of the two other films on view: Familae Erase (2008) and Sisyphus, Sissy Fuss, Silly Puss (2009). Shot on Super8 film and edited “in-camera” (meaning without any postproduction revision), these thematically divergent films both demonstrate Snow’s insistent juxtaposition of the beautiful and the difficult. InSisyphus, Sissy Fuss, Silly Puss, the artist is guiding his partner, Jade Berreau, and their daughter, Secret, across natural and industrial landscapes in upstate New York that are alternately pastoral and treacherous. Familae Erase, shot inside the artist’s Bowery studio, is a pastiche of handmade – and often abject – special effects and choreographed actions, which, taken as a whole, chart Snow’s deep dedication to the contiguousness of the lived moment and art making.

“Dash’s great talent was to construct perfectly on the fly, to manipulate his materials and his environment and the energy of those around him just enough to reflect something that feels even more true. I can’t think of anything harder to do than that – nudging the art just enough, laughing a little at the idea of trying to ‘make something raw,’ and extracting rawness in the process. How do you acknowledge the impossibility of trust while eliciting trust? It seems like a skill from a different time.”

– Blair Hansen, the Dash Snow Archive

Freeze Means Run is organized by the Brant Foundation Art Study Center and the Dash Snow Archive, with the participation of Dan Colen, Hanna Liden and Nate Lowman.

 

Artist Biography

Dash Snow

Dash Snow

Dash Snow was born in 1981 in New York, and the city remained at the center of his life and his artwork until his death in 2009.  He was a street kid from his mid-teens, writing graffiti with the IRAK crew and becoming part of a group of artists who would define the post-9-11 art scene in New York: Dan Colen, Ryan McGinley, Hanna Liden, Agathe Snow, Nate Lowman, and others.  His output as an artist began with Polaroids of the city and of his friends, and soon expanded to 35mm photography, free zines and posters, neo-Dada psycho-political collage and assemblage sculpture, and finally haunting Super8 films.  Across all of these artistic modes,Snow’s anachronistic style and poetic, anti-establishment paranoia provided a bracing connective tissue.

Snow’s artwork was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, as well as in exhibitions at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the MACRO Museum in Rome, the New Museum in New York, and most recently at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt and the Staatliche Kusnthalle in Baden-Baden.

SOLO

2015

"Freeze Means Run" The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, CT

2012

Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany

2011

"Dash Snow", part of Three Amigos group series, curated by Massimo De Carlo - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma, Rome, Italy"Dash Snow Movie List", Andrew Roth, New York, USA

2007

"God Spoiled A Perfect Asshole When He Put Teeth In Yer Mouth", Peres Projects, Los Angeles"The End of Living... The Beginning of Survival", Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany

2006

"Silence Is The Only True Friend That Shall Never Betray You", Rivington Arms, New York, USA

2005

"Moments Like This Never Last", Rivington Arms, New York, USA

GROUP

2015

"Nach dem frühen Tod", Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany

2012

"Privat/Privacy", Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

2011

"Parallel Perceptions”, New York City Opera, New York City, USA

"HOME ALONE: The Sender Collection, The Sender Collection, North Miami, USA

2010

"Permanent Trouble. Kunst aus der Sammlung Kopp München“, Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg, Germany

2009

"Mind the Cracks! Collages from the Museum and from Other Collections”, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Markus B. Mizne Gallery, Israel

"Visions of the frontier”, curated by Robert Wilson, IVAM, Gallery 7, Valencia, Spain

"Story without a name“ curated by Blaire Taylor, Peres Projects, Berlin, Germany

2008

"Babylon - Mythos und Wahrheit“ / „Babylon - Myth and Truth“, Pergamonmuseum, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Germany

"The Hidden“, Maureen Paley, London, Great Britain

"Materialized: New American Video and...”, curated by Kathy Grayson, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway

"I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl", Asia Song Society, New York City, USA

2007

"Nest”,Dan Colen and Dash Snow, Deitch Projects, New York City, USA

"Jalouse“, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

"Cabinet of Curiosities“, The Journal Gallery, New York, USA

"Come, come, come into my world“, curated by Andrew Renton, Ellipse Foundation, Cascais, Portugal

2006

"Defamation of Character”, P.S.1, New York, USA

"Partial Recall“, Lehmann Maupin, New York, USA

"American Concentration Camp”, The Proposition, New York, USA

"Survivor“, Bortolami Dayan, New York, USA

"Day For Night”, Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

"Good Bye To All That“, Rivington Arms, New York, USA

"USA Today”, Royal Academy of Arts, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

2005

"Live Through This: New York 2005“, Deitch Projects, Miami, USA

"Interstate“, Nicole Klagsbrun, New York, USA

"With us against reality, or against us!”, Willy Wonka Inc., Oslo, Norway; Galleri S.E., Bergen, Norway

2003

"Session the Bowl“, Deitch Projects, New York, USA

"a NEW new york scene“, Galerie du Jour Agnes b., Paris, France

"Don‘t Be Scared“, Rivington Arms, New York, USA

  • Installation view
  • Book Fort, 2006-2007 (Detail)
  • Book Fort, 2006-2007 (Detail)

Book Fort, 2006-2007

Mixed media (1,122 books)
141 3/4 x 74 3/4 x 80 3/4 inches (format variable)
All artwork © Dash Snow
Courtesy of the Dash Snow Archive, New York City
Ettore and Lorenzo Nesi Collection

 

One of the few large-scale sculptures of Snow’s career, Book Fort is emblematic of the artist’s counter-cultural bent. The piece evokes a recluse’s fort or hideout, its walls constructed with books that proffer the fringe philosophies and dark histories Snow found relevant and radical. The sculpture pairs solitude with engagement in a way that has become increasingly rare due to the rise of the digital age (vehemently eschewed by Snow) and social media in particular, where every doctrine is shared and collectively reinforced. Book Fort also helped usher in Snow’s prolific period of collage work; it was in making this sculpture that he became enamored of book covers and end pages as art materials.

  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Installation view

Tub 2, 2006

C-Print
26 1/4 x 40 inches
Photography: Christopher Burke Studio
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy of the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

Untitled (Christian Official Who Ordered...), 2006 Welcome to the March of the Flesh Eaters, 2006 - 2007
Alman, 2006 - 2007 Untitled, 2006-07
Untitled, 2006 Untitled (Tell Them I'll See...), 2006-2007

  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Secret Conception, 2006 – 2007

Secret Conception, 2007

Mixed media
18 3/4 x 14 1/4 x 14 1/4 inches
All artwork © Dash Snow
Courtesy of the Dash Snow Archive, New York City
Vito Schnabel, New York

 

Snow regularly used bell jars as containers for arrangements of objects, riffing upon both the jars’ scientific purpose as tools to create airless vacuums and their Victorian-era popularity as a means for keeping dust off of peculiar keepsakes such as taxidermy. The title, Secret Conception, alludes to Snow’s daughter, Secret Snow, making overt the age-old connections between the seeds of artistic and human creation.

Installation view

Photography: Laura Wilson
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Untitled (“Tired of Suffering?”), 2004

Collage

Snow took an early interest in fanzine culture, beginning to make his own in the early 2000s. Collage works were a natural outgrowth from these self-published zine editions, and he began focusing on the collages in earnest around the time of his first solo show, Moments Like this Never Last, at Rivington Arms gallery in New York in 2005. Snow made the monumental ejaculate-on-newsprint collage on view here, Fuck the Police, that same year. Snow’s collages progressed from simple interventions to more complex word and image play, but, at all stages, his process involved surrounding himself with a mass of extracted pieces from obsessively collected book and print media sources. Snow kept an especially extensive archive of the New York Daily News and the New York Post, whose salacious headlines lent themselves to his argument against the wanton hyperboles of the press. He would slowly settle these collected fragments into place on a wide variety of supports: copy paper, vintage end papers, leather book jackets, pieces of wood, and found frames among them. The collages take many forms: ransom notes, poetic and resonant offerings from a conspiracy theorist, or flowing shapes merged from disparate contexts that recall Surrealist exquisite corpse drawing. As with his Dadaist forbears, Snow’s suspicion of power manifests itself in visual deconstructions of power’s supporting logic. Often both delicate and aggressive, the collage works are a prime example of Snow’s interest in the way humor, beauty, and the utterly abject mingle freely off the beaten path.

Untitled ("The Street Is..."), 2006-07

Collage
11 x 7 1/2 inches
Collection Berthold Pott, Cologne
Photography: Christopher Burke Studio
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

When in Rome, 2006 - 2007 We Regret 2 Deform You, 2006-07
Untitled (Dirty Bomb Scare), 2007 Untitled, 2008
Untitled, 2006-07 The Fall of America Shake it for the World Smartass, 2006
Sinking Ship Won't Last, 2006-07 Society for Cutting Up Men, 2006-07
Tribute to Ginsburg, 2006 NY Makes Me Dirty Every Day, 2006-2007
Death as a Way of Life, 2006-2007 Untitled (Someday There Will Be Another Love Until the End...),2006-07

Untitled (Triptych), 2006

Collage
15 x 28 1/2 inches
Collection of Helen and Brice Marden
Photography: Christopher Burke Studio
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

  • Bin Laden Youth, 2006
  • The Fall of America, 2006-2007
  • Untitled, 2006-2007
  • My Best Friend, 2008
  • The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, 2005

Installation view

Photography: Christopher Burke Studio
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

  • Good From Afar Far From Good, 2007
  • Untitled, 2006-2007
  • Bodega Stick Up Slip Up, 2006-2007
  • Untitled (The United States), 2007
  • At Least They Died Together, 2007
  • Live Free and Die with Your Team, 2006-2007

Installation view

Photography: Christopher Burke Studio
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

  • Untitled, 2000-2009

Polaroids (2000-2009)

Snow began shooting the Polaroids in large quantities at roughly the time of 9/11, when he was twenty years old. These photographs offer a time capsule of the years following (and of a coming-of-age), giving us a larger picture of the wiliness and abandon that propelled the artist and his circle after the attacks. The Polaroids also present Snow as a street photographer who was as taken with total strangers as he was with close friends and family. He valued the medium for its physicality: a durable record one could carry around the city, scratch on with a ballpoint pen, singe with a lighter, or glue into a zine or collage. The smallness of the object also lends itself to an immediate and intimate interaction, perfectly suited for Snow’s mission to do away with any tainting properties from outside interests.

Untitled, 2000-2009 Untitled, 2000-2009
Untitled, 2000-2009 Untitled, 2000-2009
Untitled, 2000-2009 Untitled, 2000-2009
Untitled, 2000-2009 Untitled, 2000-2009
Untitled, 2000-2009 Untitled, 2000-2009
Untitled, 2000-2009 Untitled, 2000-2009

Installation view

Photography: Christopher Burke Studio
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

  • Installation view
  • Untitled, 2007
  • Installation view

Penis Envy, 2007

2007 was Snow’s most prolific year. Between a spring solo exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin and a fall solo show (his last) at Peres Projects in Los Angeles, Snow produced over 250 collages, forty photographic works, and a dozen sculptures. That summer, Snow and artist Dan Colen created the iconic Nest exhibition at Deitch Projects in New York, a large-scale installation and performance piece. The exhibition at Peres Projects, however, would be the first and only time Snow staged a live performative artwork of his own. It was the remnant elements of this performance that were used to create his largest solo installation work, Penis Envy. The germ for the work was a pull-quote from Ariel Levy’s January 2007 profile of Snow, Colen, and Ryan McGinley in New York magazine: “How much talent does it really take to come on the New York Post, anyway?” Following two solo exhibitions at Rivington Arms gallery in downtown Manhattan, as well as his inclusion in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, the artist had become known for his prodigious use of ejaculate; over the course of seven months, he dispatched this technique on an enlarged photocopy of the Levy quotation. That work was placed in the storefront window of Peres Projects and was also the source for a poster stack on the floor of the gallery (visitors were encouraged to take one home for free). He also made a second enlargement—this one spanning twelve feet and placed in a light box—which was the centerpiece of the performance inside Peres Projects. In preparation for this performance, Snow placed an ad for men to come to the gallery and decorate the light box with semen. Those who responded included performers, sex workers, and men from the street—all were paid for their participation. Snow directed and filmed the proceedings with a Super 8 camera, stringing that footage together to create a projection that shot through a hole in the gallery floor onto its ceiling. The installation here is a faithful restaging of the 2007 piece, including a C-print and Snow’s largest single collage, which were hung among the Penis Envy elements.

  • Sisyphus, Sissy Fuss, Pilly Puss, 2009
  • Installation view, Sisyphus, Sissy Fuss, Silly Puss, 2009
  • Sisyphus, Sissy Fuss, Silly Puss, 2009

SISYPHUS, SISSY FUSS, SILLY PUSS, 2009

Black & white and color video projection from Super 8 original
00:16:38, looped, no sound
All artwork © Dash Snow
Courtesy of the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

In 2007, Snow and his partner, Jade Berreau, had a daughter, Secret Snow, and the artist’s work shifted focus toward his young family. The piece on view here, depicting Berreau with their daughter, is one of the last artworks he completed before his death. Shot on five reels of Super 8mm film at dusk, the piece follows the mostly nude mother and child through uninhabited fields, gravel pits, and wooded glens in upstate New York. In keeping with Snow's general disregard for virtuosity, the film moves in and out of focus and light, offering a grainy and hallucinogenic vision more akin to a distant memory or daydream than to documentary material. The title derives from images in the film of the two figures making their way up precarious mounds of rock and dirt like the eponymous mythological king, doomed for eternity to push his boulder up a hill only to watch it roll back down.

Installation view

Photography: Christopher Burke Studio
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

  • Familae Erase, 2008
  • Familae Erase, 2008
  • Familae Erase, 2008

FAMILAE ERASE, 2008

Black & white video projection from Super 8 original
00:17:07, looped, no sound
All artwork © Dash Snow
Courtesy of the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

 

Familae Erase, made in Snow’s Bowery studio, is one of the artist’s most challenging works. As in much of Snow’s artistic output, no attempt is made in the film to conceal his struggle with addiction or his often-anguished relationships, with himself and with the world around him. Moving deeper into the composition of the film, one discerns a master coda to the entirety of Snow’s artistic output. As with Sisyphus, Sissy Fuss, Silly Puss (2009), Familae Erase was edited entirely “in-camera,” meaning only with the stops and starts of the recording process (without any post-production). This approach underscores the prioritization of immediacy across all of Snow’s chosen media. Snow insisted that art must be formed in the moment, hindsight—or for that matter overt “technique”—would only cheat or dilute the experience for the viewer. Yet in Familae Erase, more explicitly than anywhere else in Snow’s work, the curtain is pulled back a little, and we observe his idiosyncratic poetic process: the homemade effects with blood, glitter, and light; the collage materials, books, and pornography he swirls around himself and begins to juxtapose; the ritual and cumulative actions of making the sculptures from whatever materials are on hand. We see him enact a kind of Gothic irrationality and melodrama, performed within his belfry of a studio space with the occasional emergence of natural light through a window frame. These strategies deliberately confuse interior and exterior space.

 

  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • Installation view

Nobody Ever Did What We Did, 2006-07

Collage
17 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches
Private Collection
Photography: Christopher Burke Studio
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

Untitled (Polaroid #17), 2005

C-Print
20 x 20 inches
Photography: Christopher Burke Studio
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy the Dash Snow Archive, New York City

Bin Laden Youth, 2006 – 2007

Collage
21 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches
Courtesy of Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin
Photography: Jochen Littkemann
All artwork © Dash Snow, Courtesy the Dash Snow Archive, New York City