About the exhibition
Being brought up in a culture oriented towards consumption, self-gratification, and self-fulfillment, one learns not only what to desire but how to desire, where to situate one’s desire in relation to the self, all desire’s dimensions.
The goal of this hegemonic cultural project is to eventually make one lose the sense of self beyond that desire, and be left with nothing but desire. “What I want” and “who I am” become one, and the cultural program, determining what these desires are, can control our sense of ourselves.
There are many ways of dealing with this predicament, from spiritual pursuits that help us separate the self from desire, deliberate reprogramming to replace the culturally imposed “toxic” desires with things that are less noxious, or one can critically reevaluate the notion of self altogether, either spiritually or intellectually, or maybe we can just relax, or even steer into the skid. An artist, after all, is someone who simply takes at face value the superegoic command to “do whatever you want.”
The works in this show are meant to give form to many different types, stages, directions, and dimensions of desire.
I’d like every work here to be viewed with the question: “How do I know what I want?”
About the organizer
Diego Leclery is an artist living in Queens, NYC. Recent solo exhibitions include Household Name: A Ten-Year Survey of Diego Leclery’s Self-Portraiture in Chicago’s Artist-Run Spaces and Apartment Galleries at the Hyde Park Art Center and the annual “Sit on a Polar Bear’s Lap” event at 4th Ward Project Space, both in Chicago. Leclery was selected to participate in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. He is one of the founding members of the artist-run space Julius Caesar in Chicago. In October, Diego will have a solo exhibition at BasketShop gallery in Cincinnati titled One With Everything.
Artists in the Exhibition