Baldwin Gallery is pleased to present our second show with camera artist Andres Serrano. Famously, Serrano’s work first entered the popular public consciousness in the late 80s with the politicized condemnation of the inclusion of the work “Immersion: Piss Christ” in a show nominally funded by the National Endowment of the Arts. Perfunctorily deemed ‘obscene’, and a “deplorable, despicable display of vulgarity” by Senators Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and Alphonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.), the work became instantly symbolic of both right and reason to call for defunding of the NEA. But, it is just as simple to view Serrano’s work as contextual to the sacristy of the arcane Paschal Mystery; the story of Christ’s ministry and mankind’s spiritual redemption hinges on the physical humanity manifested by the son of god said to walk among us: a human body and blood, weak, mortal, fallible, and thus uniquely capable to serve as the conduit covenant between the temporal and the divine. Raised as a Catholic before the Second Vatican Council, Serrano’s universalizing of both human frailty and the capacity for redemption paradoxically seeks to bring the viewer to intimacy with the ‘common’ miracle of transubstantiation (and what author Flannery O'Connor called ‘the sweat and stink of the cross’): an exquisite restoration of mysteium fidei, humbling and enobling, unknowable and revealed as beautiful, in both doctrine and faith.
According to Serrano, the current Baldwin Gallery show ‘The Robots’:
Before the Metaverse there were Robots.
The word robot was coined by Karel Capek, the Czech novelist and playwright, and appears in his 1920 play, RUR or Rossum’s Universal Robots. It derives from an Old Church Slavonic word, “rabota,” which means “servitude or forced labor.”
Robots are Golems of our making, created to amuse and entertain us, and to work and slave for us; extensions of what we believe in and fear, including the need for humans to have dominium over other humans. There is no end for the ability of Mankind to reinvent itself and stay the same.
The Robots are a race of alien creatures of human and inhuman appearance in manner, form and color. They are the link between childhood and maturity, science fiction and science, existence and Meta existence. They are the future and the past, the crossroad between the real and unreal, the rational and irrational, the good and the bad. They are us.
Andres Serrano (b. 1950, New York) studied painting and sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum. He turned to photography in the early 1980s, presenting large-scale color images concentrating on dramatic and provocative figural compositions.
The public is invited to meet the artist at the opening. Images are available upon request. Please call 970.920.9797 for further information.