Vanity; PET Curated by Jamie Krasner, October 23–November 21, 2014

Vanity; PET

Curated by Jamie Krasner

Jamie Krasner

Lauren Avery

Joseph Geagan

Steve Hanft

Deanna Havas

Jessie Stead

Hannah Tarr

Britta Thie

Lilias Tournoux

Amalia Ulman

October 23–November 21, 2014


"i'm going to be the greatest star in the whole world, and everybody will love me cos i've got personality, and that's what it takes, cos i'm really up there, i'm really somewhere, i'm not just like the rest of them, i know where i am, and i'm going to be. the greatest. star in the whole world."


Narcissist need people because they live off "Narcissistic supply" aka: needing constant attention, admiration and so forth. They will ignore people who give them attention and act Superior to those who are around them. Lots of Celebrities are Narcissists due to the fact people follow their every move and "worship" them. Such as people like Heidi Montag, Wendy Williams, Miley Cyrus IS A BIG NARCISSISTIC BIOTCH! Mariah Carey. I met Zooey Deschanel at a party back in 2007 before she shot the Syfy 'Tinman' mini series, (She is absolutely terrible!), that Tranny chasing Charlie Sheen, Kenye West, Nicki Minaj, Paris Hilton, the ENTIRE Kardashian family and cast of the Jesery Shore, Tyra Banks, Niomi Campbell, Justin Beiber or Ashton Kutcher, Amanda Bynes... just to name a few. People who are not Narcissistic? Beyonce Knowles! (I know that is hard to believe but she isn't, shes just an opportunist).


Jamie Krasner

New York, 2014



Jamie Krasner interviewed by Sebastian Rozenberg


On Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 10:36 PM, jammykarsner wrote:

Hello, sorry for the slight delay.


The show is both a solo show and a curated show. It is called Vanity; PET. and 'definitions' of these words





excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements.

"it flattered his vanity to think I was in love with him" synonyms: conceit, narcissism, self-love, self-admiration, self-absorption, self-regard, egotism; More


For the curated portion, I tried to choose artists that are working with the self, and whose works relate to self-image, self-editing, in our current social context. I sort of divided it into those who are the 'vaniteurs', those who use themselves subjectively and whose works occur within this process by means of social networks and branding, and in turn comment on the system they lie within, and the others, whose works are more of a direct comment against these people/society.


The show discusses issues with the current state of (female)* identity , confusion regarding the authenticity/inauthenticity of the self, and the forms of language we use to communicate our, ultimately, fragmented selves. the artists and works included serve as a basis for the philosophy and theory behind my work. It will be extremely multi-media, fully packed, and highly entertaining.

(*there are works from both women and men, but forms of social networking the 'self' is inherently 'female')


1pet noun \pet\


Definition of PET



a : a pampered and usually spoiled child

b : a person who is treated with unusual kindness or consideration


: a domesticated animal kept for pleasure rather than utility

The solo show, as i said, is in complete conjunction with the curated works; I see my work as both halves. I am including video works, paintings, prints, writing, and sound. The name PET, is actually a name i go by - it is also my instagram name. The word for me is also about subjectivity of the self - making yourself a 'thing' - fetishizing the self.. how vanity plays a role in this.



On Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 5:04 AM, jammykarsner . wrote:





The pet is something you play with and you are intimate with, but it is in a way false intimacy because it is about exorcizing your emotions on to some 'thing' (usually bought, that is for you) so it is more of a self-centered intimacy – in the same way as we do with the self on social networks as we communicate from very removed places with other 'selves': death of intimacy and the rise of sociopathy


pet is also an objectified cute thing - something I have received and also given. It is also related to love and affection and can be male and female. i also like how artists sometimes to refer to their work as their 'baby', but i like to call my work my pets.



On Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 4:40 AM, Sebastian Rozenberg  wrote:




lets start with just a bunch of questions and see what you find interesting to reply to.



SEBASTIAN ROZENBERG: Firstly, discounting everything you've written, are the other artists your pets and are you appealing to their vanity? or you're appealing to the vanity of the works? =/


JAMIE KRASNER: I think the works are all approaching this theme in their own ways. the works inhabit vanity, so they are also a critique. Both. i think making artwork is vain in a sense, but i also think each of the artists, including me is trying to discover/uncover something about our culture and how our 'selves' function within it and are a product of it.


SR: Tell me more about this: "(*there are works from both women and men, but forms of social networking the 'self' is inherently 'female')". Is it female in a sort of constructed in a gendered way, or in a critical way or something else altogether? I think I see what you mean but would like to hear more.


JK: In a constructed gendered way it has been the 'female' who is defined by her beauty - her appearance. social networking is based solely on this.


SR: Some associations:

Ecriture feminine - but in an art / artist context. perhaps. a language that is shaped in a way to accomodate and work from and for a different subjectivity.




Theory of the Young-girl



what kind of subjectivity are we talking about + ?

because my immediate reaction on looking at some of your works for example is that it's equally about de-subjectification?


JK: I think i meant pertaining to themselves as a person, personal experience. about artists using themselves as the subject (but really object), and yes it is about de-subjectification, or maybe its about subjective becoming de-subjectified. i think in my work its about this process, and the idea of branding your 'individuality', your persona, is also about this process - about association and relating to collective wholes.


SR: Also to some extent artists where their presence on social media is a clear part or extension of their practice, does that automatically make them vaniteurs, or more vain? Theirs could also be a more effective type of critique in that it's working more from the inside.


JK: Again, there is a definitely a line of control that you straddle when you use yourself as your art subject in a social experiment. i do feel that working from the 'inside' might be the most effective way to critique. I also think it can be very challenging and involves full commitment to call your 'identity' your art. But this is a major interest I have in making the work I make, and what intrigued me to have some these other artists participate in the show - so that we can collectively answer questions about the construction of our identities; what is our true involvement in its construction, how do we add to and how are we effected by the network of cultural identities that exist in the media we grew up with, and, now, living with the constant accumulation of hashtags that define, leaving less and less room for individuality.


Getting back to 'straddling the line' - the line can also be authenticity vs inauthenticity. Two of the artists in the show who use themselves and work 'on the inside', Amalia Ulman and Lauren Avery straddle this line very well, which is good because how well they define themselves as these personas, really live it and become it, and then execute it - poses questions, even if hidden - of its authenticity and thus it create mythic beings. On one hand though, Lauren is living in the house she grew up in in LA, she clearly has a blessed life, and a strong sense of fantasy. I feel her persona is an embellished version, it is her fantasy of herself (at times), but because it is instagram, with every picture you can show another element of yourself, deepen the myth. I seems that lauren avery is doing what is fun for her creating an 'artful' existence. Is it vain, yes, making an account on instagram is vain. It also is a critique (dunno if this is what she is obviously concerned with though) on mythic constructions of the self. Amalia, on the other hand, uses her real name like Avery, but nothing she shows is real, nothing she says, nothing she wears, nothing she says she does. The entire constructed persona is false. It is a play executed through a short time in her life on a social networks serving as her identity as Amalia Ulman. Because of the extreme malleability of personas existing as a photo/text, appearing can easily be morphed into seeming, and Amalia is definitely on this tip. For Amalia, she seems to have chosen a part that she needs to act for months, not just a show, and publicly, bringing her name and her constructed identity up until this point into her new myth. A character study this invasive and long can definitely blur lines between realty and fiction in the person performing as the persona. No matter what, there are always things you see in a character that you see in yourself that make you want to play them - and this is what is absolutely real. her interest in trying her persona out, it is a part of her, but she came in with a specific plan, a timeline; it is an experiment and she will undoubtedly have very good critique knowing this experience firsthand.



SR: Inviting other artists, is that an act of generosity or of enhancing your solo show?

JK: I invited these artists and other female artists who use themselves as the subject/object in their work because of the similarities and differences they have to my own work, which will hopefully raise questions on all sides. All of these artists are dealing with the theme that i wanted to focus on for this show, which is persona as a myth, morphing and manipulating the self (self-editing), and identity visually defined. The artists who do not use their face and identify in their work I brought into the show as an interesting outsider view to the artists 'working in the field.' (ha) Two of these artists, both collaborators and good friends of mine, are men, one, Steve Hanft, in his late 40's, a film director from LA, and, Joseph Geagan, a young gay social butterfly from New York who likes to draw his experiences of the 'great' women he knows and meets. One of the female artists, Lilas Tournoux, is only 14 years old, i saw these make up tutorials she made, which are parodies of the ones on youtube. The absurdity of her humor makes me believe she's seen these other tutorials and thinks they are bullshit - fuck vanity! rock on, haha, which was basically me at 14. Deanna Havas is an artist, at the moment, working with text poetry - her poetry and critical texts on lifestyle branding. To have text involved in this curation was also important to me because a lot of my work involves words, spoken , written, performed, displayed in various ways.


Every single person in this show are my friends, colleagues, collaborators, and inspire a better, or at least different, understanding of my work. I think something important to note is that even though I approach a new project with an understanding of the conceptual basis of my past work - i usually write down new ideas, a treatment for a video, and then try to create the scene and story within the video - i have always used myself as each character because i enjoy acting out different personas and controlling an aesthetic though my self is something i have been interested in - the concepts come with a ton of ideas mixing together and it's not just one specific answer.


My work is also about fractured identities, multiplicities, i have ideas, but not facts, - ambiguity is used for interpreting personal/ specific answers. It is really when i complete something that the concepts and answers really show themselves, as well as greater questions.


Inviting these people whose work i share an affinity with, was so they could perhaps fill in lines for places i want to understand in my own work, as well as cultivate a full 360 view, of the show's basic concept, and turn that view into a larger net of concepts and questions.


SR: This is also very interesting; is your relationship with your own work then a false intimacy? is the image you present of yourself on instagram a false intimacy? are you on the vain side? sorry for biographical questions, but then again, this is in a way what its about no?


JK: There is this quotation i came across when reading Amalia's proposal. It is from Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida; "once I feel myself observed by the (camera) lens, everything changes: I constitute myself in the process of "posing". i instantaneously make another body for myself, I transform myself in advance into an image.. the photograph is the advent of myself as the other".


I feel this speaks for my attitude towards selfies and instagram. I have very deep and intimate relationships with individuals, but these exist when our bodies are at close contact. It is and has always been difficult for me to feel intimacy without the presence of a body - in a way intimacy for me is experiencing something with all of my senses. For me to take a picture of myself or of anything and post if for hundreds of people to see, i think its an amusement for others and fun cos i like to share moments with friends, but definitely the 'intimacy' as i imagine intimacy is gone with the photo itself. I think this may be a problem with photos specifically though, because it creates a flattened double of something that is real and can be intimate, but you are experiencing it secondhand (or to the nth degree in the case of tumblr/twitter/instagram) Words are also losing intimacy because of this copy-and-paste process. Instagram/twitter/etc is vain, but you are sharing with people and people are creative in their self-centeredness and selfies. Do i feel any intimacy on any of these platforms? Absolutely not.


The relationship i have with my visual work varies from feeling intimate and then very removed. I think the intimacy is within the idea and the filming, the editing and curation and show is the removal of the intimacy; just as the moment of taking a photo for instagram may be intimate, but then the photo, the filter added, and the posting is the complete loss.


I feel vain at times (I'm a product of my environment), and i usually intentionally mock that vanity, or at least question it, or convert into something else. I am inherently introverted and question myself - so i feel that the work i create is also coming from a need to understand something in my nature that i see in a lot of people now - something that i don't necessarily like, but that i find interesting and descriptive of the cultural, environmental, and technological changes of the 'me' generation. ha


For me the only thing i produce that retains intimacy throughout is my music. And I have made a point to make music/sound play an important part in the works I've produced in the past few years. For this specific show, I will also have the sound from the videos panning throughout the space on speakers. Hopefully along with the small size of the space and the physical closeness of all of the pieces - it will actually create and intimate atmosphere. i think 'pet' for me embodies both real and false intimacy - the question i always end with is that the definition of intimacy is changing so what is real or false is relative at this point. (also something I'm interested in, i think you can see, is the multiple meanings within a single word and how words can be redefined).


SR: Also, what role does the writing have here, is the text an artwork. it seems to me that one form that is often good at working with subjectivity is internet poetry and appropriated text.


JK: Writing is important and i have always tried to include text in my work. it is an extension of the persona, myth, story i create. It is also another element i include to create the full 'sense' of something (as in sensory experience). As i said, i think what i find interesting in language is the appropriation of words to create new definitions.


Sebastian Rozenberg

Stockholm, 2014

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