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Exhibition: Every Monster is a Mother By Theron Debris — for Ace Artist in Residence

  • 12:00 am - 12:30 am | Thursday November 02, 2023
  • Gallery | Ace Hotel New York

Ace Artist In Residence
Every Monster is a Mother By Theron Debris (SJ NORMAN)

Presented with Performance Space New York

 

Writing from prison under Mussolini’s regime, Antonio Gramsci penned his theory of the Interregnum- a period of instability between the collapse of one dominant system of power and the rise on then next. A loose translation of Gramsci’s words has become an axiom: ‘The old world is dying. The new struggles to be born. Now is the time of Monsters”. One culture’s monster is another’s deity. Every Monster is a Mother is a selection of pieces drawn from Debris’ current body of work, which broadly considers the monstrous as a site of liberatory potential.

Debris’ idiosyncratic process of image-making involves the break-down and reconstitution of original and found photographs- often of culturally-loaded subject matter- into chaotic and beguiling new forms. During his time as an Ace Hotel resident, Debris captured fine details of numerous well-known New York City structures: government buildings, banking institutions, headquarters of corporate dynasties, churches and US military monuments. These emblematic structures of US Imperial dominance and military might are chopped and screwed into a compost of data and vestigial form, from which a host of strange entities arise. The works invite an imagining of New York City as a future ruin, reclaimed by a speculative pantheon of monstrous gods and godly monsters, both fearsome and playful in aspect. 

The hard structures of a global empire are transformed into soft, vibrant textiles and other talismans designed to adorn, beautify and protect the body and its dwelling places. The limited print editions, textile pieces and garments on display in this exhibition are available for purchase directly from the artist’s Brooklyn studio.

Theron Debris is a visual artist and ritualist. He was born in 1984 in Sydney, Australia. He lives in New York.

In one of his other lives, Debris produced a prolific and influential body of work across forms as the multi-hyphenate artist, author and curator SJ Norman, whose 20 year career has embraced a wide variety of disciplines, including long-durational performance, sculpture, social practice, sound, film and literature. His exhibition and acquisition history includes the National Gallery of Australia, the Biennale of Sydney, the National Indigenous Art Triennial. He is the recipient of numerous major awards for art, including the 67th Blake Prize. Also a distinguished writer, his first book was nominated for 7 major literary prizes in Australia, including the Stella Prize and the Australian Society for Literature Gold medal. His work has been featured in Vogue magazine, Artforum, and the New York Times Magazine to name a few. His engagement with form is underpinned by a deep preoccupation with occult philosophy, folklore, ritual and ceremony, and the religious practices of the subaltern- an ongoing enquiry grounded in his Indigenous (Wiradjuri/Ngiyampaa-Wailwan) and trans identities. 

Theron Debris was a name given to Norman in the wake of a magical working in New York in January 2020. This name has privately carried him through a global calamity and the first three years of his gender transition. 

This is the first exhibition of the artist’s work under his chosen name. 

More on Ace Artist in Residence

 

Ace Artist in Residence is the embodiment of our deep conviction that artists deliver us a critical lens through which to understand the world and ourselves. Through the program, we turn our rooms into studio spaces and invite arts organizations to take residency at the hotel and present work in The Gallery. Read all about our past residencies here.

Other events happening on Nov 02, 2023

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