Die Like You Really Mean It
Allegra LaViola Gallery
October 26 - December 3 2011
Die like you really mean it. This statement could be a call to radical action. It could be a poetic way to talk about living well in a tough world. This could be the expression of a narcissist, or someone demanding social justice. Or It could be about how much, exactly, are we true to ourselves. The philosopher Slavoj Zizek captures the heart of the debate when describing his critique around of the modern person, writing: “...people who profess their cynical distance and radical pragmatic opportunism secretly believe much more than they are willing to admit, even if they transpose these beliefs onto (nonexistent) “others.”” It could also be the sort of thought that forms into a Chuck Palahniuk moment, where the narrator in Fight Club intones: “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”
Bobby Sands, a member of the Irish Republican Army, has a street named after him in Tehran. The Street was previously named after Winston Churchill, and it used to be the front door and address to the British Embassy, but they moved the entrance to the backstreet to avoid having to list Bobby Sands Street as the embassy’s address. That street is there because Sands lived his life and died with certain seriousness. Sands died after sixty-six days on a hunger strike in 1981, he starved himself to death in a British prison. Some call Sand’s life stupid and violent, fairly, but others see him as a hero, fairly. His story demands a sort of direct confrontation with the “enemy,” whichever side you fall on, and whatever side you do fall on, it’s impossible to say that Sands didn’t die like he meant it.
Recently Democracy Now broadcast the funeral of Troy Anthony Davis, who was executed for murder despite many, many reasons that suggested his case deserved further consideration. The pastor who ended the segment on Democracy Now, Raphael Warnock, gave a great speech about compassion, and the pastor’s segment ended with: “…existentially we all live, don’t ya know, on death row. We all live on death row. The difference between us and Troy is that Troy knew it, and some of us have yet to figure it out.”
Die Like You Really Mean It is up at Allegra LaViola Gallery from October 26th to December 3rd, the opening is October 26th from 6 to 9pm. The show is curated by Paul Brainard and Frank Webster. The artists are Erik Benson, Paul Brainard, Pia Dehne, Hiroyuki Hamada, Elizabeth Huey, Erika Keck, Emily Noelle Lambert, Frank Lentini, Eddie Martinez, Brian Montouri, Bryan Osburn, Kanishka Raja, Erika Ranee, Tom Sanford, Christopher Saunders, Kristen Schiele, Ryan Schneider, Oliver Warden, Frank Webster, Eric White and Doug Young.
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Bill Donovan, a writer, artist and educator in New York City, completed his MFA with a specialization in painting in 2006 at the University of Iowa and will complete his MA in Art History and Criticism at Stony Brook University in 2012. Donovan is an adjunct professor of Fine Art at Adelphi University and Nassau Community College. He has been actively showing his paintings internationally since 2005, exhibiting in countries including Spain, Australia and Denmark. Mr. Donovan's writing has appeared in Beautiful/Decay, The Huffington Post and WhiteHot Magazine. You can keep up with Bill through his website:http://billdonovan.net