09.29 2009

DEAD OF THE LIVING NIGHT

DEAD OF THE LIVING NIGHT
Jonathan Cammisa and Jonah Birns

November 6th-27th, 2009.
Opening Reception: Friday, November 6th, 7-10pm.

DEAD OF THE LIVING NIGHT arises from the artists’ like-minded fascination-turned-obsession with childhood fantasies and fears; the inability to look away when you know you should, combined with the desire to stay up all night fantasizing about the greatest adventures and abilities only imaginable. The exhibition examines one generation’s memories through an observation of imagery that fueled their childhoods, with all the bizarre nuances and esoteric references. From this period, new imagery has been created from manipulated found photos and juxtapositions of movie stills, clippings and gore magazine art. The show features two video installations, sculpture, posters, and four volumes of a book of the same name, Dead Of The Living Night. The collaborative and ongoing book acts as a depository of images, photos, original drawings, found items and ephemera. The name itself sets a tone of horror, science fiction, dark humor and the arcane which will be a common thread throughout each of the books volumes.

The multimedia installation is housed inside a monolithic black room. Inside, viewers will snake through the horror/sci-fi section of a video store that pays homage to the filmic origins which drew the artists in and planted a lifetime pre-occupation with disturbing, uncanny and humorous images. Original VHS tapes line the walls in the dark, cramped hallway, a single bulb hanging overhead. In the adjoining room an interactive “magic beast” ride allows people the fantasy of flying on the back of a giant, movable creature. You are taken through the clouds into space and then the beyond. Outside, an old television set sits atop a stack of life-sized monster corpses, playing a video where high-speed editing and tongue-in-cheek cuts splice together gore and terror, assaulting you to the point of absurdity. Lining the gallery walls hang posters created from images in the books.
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Jonathan Cammisa
b. 1980 Philadelphia PA
Jonathan lives and works in Brooklyn. BFA, The School of Visual Arts, 2003. Currently working as a freelance graphic artist and designer. Clients include: MTV. Mark Gonzales/Krooked Skateboards. 411 Video Magazine. Generra. Fader Magazine. Sweden Unlimited. Urban Arts Research & Marketing (UARM). Featured artist: Arkitip Magazine. MTV. Beams Japan. Carhartt Japan. Tank Theory. Modern Amusement. Monument Snowboards. Element Skateboards.

Jonah Birns
b. 1979 Philadelphia PA

Jonah Birns graduated from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts with a BFA in 2002, and has since lived and worked in New York City. Primarily focusing on photography and graphic design, he has worked with some of New York’s top design, film and fashion companies. The artwork he creates is heavily influenced by films, books, and comics specifically in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. His work has recently appeared at The Nexus gallery in Philadelphia, the WORK Gallery in Brooklyn and in the award-winning documentary In A Dream.

Jonah Birns and Jonathan Cammisa have been friends for almost 20 years and collaborated on numerous projects, this is their first show together.

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