Cosmic Joke
10 June to 09 July 2017
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“Comedy is tragedy plus time.” – Carol Burnett, as quoted in Starting from Scratch (1989) by Rita Mae Brown

“A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Safe Gallery is pleased to present a group show organized by Jennifer Sullivan. Works on display are by Joe Ballweg, Andrea Bergart, Kari Cholnoky, Jacques Louis Vidal, Andrew Ross, Zuriel Waters, Max Heiges, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, and Jennifer Sullivan.
Sullivan has also collaborated with members of AlleyOop Projects; Max Heiges, Kari Cholnoky, Andrea Bergart, Joe Ballweg; to create a “comedy club” in the form of a giant TV set. The word “club” itself invokes the dual meanings of both a place where comedy is performed and a group of like-minded individuals. The installation will function as a stand-alone object as well as a space for stand-up performances to take place during the duration of the show. Performers include Amy Khoshbin, Melissa Brown, Larissa Velez-Jackson, Jordan Rathus, Zuriel Waters, Bobo, Seung-Min Lee, and Acireneg.

The show is inspired by Jennifer Sullivan’s exploration of the transformative potential of comedy as an artistic mode. Sullivan is a co-curator of the Funny Hole, an occasional artist comedy club in Ridgewood, Queens, located in the basement of Andrea Bergart and Joe Ballweg’s live/work building. Sullivan sees stand-up as a performative process akin to drawing – a direct method of sharing ideas and, as Natalie Goldberg noted in her book Writing Down the Bones, a way to “explore the rugged edge of thought.” In addition, Sullivan is particularly interested in comedy as an alchemical process for mutating pain into pleasure. The idea that cries could easily flip into laughter, as the expressions are two sides of the same coin, is at the core of this presentation of work. Comedy is a vital antidote to daily injustices and the work on display is a celebration of the cathartic property of laughter.