Zoe Strauss | Madison Avenue
On View October 4th – November 17th
Open Wed-Sat 12-5pm and by appointment
“Are you ready for the flood?” Zoe Strauss asks us. It’s a trick question. You’re too late. The flood is already here. The only question is what you can grab, how you’re going to leave, and what goddesses, nymphs and naiads might appear to lead you on your way.
I-95, the decennial installation that defined the first half of Strauss’s career, culminated in her blockbuster 10 Years retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Since then, through a series of commissions and fellowships, Strauss has been plotting part two, an epic of the deluge that will dominate the second half of her creative life.
Similar to the Works in Progress shows that propelled I-95, this new work will be filled with performances, installations, camp meetings and boat trips. Some photographs, too! Madison Avenue, opening on October 4th at Meislin Projects, brings the road show to America’s actual boulevard of broken dreams.
There’s black mold behind the wallpaper at the foreclosed Trump Taj Mahal, flypaper in the chandeliers, and flood marks near the ceiling in Staten Island bungalows and Louisiana cottages. A fallen angel tumbles from the Sarasota sky in front of Katherine Harris’s Mediterranean manse. Words fade away and are forgotten. Liquid flows into liquidation.
What have the Madison Avenue Men sold us? A return to normalcy? Greatness again? That schoolgirl complexion? A good deal on some gently used, gold-tasseled drapes? Maybe Albert Lasker knew, before he was taken at the flood.
Zoe Strauss: Madison Avenue builds on invitational residencies at the American Academy in Rome, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Carnegie International. Madison Avenue is the first Works in Progress installation supporting Commencement, Ms. Strauss’s upcoming long-term project.