Goulash

Curated by Scott Zieher

June 15th - August 18th

Front to back: Trish Tillman, Esteban Ocampo Giraldo

Front to back: Trish Tillman, Esteban Ocampo Giraldo

Rebecca Morgan

Trish Tillman

Rachel Owens

Sandra Cipollone

Joseph Klapper

Esteban Ocampo Giraldo

Brandon DeSha

Andy Cross

Our title (commonly known as the longest word in Greek at 171 letters) availed itself while I was leafing through a book of unusual, obscure and preposterous words by Josefa Heifetz Byrne, from Aristophanes ASSEMBLYWOMEN. “A goulash composed of all the leftovers from the meals of the leftovers from the meals of the last two weeks. Or, hash,” Byrne defines it, while Jeffrey Henderson translated the word as a stew of "limpets and saltfish and sharksteak and dogfish and mullets and oddfish with savory pickle sauce and thrushes with blackbirds and various pigeons and roosters and pan-roasted wagtails and larks and nice chunks of hare marinated in mulled wine and all of it drizzled with honey and silphium and vinegar, oil and spices galore.” It could just as well be the definition of the average contemporary group exhibition. Nobody I know is deeply versed in Greek drama from the 4th century BC. But upon the briefest further review the hilarity of the word itself led to the plot of the source which struck such a resonant chord I proposed the summary to a dozen artists for their reactions. Set in an Athens milieu of “moral and material anxiety” and critical of the current governing body, Aristophanes’ play proposes a parliament of women by way of a pointedly sexual and scatogical humor. Ripe for reinterpretation via the visual imagination, the resonance of both source and definition beg for the human figure, just as audiences facing hard times find solace therein. The optimism of a notion such as women in the exclusive position of ruling, Utopia for many, hell for a little less than half of our own country, nevertheless acts as a moment of levity in a sorry time.