"A Modest Proposal" Group Show Opening @ Hauser and Wirth Gallery In New York

In 1729, Jonathan Swift wrote an essay offering short-term solutions to Ireland’s dire situation with poverty and starvation. The essay, entitled A Modest Proposal, was simple in its intent: to stave off hunger, the Irish must simply start eating their children. It is that essay and its sentiment satirizing the absurd dilemma of being slaves to our bodies that provided the jumping off point for Hauser & Wirth’s new show, also entitled A Modest Proposal. The show features works from New York-based fine art photographer Lucas Blalock, Los Angeles-based Japanese sculptor and painter Naotaka Hiro, New York-based Russian mixed-media artist and painter Sanya Kantarovsky, New York-based French conceptual, performance, and mixed-media artist Nicola L., Iranian-American Los Angeles-based painter Tala Madani, and Polish painter Jakub Julian Ziólkowski. All the works in the show critique our relationships to our “bodies and the abject,” often with a light (albeit conceptual) touch and a sense of humor. Hauser & Wirth’s curatorial efforts are always spectacular, and seeing these artists interact with another in a gallery space should prove quite a treat. To open the show, Hauser & Wirth staffers put on red plastic onesies that were all connected, connecting the human bodies to one another as they flailed and gasped for freedom. "A Modest Proposal" will be on view until July 29, 2016 at Hauser Wirth, 18th Street, New York.  text and photographs by Adam Lehrer