All Articles
All Articles

Blind Cut

Two young curators contemplate deception through a range of works that question reality

by Karen Day
on 16 January 2012

In magic, a blind cut refers to when the illusionist appears to shuffle a deck of cards, but in reality, hasn't actually shuffled them at all. This sleight-of-hand trick is also the befitting title of the forthcoming exhibition at NYC's Marlborough Chelsea gallery, a group show curated by Jonah Freeman and Vera Neykov. Tapping revered Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers as its thematic anchor, "Blind Cut" explores the concept of deception in regards to identity, authenticity and originality, through his works and others', each questioning what is real and what is fictional.


After living for decades as a struggling poet, in 1964 Broodthaers set in plaster 50 copies of a compilation of his poems entitled Pense-Bête, and put them on display at Galerie St Laurent. In the catalog for the exhibition, the Surrealist poet boldly stated, "I, too, wondered if I couldn't sell something and succeed in life...The idea of inventing something insincere finally crossed my mind and I set to work at once."

Re-framing his poetry as tangible works of art, Broodthaers continued to explore word-object relationships and the meaning of language throughout his short-lived career, often recontextualizing the work of his mentor, Réné Magritte. His diverse oeuvre now spans paintings, sculptural installations, photogrpahy, books and film, but with each medium he muddled the truth in order to expose the truth. "Blind Cut" also looks to another quotation by Broodthaers, which states "A fiction allows us to grasp reality and at the same time that which is veiled by reality."


A contemporary reflection of this ideology may be found in the work of sculptor Robert Lazzarini, who poetically distorts the familiar by toying with perception. Interested in phenomenology, Lazzarini uses real materials to create fabricated objects which sharply remind the viewer of their mundane existence.

Showing other introspective artists such as Matt Johnson, Anne Collier, Ed Ruscha and more—as well as works from influential movements like Dada and the radical architecture agency Superstudio—"Blind Cut" looks at a perpetually relevant topic with fresh eyes. In the digital age—one where Twitter verification is a measure of authenticity and bloggers post images without any concern for copyright—questions about identity, originality and reality feel like a natural part of conversation, but Freeman and Neykov have compiled a range of works that make the audience reconsider what they see.

"Blind Cut" opens 19 January 2012 at Marlborough Chelsea and runs through 18 February 2012.

More images of work from the show after the jump

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible
Loading More...