Since 2012, Shana Lutker (b. 1978, Northport, New York; lives in Los Angeles) has been researching the Surrealist movement.
Among the most important European avant-garde groups of the 20th century, the Surrealists explored the unconscious mind and creative expressions that were tied to the irrational. They were also, as revealed by Lutker’s research, prone to physical, public fights incited by intellectual arguments and personal slights. Growing out of the artist’s previous work focused on psychoanalysis, this ongoing project, The History of the
Fistfights of the Surrealists (2012–), presents a subjective meditation on these strange episodes of art history and Lutker’s research into them.
Lutker has identified eight fights that she is investigating in “chapters” that consist of sculptural installations and performances. So far, she has realized two chapters: one that explored a brawl from 1923 and one that explored an eruptive 1926 protest.
For PAMM, Lutker presents the third project in her series entitled Again Against, A Foot, A Back, A Wall. This new work represents Lutker's associations to a fight that broke out at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier in Paris on May 29, 1925 when the Surrealists noisily interrupted a lecture on literature. Lutker’s installation, which in part responds to the architecture of PAMM’s unique auditorium space, presents uncanny and poetic objects in a variety of media such as lead, graphite, glass, and granite that create a dreamlike, abstract vision of the event.
Lutker is also realizing a related performance, The Average Mysterious and the Shirt off its Back, which will debut on May 7 when her exhibition opens.