Primary is proud to present Self-preservation (with or without applause), a group exhibition organized by A.G. featuring works by Theodora Allen, Christopher Culver, A.G., Victoria Fu, Beatriz Olabarrieta, Tony Matelli, John Riepenhoff, Torbjørn Rødland, Amanda Ross-Ho, Ed Ruscha, Sara VanDerBeek, and Siebren Versteeg. The works in the exhibition, spanning painting, photography, sculpture, video, and neon, function much like self-aware vessels encapsulating portraits of the anxieties related to acknowledgment, self-care, validation, time, defense and, collectively, self-preservation.
As part of the exhibition, A.G. writes:
I heard a rumor when I was young that Walt Disney had his head cryogenically frozen. At the time I thought it was odd and egotistical, and quite presumptuous. As an adult, it makes sense. The "magic" that Walt fabricated, and is still being fabricated by the Disney conglomerate today, was, indeed, fabricated. What that implies is that the magic one feels was willed by another's desire to will it. There is a grand shadow that looms, mischievously tormenting, much like Peter Pan's own shadow, transcendent of its ability to be categorized as either benevolent or malevolent. Much like Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, and Walt himself, mortality, time, and maintenance are ever paramount, no matter how much pixie dust we use in our skincare regimen.
It's possible that Walt Disney's desire to immortalize his existence and the desire to spark joy in others came from the same psychological space. It makes me rethink his iconographic statue, Partners- tall and proud as he holds hands with his own creative expression, personified here as an enthusiastic mouse walking on two legs. In this case, sculpture stands to act much like a memorial, or tombstone, and in many ways, the highly visible statue is more successful at encapsulating Walt's immortality than his alleged frozen head. The power of this object, willed by the desire to self-preserve, both one's self and one's own creative expression, as equals, could very well be more effective at maintaining a legend than a legendary decapitation- certainly a more applaudable deed.