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Essex Flowers front entrance and front gallery are wheelchair accessible. Our back gallery is accessible, with a clearance of 31”. Our bathroom is not wheelchair accessible.

AXxoN N.:
A Collective Commentary on David Lynch’s Inland Empire

Organized by Jonathan Ehrenberg and Sean McCarthy
February 10 - March 10, 2019 
Opening Reception: Sunday, February 10, 6-8PM

Maria Petschnig AXxoN N. 2011/2019 single-channel HD video 3:25 min

Glen Baldridge, Justin Berry, Claudia Bitran, Amy Brener, Julia Brown, Melissa Brown, Camel Collective, Christopher Chiappa, Johannes DeYoung, Angela Dufresne, Wendy Edwards, Jeronimo Elespe, Jonathan Ehrenberg and Sean McCarthy, Tamar Ettun, Kevin Ford, Dana Frankfort, Chie Fueki, Jackie Gendel, Ethan Greenbaum, Valerie Hegarty, Adam Henry, Marie von Heyl, Christopher K. Ho, Whitney Hubbs, Elizabeth Huey, Janelle Iglesias, Vera Iliatova, Meredith James, Irena Jurek, L.E. Kim, Chelsea Knight, Antonia Kuo, Alex Kvares, Erica Magrey, Guadalupe Maravilla, Joshua Marsh, Tom McGrath, Florian Meisenberg and Anna K.E., Ander Mikalson, Nova Milne, Shana Moulton, Ryan Mrozowski, Bridget Mullen, Errka Nissinen, Robyn O’Neil, Sarah Peters, Maria Petschnig, Rich Porter, Adam Putnam, Matthew Ronay, Andrew Ross, Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, Gabriela Salazar, Lui Shtini, Emily Mae Smith, Jennifer Sullivan, Craig Taylor, Rufus Tureen, Clement Valla, Jacques Louis Vidal, Hannah Walsh, Paul Whiting, Letha Wilson, Bryan Zanisnik, Kevin Zucker

AXxoN N. is a group exhibition of works created in response to David Lynch’s 2006 film Inland Empire. Riddled with ruptures of time, space, narrative and identity, the film’s “multiple and fractured modes of perception” (Anne Jerslev) seem “like a series of dream sequences floating free of any grounding reality, a dream without a dreamer” (Mark Fisher), inviting and frustrating commentary. 

Famously averse to discussing his own films, Lynch has limited his comments on Inland Empire to a quotation from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad: "We are like the spider. We weave our life and then move along in it. We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream. This is true for the entire universe."

What does Inland Empire reveal about the realities we weave and then inhabit? AXxoN N. acts as a snapshot of our fragmented dreams, of the way our individual realities clash even as they coexist and coalesce.

The show’s title refers to a cryptic handwritten text that appears near doorways through which Laura Dern’s characters pass into fractured realities. In this spirit, AXxoN N. provides commentary on the film’s complexities through more than 60 works on paper, paintings, sculpture, video, and interactive pieces. Exploring issues of surveillance, celebrity, splintered identity, synaptic connection, and erratic or selective psychic annihilation, these works add to the visual and narrative storehouse of Inland Empire, or serve as a replacement for something missing, like a prosthesis. Packed in a minimal space, AXxoN N. would create a sensory overload if not for its lighting: a hanging work light and a few handheld flashlights, which viewers move over the walls, directing their own experience by illuminating one piece at a time, then letting it slip back into the dark.