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RYAN CULLEN

A New Kind of Togetherness
Organized by Bunk Club
November 16 - December 16, 2018
Opening reception: Friday, November 16, 6-8 pm
FAN OF RYAN CULLEN Zine Launch: Thursday, December 13, 6-8pm



A New Kind of Togetherness, a solo exhibition by Ryan Cullen is organized by Bunk Club, a non-profit contemporary art initiative founded in Brussels. The exhibition will consist of three recent paintings and a number of sculptures that explore the notion of anamorphosis as a critical tool to investigate subjective vision.

Among the many paintings and reliefs adorning the walls of any museum's medieval art wing, what lacks is audio. Although one does recall the multitude of trumpeters scattered throughout Flemish and German iconographic triptychs and diptychs. From the painted backgrounds and sidelines angels signal fanfare or warfare. There are of course rare occasions when these trumpeters appear front and center within the painting - this is more often the case with trumpets of war than of fanfare.

The sound so absent from these works is the piercing diegetic sound of regal trumpets blaring through the filthy sprawl of a middle aged European countryside. These renderings, were they to also capture audio of the scene, would scream defiantly, the sound of war, the sound of fanfare, the sound of trumpets.

There is ostensibly no more concrete, legal, and living human signifier than that of the diplomat. The art of diplomacy transforms the individual not into a representative of the state, but a physical representation of it. The diplomat's subjectivity is lost to her function as state; it is always one more than the other, either subject or state.

The paintings exhibited here present a kind of authoritarianism of perception. Unlike the democracy of Holbein's Ambassadors whereby two images are presented simultaneously, variably one visible, the other invisible; the anamorphosis on display here involves only one perspective.

The vuvuzela is the historical counterpart to the Charlottesville-neo-Nazi-tiki-torch. With this in mind, the question remains precisely what type of trumpets are these - war or fanfare? If they are war trumpets we know what war. However if these trumpets seem instead to herald something, what do they herald, and who is the heralder? Can we not think of these men as ambassadors of signification, not of the state but instead for an attitude, collective phantasy, premonition, realization of the present moment, impending relapse.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a zine and an edition by the artist, FAN OF RYAN CULLEN, will launch at Essex Flowers on December 13th, 6-8pm

Ryan Cullen has exhibited internationally at Etablissement d'en Face, Brussels; Studio Picknick, Berlin; Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden; and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main. Currently Cullen lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Bunk Club is a non-profit contemporary art initiative founded in Brussels in 2011 by Laurence Dujardyn and Mathias Wille, focusing on the publication of a series of "FAN OF" zines and editions as well as organizing exhibitions at itinerant locations.