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Jonathan Horowitz

Go Vegan!

November 15 – December 21, 2002

The Greene Naftali Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Go Vegan!, an installation of new work by Jonathan Horowitz, on view November 15 - December 21, 2002. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday this exhibition points to on idealized America in troubled times.


Go Vegan! is a multimedia exhibition, incorporating found object and image works, produced primarily using digital consumer technology. All of the works hinge on images of animal rights and vegetarianism, creating o brood allegory of personal politics in the realm of mass media and popular culture.


A portrait of Albert Einstein bears his quote; "Nothing will benefit human health or increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." This declaration is paired with headshots of celebrity vegetarians downloaded from the Internet. A two channel video work is based on a quote by Linda and Paul McCartney, "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian." Serenely beautiful footage of Linda and Paul on their form is juxtaposed with scenes of slaughterhouse practices providing a view into what is hidden by a culture invested in capitalism and a pastoral image. In the center of another gallery, a white cube of fresh tofu floats in a dish of water that sits on a white pedestal. The white cube of the gallery space enshrines this minimalist sculpture and utopian source of protein. A computer blow-up of Norman Rockwell's classic Thanksgiving scene titled American Gothic and "cowed" into image fragments displayed in blood red frames. Sets of farm animal portraits are grouped and titled by meat names -- i.e., Poultry (32 Portraits of Chickens Downloaded from the Internet). A worn and bloodstained butcher's block is transferred into the gallery, turning it into a stage for the real and imagined carnage of its post.


Part polemic, part deadpan cultural commentary, Go Vegan! charts personal conviction against a map of celebrity causes and sensational tactics. Pointing to the ecology of politics in mass media (ambient, mediated, rhetorical) the work nonetheless advocates real political ideologies -- vegetarianism and pacifism --, which take on all the more power, for their implicit resistance to the high-octane politics of global capitalism, terrorism and war.


Jonathan Horowitz (b. 1966) lives and works in New York. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Sadie Coles HQ, London (2002) and Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland (2001). His work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Kunstverein Hamburg (2002), the Barbican Art Centre, London (2001), and PS1, New York (2000).


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