It’s a crazy idea and we don’t know why they do it, but we’re glad they do.
Every July for roughly the last decade, the good people of downtown’s PØST Gallery stage their legendary Kamikaze Exhibitions — 31 new shows, one every day in July. Sometime in the morning, the artist(s) show up with the work, install the show, host an opening/closing reception from 7 to 9 p.m., take the work down and head out. The cycle repeats every day, including the Fourth of July and all the Sundays, until the evening of July 31.
One of the more interesting aspects of the project, aside from the endurance-test vibe, is the eclectic depth and breadth of the programming itself. The shows range from the fairly straightforward (a single artist showing a few new paintings) to the totally intense (such as a multiperson group show). Sometimes there is music or performance art. Frequently, an artist will take the opportunity to show experimental pieces, try out a new medium or pursue a surprising collaboration.
Most of the artists keep it pretty close to the vest what their real plans are, but some upcoming highlights include new photographs by Mike Dee on July 2, new paintings by HK Zamani (the gallery owner, who gallantly tends to take the holiday night for himself) on July 4, an engaging abstract sculptural installation by Laura Cooper on July 6, Farzad Kohan’s mixed-media meditations on immigration July 9, and new mixed-media works by Chelsea Dean on July 28.
There are some smaller group shows of just a few people each, such as the fireworks-inspired July 5 group “Incendiary Devices” and the closing-night exhibition curated by Mahara T. Sinclaire: “Lazy Susan IV: Déjà vu Realism” featuring eccentric new realism by painters Jodi Bonassi, F. Scott Hess, Frank Ryan, Sinclaire and Eloy Torrez.
If the overall vibe isn’t amped up, two nights in particular promise an extra dose of carnival. July 10 is the group show “Spell Check” curated by artist Dani Doge, featuring some 20 artists who use text as elements of both composition and directed content. Not to be outdone, Kristine Schomaker’s “Let Me Eat Cake” on July 14 — a baroque-inspired visual and flavor confection Marie Antoinette would love — involves some 35 artists and at least one baker who conspire to offer you dessert before your dinner.
There’s no central event page, so the gallery’s Facebook page and overall flyer are your best guides to the lineup, but many of the artists undertake individual event pages, usually tagged as “a Kamikaze Show.” But you can just show up any night this month and you’re sure to find something strange going on.
PØST, the Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave., #515, downtown.
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