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WE ARE: Chelsea Haines and Eriola Pira

August 4 August 8, 2011

“We are Chelsea Haines and Eriola Pira. We’re not particularly funny people, but we do enjoy a good laugh. And it’s laughs we are after. Over the course of three days, we set out to explore, create, and appreciate comedy as a form and attitude.

Our intention is twofold: first, to make room for the comic object in an art gallery context, while allowing comedy to have its critical fun with that very setting. Second, by blurring the boundaries between comedic and artistic environments, we hope this mixed situation will produce a lighthearted and improvisational approach to both art and comedy. As artist David Robbins has defined it, the comic object is the product of concrete comedy. Like silent movies, concrete comedy is not verbal but physical. It does not depend on comic timing, but it can be an attitude that stretches through a lifetime; it needs no audience but only comic intent. Nonetheless, it remains theatrical in virtue of the situation that the comic gesture creates, and it does not depend on illusion, but on concrete actuality.

Throughout the three days of the exhibition, we encouraged artists and non-artists to bring and present comic objects in their own right. The first day served as the opening of an exhibition of comic objects by a select group of artists and provide the setting for a comic event, where the artistic situation will turn into a full comic situation. Activities included open mike sessions, the turning of the artistic/comic objects into props, improv performances and all of the buffooneries that may ensue. The butt-end of humor may include, but doesn’t have to be exclusive to artistic practice.”

For the fifth installment of WE ARE: Eriola Pira and Chelsea Haines set out to explore comedy as both form and attitude. Objects by Scott Lawrence, Anton Terziev, and Stephen Truax composed the exhibition while a Buster Keaton screening and live acts by DAB, Peter D’Amato, Missing Earl, and others made up an open comedy night. Visitors were encouraged to bring objects they considered comic to add to the exhibition, peruse and add to a YouTube video comedy play list, and partake in the open-mike sessions of the night.

View photos of the opening reception and installation HERE

During the whole WE ARE: series, the gallery was also open on Thursdays (one day before opening dates) to reveal each exhibition’s installation process.

Scott Lawrence, "Pants Sculptures," 2009, pants and wood