Recess: May 21, 2014
On April 15, Am Schmidt will begin work on Recess: May 21, 2014, a month-long summoning of musician Dave Navarro. The Session’s title references the date of Schmidt’s first and only Navarro sighting, which occurred while she was participating in a meeting at Recess. With her return to the space, Schmidt—a long-term Navarro fan—will create an installation that revolves around Navarro’s biography and personal tastes. Throughout, the artist will also conduct an outreach campaign via social media, with the aim of soliciting Navarro’s presence at Recess.

The installation, which will take shape over the course of Schmidt’s Session, will be inspired by the design of Navarro’s home as it appears on a 2002 episode of MTV’s Cribs. Amidst domestic elements such as furniture, tchotchkes, and wall décor, the artist will display her research on Navarro, including a highlighted and annotated printout of his Wikipedia page and found images of the musician on the streets of Soho (a neighborhood he purportedly frequents on his visits to New York). At times, TV shows featuring Navarro—including Ink Master and ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave—or his instructional guitar DVD will be playing on screens, infusing the space with Navarro’s virtual presence. A script of the dialogue from the May 21, 2014 meeting will be available in the space as an anchor to the genesis of the project and an invitation to imagine folding re-enactment into the staged environs.

The appearance of the space and activities of the Session will walk the line between creation and re-creation, summoning for the future and homage to the past, fandom and devotion. Overall, with its unwavering focus on Navarro—a musician and artist who has enjoyed a multifaceted, if not always even, career—Recess: May 21, 2014 will put forth a meditation on celebrity while interrogating the discrepancy between celebrity and non-celebrity, the hierarchy within celebrity itself, the fame culture of New York City (and Soho specifically), and the disparity between the financial implications of “the celebrity” and those of “the emerging artist.”

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