# 46 STANYA KAHN
Stand In The Stream
April 21 - May 5, 2017
“All of this was made with a lot of pleasure despite various feelings of terror, grief and worry. El Niño never came, my mom died, the cops shot over 500 people. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. No more icebergs. This is just the tip of death’s boney middle finger. If I could say one thing, I’d tell you that scientifically speaking, snakes only ever eat their own tails when they are having a severe anxiety attack due to heatstroke. The snakes eating their tails here aren’t necessarily spiritual symbols or references to the mystical “Ouroboros.” They are self-destructing in a hot panic. While the image of a snake eating it’s tail has been used to refer to the cyclical nature of life and death, to eternity and the infinite in many cultures—from Greek, Indian, Norse and South American mythology to systems of thought in Alchemy and Yoga—the ancient Egyptian idea of a circling “formless disorder that surrounds the orderly world and is involved in that world's periodic renewal” seems to most closely reflect the wildness of worry, especially that which is brought on by hostile environmental conditions. Severe drought; the unregulated heat of citizen disempowerment in a two-party system seemingly air-locked with no cross-stream; love and family in late capitalism atomizing the body-mind connection faster than you can say dialectic. It’s getting hot in here. Tail in mouth, we are eating the wrong thing.” —Stanya Kahn
Stanya Kahn lives and works in Los Angeles.
Kahn’s hybrid media practice reworks relationships between fiction and document, the uncanny and the hyperreal, narrative time and the synchronic time of impulse. Words, actions, geographies, and relations inhabit moving pictures, drawings, and texts seeking out spaces for agency, power, affect, and meaning. Informed by an extensive background in live performance, Kahn’s work embodies a keen awareness of the body and of artist/audience relationships, drawing on devices of improvisation, comedy, dance, theater, and pop vernaculars to drive forward its deeper structures based in literary, cinematic, and musical practices.
Recent solo shows include Marlborough Contemporary, New York, Pigna Projectspace in Rome, and Cornerhouse in Manchester (a survey of her solo works from 2008 to 2012). Kahn is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow in Film/Video. Her solo and collaborative works have shown in numerous venues nationally and internationally, including the Whitney Biennial (2008); the California Biennial (2010); MoMA, New York; New Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Sundance Film Festival; the Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; Contemporary Center for Art, Vilnius, Lithuania; MIT, Cambridge, MA; Kunsthalle, Bonn; Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Hayward Gallery, London; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles; and Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, among many others.