Dave Cicirelli: Vanity Project
199 Water Street, New York
Opening: Thursday, March 12th, 10am-8pm
March 13th-April 7th, 2020
Mon-Fri: 10am-8pm, Sat-Sun: 10am-7pm
Wallplay is pleased to present Dave Cicirelli’s Vanity Project. The exhibition includes a series of kinetic and kaleidoscopic immersive sculptures which both celebrate and mock selfie culture in plain sight. The first proof-of-concept for Cicirelli’s infinity shapes in a fine art context presents a preview into the ambitious scope of his latest work-in-progress. Vanity Project aims to shine a light on corrupted public validation, obstructed intimacy, and the aspiration of selfless self-expression.
This is the first publicly accessible version of Cicirelli’s Infinity Cube series. The sculptures allow for video to be integrated into the popularized “infinity” experience, while still preserving an uninterrupted and multiplied landscape. Each work, which contains both mirrored glass and moving image, can best be described playfully as “kinetic and transparent Zwirner-exploited Kusamas’ turned on their head”. Additionally, they are fully observable from the outside. Yet once inside, visitors will only be able to view the interior. This allows for an audience to have two-way mirror access to the self-indulgences of participants who venture within.
The abstract implications of virtual life are distilled through Cicerelli’s repeated landscape. At its most basic level, the sculptures create the illusion of depth—both literally and figuratively. Visitors will step inside the installation to essentially look into a screen, but that screen doubles as a mirror--carrying their own image and reproducing it endlessly.
The irony of Vanity Project is that the piece itself is undoubtedly perfect for the Instagram era. But unlike on social media, its observers aren’t in control of how they're seen. While inside, they cannot see out. Taking a selfie is confronted with the absurdity of the act—intensifying the tension between capturing the moment and experiencing one. Between the twin pulls of voyeurism and narcissism, Cicirelli treats mirror as a medium, both to confront and subvert the excesses of self-image.
ARTIST BIO: DAVE CICIRELLI
Dave Cicirelli (b. 1983) is an artist, author, and creative director whose personal work is almost exclusively rooted in exploring the ambiguity of perception.
His first breakthrough piece was “Fakebook”—a 2009 hoax and social experiment in which he spent six-months secretly turning his real profile into a complete work of fiction to confront issues of fake news and influencer impact before either had a name. This story, and the real-life fallout of virtual events, became the basis of his memoir “Fakebook: A True Story Based On Actual Lies.” (p. 2013, Sourcebooks)
In addition, he’s known for several successful collaborations. These include the guerrilla stunt “Fake Banksy Sells Out," a widely covered response to Banksy’s famous Central Park Art Sale with fellow artist Lance Pilgrim; and an illustrated a retelling of John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty” in collaboration with public intellectuals Jonathan Haidt and Richard V. Reeves.
He’s also one of the premier experiential designers, having conceived and creative directed the sprawling Jack Daniel’s Motel No 7 event series, as well as Dos Equis’ Masquarade events--which all brought together the worlds of set design, live music, immersive theater--and yes, instagrammable moments.
His latest endeavor is Rochambeau.xyz, a concept driven design studio dedicated to bringing new ideas to life.