SOMEBODY TOLD ME YOU PEOPLE WERE CRAZY
Curated by Craig Drennen
On View: May 18 - July 13, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 18, 6 – 9 PM
HATHAWAY is proud to present a group exhibition, Somebody Told Me You People Were Crazy, curated by Craig Drennen and featuring work by the following artists:
Colleen Asper (New York City) Mel Cook (Chicago) Jenene Nagy (Los Angeles)
Marc Brotherton (Atlanta) David Leggett (Los Angeles) Joshua West Smith (Los Angeles)
Chris Carroll (New York City) Steve Locke (Boston) Tim Wirth (Buffalo Center, Iowa)
In 1978 the Cramps played a full concert at the Napa State Mental Hospital in Napa, California. It was the last stop on the band’s cross-country tour and it’s unclear exactly why they were scheduled. What is clear is that the Cramps, with their opening act The Mutants, played their normal punk set at full intensity. The mental patients from the hospital engaged with the performance to differing degrees. After the first song, lead singer Lux Interior leaned into the microphone and says, “Somebody told me you people are crazy, but I'm not so sure about that. You seem to be all right to me." Much of the performance was videotaped and later released by Target Video*.
This concert is the premise for a group exhibition at Hathaway Gallery, and offers a potential lens into both contemporary art and exhibition practices. The Cramps played the 1978 concert in a bizarrely non-traditional venue, to an audience with known limitations. Every artist can likely empathize with performers delivering their craft under strange conditions to an uncomprehending audience. That might, in fact, be the conditions under which artists most often show their work. The nine artists selected for the exhibition are based in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Buffalo City Iowa. For this exhibition they have contributed drawing, painting, sculpture, video, photography, and one site-specific wall installation. They are all artists who I’ve admired for their unrelenting commitment to their respective practices in a world that has yet to recognize them properly. I won’t assign them positions from the concert analogy. But there are artists in this exhibition who are under known, artists with growing cult followings, and artists who have had a taste of success but not nearly enough.
Craig Drennen, curator
Craig Drennen is an artist based in Atlanta who teaches at Georgia State University. He is a 2017 MOCA GA Working Artist Project recipient and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. His first solo exhibition at Hathaway Gallery, “Painters”, was in March 2018.
*image courtesy of Target Video