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Expo Chicago 2024 - Booth 324 - Art Fairs - Aicon Contemporary

Jeremy Dennis

Ghost of the White Deer, 2016

Metal Print

30h x 30w in

Aicon Contemporary is excited to present a booth featuring Katja Larsson (Swedish b. 1987) and Jeremy Dennis (American b. 1990), two artists who study the mythological and historical to forge clear and provocative relationships between the past and present in their own unique ways. Katja Larsson is fascinated by ancient lore and myth; she transforms everyday 21st century objects to resemble classical sculptures through the use of bronze, ecoresin, and stone. Jeremy Dennis’ practice is fuelled by the history of violence and usurpation against Native American tribes. He explores indigenous identity, cultural assimilation, ancestral traditional practices of his tribe, the Shinnecock Indian Nation through digital photography that subverts normative and biased representations of Native American citizens. 

In Larsson’s work, classical brand names and contemporary logotype symbolism become clues in an archaeological examination, where tires, exhaust pipes, and petrol tanks emerge as antique artifacts of the present day. The artist invites the viewer to reframe their perception of everyday objects by drawing our attention to the ever-lasting echoes of classical icons and timeless archetypes present throughout history and into the modern era. Larsson historicizes the present, creating a museum of classical antiquity, a collection of modern-day relics from a time before any ecological horizon, a time of roaring engines, and a petrol-fuelled industrial complex. 

The naming of these items suggests a shift of devotion, from traditional religious reverence to a deification of consumer goods, vehicles, and machines. She comments on both religiosity and capital by questioning whether the objects and products of mass production are imbued with worship in contemporaneity. Larsson’s sculptures have been featured in the New York Times. 

Jeremy Dennis is committed to creating complex representations of Native people, that question and subvert simplistic and biased media tropes, and contest the ownership of the very land the American empire sits on. His images question and disrupt the post-colonial narrative that dominates in film and media and results in damaging stereotypes, such as the “noble savage” depictions in Disney’s Pocahontas. As racial divisions and tensions reach a nationwide fever pitch, it’s more important to him than ever to offer a complex and compelling representation of indigenous people. He makes use of the cinema’s tools, the same ones directors have always turned against Native people (curiously familiar representations, clothing that makes a statement, pleasing lighting), to create conversations about uncomfortable aspects of post-colonialism.

In his 2016 project, “Nothing Happened Here,” stylized portraits of non-indigenous people impaled by arrows symbolize, in a playful way, the “white guilt” many Americans have carried through generations, and the inconvenience of co-existing with people their ancestors tried to destroy. Therefore, asking current generations to confront, process and even repair the traumas caused and suffered by past generations. Jeremy Dennis’ work has been featured in The New Yorker. 

Through an exploration of space and time, Larsson and Dennis push us to question the pillars of our society: capitalist production and racialized violence respectively.