Surface and Reception

Collective Misnomer presents: Surface and Reception

October 15th at the Dikeou Pop-Up [312 E Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80203]

7:30pm Doors - 8:00pm (not punk time) screening.

$10 or pay what you can. No one turned away.

The artists in Surface and Reception do not utilize beauty as a means to validate their work but rather to critique how we value pleasing aesthetics in art and society to an extreme degree. Separated from the goal of trying to capture and portray beauty as a primary ambition, the program highlights the depth of society’s exclusive interest in beauty, while also accentuating the harm in that ideology. The desire for the beautiful is not utilized to sedate (for once) but more to subvert. Simultaneously the works also bring to the forefront the role of the camera and how its presence sculpts behavior.


Artist: Ka-Lun Leung

Title: A Normal Norms

Statement:  For a long time, images were considered graspable and comprehensible objects of human knowledge and scientific reflection, which sought to legitimize an authorized worldview. With the instantaneous availability, distributed nature and networked condition, the images act as universal currencies in the global visual metabolism networks, playing a major role in the process of knowledge production. Human is an animal symbolicum that is capable of creating and manipulating signs so that individual perception is altered by definition of things. The film attempts to explore how the social-symbolic reality is shaped when truth is decoded systematically or patented systematically, how a system of knowledge is formed by decision making and categorization.

Year: 2016

Duration: 9:58


Artists: Ali Coates and Signe Pierce


Statement: American Reflexxx is a short film documenting a social experiment that took place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Director Alli Coates captured performance artist Signe Pierce as she strutted down a busy oceanside street in stripper garb and a reflective mask. The pair agreed not to communicate until the experiment was completed, but never anticipated the horror that would unfold in under an hour.

Year: 2013

Duration: 14:02

______________________________________________________________________________Artists: Pablo Garcia & Addie Wagenknecht

Title: Webcam Venus

Statement: If asked if there is a difference between the Renaissance painting The Birth of Venus (1486) and a Playboy magazine centerfold, most might say it's no contest: one is art and the other exploitative pornography. One is a treasure of human ideals and achievement, the other smut. Are Botticelli and Hugh Hefner really that different? Both project fantasy and erotic imagery through the media of their day. Both are vehicles of gender politics, defining standards of beauty and sexuality. What if adult performers—already mediated sex objects—struck “classic” poses? 

In Webcam Venus, we asked online sexcam performers to replicate iconic works of art. This piece is an experimental homage to both fine art and the lowbrow internet phenomenon of cams. Sexcams use webcams and chat interfaces to connect amateur adult performers with an audience. Users log on to see men, women, transsexuals, couples and groups broadcast their bodies and sexuality live for the public, often performing for money. To create this experiment in high and low media, we assumed anonymous handles and spent a few hours each day for a month asking performers: “Would you like to pose for me?”

Year: 2013

Duration: 2:41


Artist: Karissa Hahn

Title: Before the Portrait

Statement: BEFORE THE PORTRAIT is a reenactment of the fictional musings from the mind of John William Waterhouse, in response to his portrait, "A Mermaid." A film that acts as a portrayal of an immobile creature who has been idealized with images of femininity.

Year: 2012

Duration: 2:09


Artist: David Oresick

Title: Lecture Notes for Beauty Therapists

Statement: Lecture Notes for Beauty Therapists is a video montage in four parts made from footage found online of people offering and seeking advice and guidance on how to become beautiful, both inside and out. This work combines academic lectures, improvised monologs, and religious parables with scenes of people practicing and performing beautiful physical acts. The young and earnest people in this work form a somber meditation on the possibilities of changing yourself into something more beautiful, physically and spiritually.

Year: 2013

Duration: 25:00