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Jabroni Smackdown


Organized by FJORD member Chrissy Scolaro

Opening Reception: May 6, 6-9 pm

Exhibition Dates: May 6-June 17, 2023


Fjord is pleased to announce Jabroni Smackdown, A Toxic Love Story (1979-2023), an exhibition of new collaborative work by American artist Johannah Herr and Iranian-American artist BK. Through playfully subverted sculptures and collaged iconography, the exhibition critically explores the history of US-Iranian relations through the spandex-clad lens of professional wrestling.

Much like the real-life relations between the US and Iran, Hogan and Iron Sheik's characters relied upon one another as foils, with their ideological differences serving as a means to heighten the drama and intensity of their on-screen conflict. Their performances embody the intricate web of power relations, highlighting the critical role that culture and media play in shaping our perceptions of identity, nationhood, and geopolitical relations. Through its critical interdisciplinary investigations, the exhibition blurs the boundaries between wrestling and politics, and between representation and reality, raising questions about the ways in which power is constructed, contested, and ultimately subverted.

About the artists:

BK is a multidisciplinary artist born in Tehran, Iran in 1991, the year the Internet was made available for unrestricted commercial use. They use digital time-based strategies in presenting work that fuses video, projection mapping, sculpture, text, sound and performance to explore the un-capturable qualities of their diasporic body, fragmented culture, and transnational identity. BK has presented their multimedia installations at Baxter St CCNY, The Elizabeth Foundation for The Arts (The Immigrant Artist Biennial), The Orlando Museum of Art, NADA MIAMI 2018, Elsewhere (New York), Housing (New York), and Rawson Projects (New York). They attended Skowhegan School of Art and Painting in 2018.  They have been included in various group exhibitions including at C24 Gallery (New York), Museum of Photography (Stockholm), 2018 Taiwan Annual (Taipei), Fajr International Film Festival 2018 (Tehran), and the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg. Their work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Artnet News, Vice, The Metro, and The Creators Project.

Johannah Herr holds an MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art (2016) and a BFA in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design (2009). She has had solo shows at The Shirley Fiterman Art Center, Spring Break Art Fair, Geary Contemporary, Elijah Wheat Showroom, BRIC and Envoy Enterprises (all New York City), GAA Gallery (Cologne, Germany), Untitled Art Fair (San Francisco), Red Ger Gallery (Ulaabaatar, Mongolia) and Galeri Metropol (Tallinn, Estonia) and been featured in group shows at Pioneer Works (Brooklyn, NY), Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (Summit, NJ), Center for Contemporary Art (Warsaw, Poland) and DADAPost (Berlin). She is the recipient of a Fulbright Research Grant (Mongolia) and has attended residencies at the Museum of Arts and Design (New York, NY), Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), Institute of Electronic Arts Experimental Projects Residency (Alfred, NY), Oxbow Artists Residency (Saugatuk, MI), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), BRIC (Brooklyn, NY), SIM (Reykjavik, Iceland) and the Arctic Circle Residency (Svalbard, International Territory). Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Curbed, Make Magazine and VICE. She is the co-author of 4 books to date: Domestic Terrorism, The Banana Republican Recipe Book, I Have Seen The Future: Official Guide and White Flight! which are currently sold at Printed Matter, The Hole and Perrotin (all New York City), Exile Books (Miami, FL), and Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA). She currently teaches at Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, and New York University. Additionally, she is the Co-Founder of Daughters Rising, an anti-human trafficking, indigenous women’s empowerment NGO based in Mae Wang, Thailand. She lives and works between Brooklyn and Mae Wang.  

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