Perrotin presents the first-ever exhibition of work by Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF. Conceived in 2019, MSCHF is a conceptual collective whose elaborate interventions expose and leverage the absurdity of our cultural, political, and monetary systems. Opening on November 3rd, No More Tears, I’m Lovin’ It will transform the gallery into an interactive strip mall with various sections. In these spaces, the collective will showcase art as merchandise, where sneakers are investment vehicles and video games are fine art. MSCHF challenges our institutional structures by forcing commentary and engagement, provoking widespread public response as a means of performance directly within the environments it critiques.
The following essay was written by curator Michael Darling to accompany the exhibition.
Art history is often pushed forward by pranksters and rabble-rousers. Duchamp with his urinal, Piero Manzoni with his Merda d’artista, Andy Warhol’s soup cans, and David Hammons selling snowballs on the sidewalk, to name a few. Typically, these gestures have forced the art world to confront what it thinks are its cherished values, revealing hypocrisies and inviting much-needed self-reflection. The media and the gatekeepers. Even though the art world is a largely unregulated, multi-billion-dollar industry, the appearance of commercialism is a major no-no. So, why not structure your debut gallery exhibition around the concept of a mall? That is exactly what MSCHF has done by framing works, which expose the inner workings of celebrity, authenticity, privacy, value, branding, and censorship, within one of the most ubiquitous devices for creating and managing one’s desires to consume: a strip mall.
Upping the ante of the mall greeter, on the opening day, visitors will be welcomed by the disembodied hand of rapper 24kGoldn. Ensconced behind a wall, with only his hand available to be touched by adoring fans, his teen idol face and smooth voice are held back as a true test of the power of his celebrity. One of MSCHF’s most notorious works was the “Satan Shoes,” Nike Air Max 97 sneakers altered to include satanic iconography and actual human blood in its clear soles. Sold out in seconds after it was put on the market, the shoe was just as quickly attacked by Nike for copyright infringement, creating widespread, fervent discussion in the legal community around novel and unexplored grey areas of copyright law. So, naturally, there is a Foot Locker-style outpost at Perrotin, where the group’s infiltration of sneaker culture continues. Similarly, there is a store emulating GameStop where visitors can play physical video games developed by MSCHF. Additionally, within this mall within a gallery, there will also be an art gallery, displaying the group’s latest interrogation of the art world’s belief and value system, titled Severed Spots: a Damien Hirst limited edition print of colored dots, purchased at a fair market price and sliced up into individually framed dots and then resold.
Michael Darling (Former Chief Curator, MCA Chicago, currently Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer at Museum Exchange)
MSCHF, NO MORE TEARS, I’M LOVIN’ IT, November 3rd — December 23rd, 2022, PERROTIN 130 Orchard Street,New York, NY 10002