Jerry Meyer: Civilization and Its Discontents

April 14 - May 28, 2011

Denise Bibro Fine Art presents Jerry Meyer: Civilization and Its Discontents, on view April 14th through May 28th, 2011. Combining appropriated text and images—deftly manipulated in Photoshop—with ancestral ephemera and other nostalgic objects, Meyer’s third solo exhibition features a new series of multimedia light boxes and a major installation.

Sigmund Freud claimed that civilization begets discontent and pathology through the repression of human instinct. His claim is manifest in Meyer’s humorous and fanciful exploration of guilt, anxiety, and neurosis. The work’s luminous, theatrical glow beckons the viewer. Closer inspection reveals Meyer’s cunning sensibility. A jukebox showcases song titles such as the Prozac Music Company’s Today Is Slightly Less Horrible Than Yesterday. Among the stops on a New York City subway map are La La Land, Out There, and Out to Lunch.

The exhibition’s centerpiece is the room-sized installation My great-grandfather’s attempts to turn sexual energy into electricity to power small machinery based on the principles of Sigmund Freud and Nikola Tesla. The exterior is clad in wooden explosive crates. The interior radiates multicolored light. An antique dressmaker’s form clothed in prim Victorian attire greets us, a wire clamped firmly to its glowing nipple. Myriad electronic machinery blinks, whirs and hums in valiant effort.

Poking fun at psychology and universal fears, Meyer forces us to laugh out loud, while his work also encompasses a softer side, evident in his tender tributes to Billie Holiday and his own great aunt Ida. Enshrined in vintage wallpaper and silk flowers, the women are elevated to sainthood, while the boxes become reliquaries.

Meyer has exhibited widely at venues including the Eli Whitney Museum, Hamden, CT; Artspace, New Haven, CT; Art Miami, Miami, FL; the Red Dot art fairs in New York City, Miami Beach and London; Art Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY; the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, New Haven, CT; the San Jose Rep Gallery, San Jose, CA; and the Sharon Arts Center in Peterborough, NH. He is represented exclusively by Denise Bibro Fine Art.