One year after the exhibition Day is done in Brussels, Galerie Paris-Beijing announces the opening of Ghost of a Dream‘s new project Gone the Sun in Paris. The titles of the two shows bring up the lyrics of the American military tune Taps (“Day is done, gone the sun… God is nigh”) and announce the irony and the caustic humour of this New York artist duo, comprised of sculptor Lauren Was and painter Adam Eckstrom. Ghost of a Dream documents and critically explores the futile hopes and dreams of a contemporary materialist society that is constantly on the search for a newer, better life.
Lauren and Adam mine popular culture for real people’s discarded dreams, such as old lottery tickets, romance novels, baseball cards, trophies, art postcards or so-called “nudie cards.” These escapist objects form the material from which the artists re-create the faded hopes and dreams into large-scale immersive installations, sculptures, collages, videos or text-based works.
Some of their works, like Dream Ride (2010), a wooden made Lamborghini entirely covered by old lottery tickets, evolve into get-rich-quick promises and fruitless investments in the unpredictable system of gambling. Others, like Tragedy Sunset (2013), remind with irony and a little cynicism the ephemeral dimension of perfect romances, so often destined for delusive ends. What from afar appears to be a beautiful and innocent drawing of a sunset, yet upon closer inspection reveals to be no more than countless multi-colored lines of the word “tragedy.”
For the video installations Day is done (2013) and Gone the Sun (2014), Lauren and Adam scoured through numerous films to amass a digital archive of sunsets that play on loop on countless television sets. Sunsets represent the moment of perfect, lasting romance, yet rarely live up to the promise… Critically exploring the role of the media in creating and fostering such fantasies in society, they confront us with our own habits of seeking comfort and hope for perfect love in movies. Their immersive work hauntingly reminds us that many of our fantasies and dreams, creating a bright future that will never exist, make us lose much more than we will ever gain.
Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom were both born in the USA and met while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Eckstrom received a MFA Painting (Honors) in 2005 and Was a MFA Sculpture (Honors) in 2004. Their collaboration began in 2006 when they became intrigued by the question of what people dream about when they buy a lottery ticket. They founded the collaborative Ghost of a Dream in 2007 and a year later made their first piece in the Easy Money series, The Dream Car.
Their work has been exhibited in Europe, China and in the USA, and also has been featured in The Guardian, The Independent, Time Out and ArtForum.com among other publications. Ghost of a Dream have had various residencies in Germany, Switzerland, USA and France. The collaborative has been the recipient of the 2013 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the Jerome Foundation grant and received the first annual Young Masters Art Prize in London in 2009. They have had solo exhibitions notably at the Hunterdon Art Museum, New Jersey (2012) and were featured in group shows at the Courtauld Institute of Art (2009).