lauren conrad is crying
curated by slushie cohen
June 8 - july 27, 2018
“I can’t be normal with you. Like, I want to, but I can’t.”
-Lauren Conrad, The Hills
Lauren Conrad Is Crying, curated by Slushie Cohen, posits that everything is the same, until it isn’t. Visions of golden summer sunsets, mediated by reality television and social media, cast a soft, distracting glow on cracking ice shelves, arms races, and trade wars: systems failing. The planet is failing; capitalism is failing; democracy is failing. Without viable alternatives, we resign ourselves to the status quo and maintain a pretence of “business as usual,” paralyzed by the urgent complexities we face. Delusion becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and what was once “fake” constitutes a new lived reality.
Carolyn Hoover, Rachel Shiller, and Slushie Cohen consider the hypernormalization of mediated perception as it becomes more real with every rerun of Laguna Beach, presidential tweet, and Facebook data breach. Relying on a wide range of production skills, and drawing heavily from the tropes of scripted reality TV and social media norms, they put forth living sculpture, drawing, interactive photo installation, and video centered in artifice that acknowledges the breadth and depth of our new, real fake reality.
Slushie Cohen is comprised of Esau Betancourt and Cate O’Brien, two midwestern modernists rooted in Omaha Nebraska, living for programs like Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York and A&E’s Growing up Gotti. Slushie Cohen as a growing collective is dedicated the presentation of radically accessible projects that work to expose the perils of apathy by centering big ideas in popular culture.