BASED IN THE USA
Curator: Gregory Uzelac
16 July 2022
Taking its name from internet slang, Based In The USA exhibited new media artworks from three young artists and one collective all living and working in the United States. At first the works feel awkward, brutish, funny, offensive, and downright cringey. The goal of the exhibition is to encourage visitors to push past the immediate reaction and linger with the work -- applying the traditional art gaze even in an unorthodox setting with unusual art materials and content. What is "based" about the exhibition is what lies at the core of each work: genuine, joyful, and absolutely human expression. Whereas contemporary exhibitions are often loaded with extra context, these works are simply celebrations of humanity's basic creative instinct without specific purpose, but made in a place where everyone seems obsessed with definitions. There is a freedom in that vagueness; a freedom of possibility and pluralism that, albeit mythic, are deeply American ideals.
Basd In The USA was curated by Sydney-based, American artist/writer Gregory Uzelac. The exhibition presented video works by collective The Pepperoni Zone as well as Baltimore and New York-based performance artist Meg Spectre. There was also a physical work from NY-based "father of omni-cringe" Alex Bienstock and a sound/video projection of Cincinnati/NY video artist and performer Dani Ahrens's film The History Project, a 90 minute history of the US, told entirely through chronologically edited school history assignments the artist found on YouTube over two years of research.
Uzelac's curatorial essay "Based in the USA" can be read on the exhibition's digital version here: