AO was onsite at Nate Lowman’s installation “Stay in School” at 80WSE Windows. Located on the east side of Washington Square park, “Stay in School” features three windows each with paired images either mounted on or exposed from within sheetrock walls that Lowman contructed. As the title indicates, the exhibition addresses issues of youth and education, appropriate for an area that receives among the highest student foot traffic in New York City.
More Text and Images after the jump…
The images used in the installation come directly torn out of various print media and show young people engaged in delinquent situations ranging from petty misdemeanors to near murder. In one window a picture of two disturbed adolescent girls from the movie Thirteen sits below an enlarged photograph of young boys in military attire, visible through a hole torn through the wall. The next window similarly juxtaposes an image taken from the New York Post of an infant dressed as a suicide bomber with another enlarged photo—seemingly from California in the 1980’s—of teenagers smoking and drinking on a beach. The third window features the image of a young couple hugging as the man holds a rifle to the woman’s head framed above a pinned up copy of the New York Post with headline “Royal Nazi” accompanying a photo of Prince Harry in a Nazi themed Halloween costume.
The gallery, 80WSE, is part of NYU’s Steinhardt Department of Art, from which Lowman graduated in 2001. Though these themes are readily apparent in some Lowman’s earlier work, both the location and the artist’s personal relationship to the venue lend a particular relevance to this work. The exhibit, which opened at the beginning of August, will remain on view until October 31st.