NYC 24 Submission View


Serenity, NOW

Submitted by: SPACORE Collective, Serena JV Elston

SPACORE is the lifestyle aesthetic of the moment. Born from the intersection of work-from-home and pandemic horror, SPACORE is the blurring lines of relaxation and employment. It is the labor of repose. SPACORE is a critique of wellness capitalism. It explores the attempt to pacify the working class with the promotion of superficial “wellness.” This version of wellness co-opts the language of radical self-care and redefines it as access to upper-class amenities. Wellness culture derives its “authenticity” from appropriative aesthetics that steal from Eastern and Indigenous cultures. Wellness is a neoliberal project designed to locate suffering within the individual in order to repress political revolt. SPACORE situates wellness in the horror genre, where it belongs. SPACORE is in all caps because it is the sound of your boss yelling at you.

SPACORE is a panic attack during a massage, nightmares about being late for work, a new age amethyst crystal jammed in an eye socket, a neatly rolled white towel held over a mouth to muffle a scream, the smell of flesh burning from hot stones, and a face mask that peels skin from skull. SPACORE is the sound of trickling water on rocks and soft guitar pitched down with screams overtop. It's a list of amenities in Creepsville font. It’s a seaweed face wrap while fantasizing about killing your boss. SPACORE is the zen of drowning yourself in a mud bath. SPACORE is Jacques-Louis David’s The Death of Marat: murdered while working from home in the bathtub. SPACORE IS LUXURY LABOR-TO-DEATH.

Serenity, NOW is a group show that will feature enveloping vignettes that blend and distort the aesthetics of wellness and envision the gallery as a medspa waiting room. The waiting room is a central space for SPACORE, as it represents the bureaucratic purgatory of working class injury, disability, and illness. The show will include video, sculpture, and wall works blended together in the absurdist horror featuring four to eight artists. A human size ceramic fountain that mimics a body’s folds of flesh in repose, exhausted from working. Vases and floral arrangements made from cured meats and human hair. Mid-century modern elements jutting out of meatball-like chairs grown from mushrooms. Custom spa music playing ambiently throughout the gallery. Conceptual infomercial videos on a wall mounted screen that cut to live surveillance footage of the interior gallery space with the words “RELAX” overlayed. A SPACORE brand high-end waiting room magazine covering topics like: ‘How to afford in-home care and not starve to death’ and ‘Ask a Serial Killer advice column by HH Holmes’.

SPACORE is an artist-run curatorial project that produces ambitious group art exhibitions, performance events, and publications that interrogate wellness capitalism in the midst of global illness. Central to this mission is the promotion and support of artists with disabilities and chronic illness, particularly women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ creators. Our mission is to present critique, platform important voices, and spark urgent discourse on the condition of working class health.