"When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in the particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is 'So it goes.' " The famous quote used repeatedly throughout Kurt Vonnegut’s astonishing novel Slaughterhouse-Five, implying fatalism, stoicism and reconciliation with the inevitability of death, So It Goes… is the name of The Connor brothers’ inaugural show at Hang-Up Gallery. They are proud to present new works from their Pulp Fiction series, alongside an installation which depicts their documented work in the refugee camp in Calais named The Jungle. The exhibition will feature a special appearance by Nadya Tolokonnikova from the infamous Pussy Riot with whom they've teamed up to create a unique collaboration.
Mike Snelle and James Golding, men behind the name of The Connor Brothers, have perpetuated the hoax of being escapees from a religious cult living in Brooklyn for 18 months. Their fabricated background generated much attention and even reached a point where the disguise became an encumbrance. After a year and a half of maintaining the false identity, they came clean and admitted their true backgrounds, saying that they used the Connor Brothers as a cloak to cover the “shame” of their past lives. Although not everyone online bought into their story, claiming they are well familiar with the art game and know how to “bid up their own work for hype”, one thing is sure, works of The Connor Brothers sold in auctions among the pieces of established names like Damien Hirst, Mat Collishaw and Banksy, garnering much success. Their own quote at the end of the artists’ biography on the website reads The Connor brothers are fictional characters created by the artists known as The Connor brothers, and it may be the best pointer to the actual mind-game they’re playing.
Whatever their backgrounds may be, this August, the artist duo visited the refugee camp named The Jungle in Calais and witnessed first-hand the appalling conditions the people were living in. In collaboration with Hang-Up Gallery, they sold an edition of prints in order to raise money to provide aid for the people in The Jungle. With the onset of winter, the living conditions are just going to get even harder, so the artist duo decided to apply to the Charity Commission to form an NGO which would provide aid to the refugees in Europe. The notorious Russian group Pussy Riot agreed to be the organization’s inaugural ambassadors. Nadya Tolokonnikova from Pussy Riot will be flying over from Russia for the launch of the show to give a brief talk about the refugee crisis and to work on the collaboration with The Connor Brothers in the Calais Jungle.
The new show of The Connor Brothers will feature the release of a third limited edition charity print created in conjunction with the Hang-Up Gallery to raise funds for additional shelters in The Jungle. The works explore the sometimes blurry boundaries between reality and fiction, characteristic to the artists’ notorious Pulp Fiction series. An exclusive collection of original hand-painted Pulp Fiction paperbacks, original canvas works and hand-painted limited editions deal with our understanding of the world through the narratives we experience. So It Goes… an exhibition by The Connor Brothers is on view at Hang-Up Gallery in London from November 13 – December 6, 2015. The private opening is scheduled on the evening of November 12th, from 6 – 9 pm. This unique event will be accompanied by the appearance of Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, so make sure you visit the show and help out the refugees who are in dire need of aid.
All images courtesy of Hang-Up Gallery
London, United Kingdom