Loss Leader

by Peter Fankhauser

March 3, 2016

Planogram is a loosely knit collective of artists and organizers who invest in faltering, vacant and unused spaces as potential sites for renewal. The intrinsic history of a location becomes a point of departure for building critical discourse through exhibition programming to confront complex systems of gentrification, preservation and development while acknowledging art’s complicity in the process.


Planogram presents Loss Leader, a month long exhibition that considers the politics of exchange and desire, conflated with merchandising for the masses, in a regenerative feedback loop. Projected video works, mounted in the storefront windows of a former American Apparel, asses the currency of wanting; the (dis)ease of having; the seductive power of an object made ephemeral.

Each artist’s work will be screened for one week throughout the month of March beginning with a trek into Phyllis Ma’s (New York, NY) saturated stop-motion nail salon universe where gif like animations of manicures, plastic bags and paper envelopes flash in and out of the field of vision as abbreviated glimpses of glittering temporality.

YouTube star Showry’s (Seoul, South Korea) exercises in exhibitionism and toying with conventional constructions of the online “self” follow. Through erratic shifts in gesture that are equal parts Dadaist sex kitten and Garbage Pail Kid slathered in Heinz ketchup, Showry’s persona works to reveal troubling associations between desire and commodity through exaggerated acts of hyper-sexualized waste.

Wasted forms also figure prominently in the work of Kathleen Daniel (Berlin, Germany). Wasted money, wasted youth, wasted optimism spill through loosely structured, often incomplete narratives that visually reference spending the afternoon in a Second Life crack house. Representations of desire in virtual space become their own currency as Daniel’s characters barter for disenfranchised affection with hair plugs and weed.

The series draws to a close with Alex Carlson’s (Omaha, NE) pristine shopping malls of the future--digitally rendered Meccas of commerce--where completely anonymous consumption en masse diffuses individual agency in the face of capitalism’s never ebbing flow; the degeneration of desire pilfered by circulation and exchange within the scheme of consumer commerce.