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Piper Brett
"The Show"
October 7 - 30, 2011

“The Show” is a group of work by Piper Brett, loosely based on ideas gleaned from reading David Foster Wallace’s epic novel Infinite Jest and listening to the rap music of Notorious B.I.G. These ideas deal with notions of success and the struggle towards attainment. The DFW novel is set primarily at a junior’s tennis academy in Enfield, MA, and the young characters talk about “The Show” in terms of making it onto the professional tennis circuit. Notorious B.I.G. was a legendary rap star whose lyrics outlined levels of success by placing emphasis on his poor upbringing in Brooklyn, NY, and detailing his methods for attaining success. The legendary rapper was shot and killed in Los Angeles, CA, shortly before his second album was to be released. Both deal with the psychological rigors of gaining and maintaining celebrity status and the concept of being the best.

The title “The Show” is intended to serve as a parody and an examination of Brett’s own desires for fame and fortune. These desires are presented by way of sculpture and blown-up images from pornographic ephemera. They function as symbols and are exaggerated versions of reality, over-simplified and enlarged, masked and abstracted. They are suppositions, derivative of rap lyrics, and forecast the trophies that lie ahead. They are icons of attainment.

Just so. Or the other possibility of doom, for the étoiles who attain. They attain the goal, thus, and put as much equal passion into celebrating their attainment as they had put into pursuing the attainment. This is called the Syndrome of the Endless Party. The celebrity, money, sexual behaviors, drugs and substances. The Glitter. They become celebrities instead of players, and because they are celebrities only as long as they feed the culture-of-goal’s hunger for the make-it, the winning, they are doomed, because you cannot both celebrate and suffer, and play is always suffering, just so.

from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest

Piper Brett was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and studied Glass, Sculpture, and Photography at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston where she received her BFA. She has been awarded a scholarship to study at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA, as well as a Fellowship Residency to the Weaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville, NJ. She has exhibited work in Seattle, WA, Boston, MA, Brooklyn, NY, and Philadelphia, PA. She was recently featured in the Summer 2011 edition of ArtNews as a Critics Pick by Edith Newhall, as well as reviewed on the artblog.org, in the Philadelphia Weekly, and in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Brett lives and works in Philadelphia, PA, and is a new member of Vox Populi Gallery.