On Saturday, January 24th CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions will celebrate its first year of programming at 3191 Mission Street in San Francisco. To mark this anniversary, CULT is thrilled to present HOW TO LIVE FOREVER, the first solo exhibition in California by Prince Rama, a collaboration of Brooklyn-based sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson. The show runs from January 25th through February 14th. With this series of immersive, multidisciplinary installations and performances, Prince Rama will explore the transformation of kitsch to sublime, of time into eternity using pop music as a portal to enter a hyper-utopian future set to a soundtrack of pulsating, hypnotic dance beats of post-apocalyptic catharsis.
In HAPPY BIRTHDAY CULT, Prince Rama explores birthday parties as a classic symbol of life’s ephemerality through an “edible retrospective” consisting of nine birthday cakes featuring photos from the nine exhibitions CULT presented over the course of its first year. These interactive social sculptures give a playful nod to the art market's nature of consumption and also act as an invitation to share rather than possess; each cake is sponsored by different CULT members but will be offered to all guests at the opening reception. For FOREVER, the gallery’s inner room will be transformed into a surreal karaoke bar, featuring videos by fictional ‘artists’ and ‘sponsors’ originally created for 2014’s THE WHITNEY BIENNIAL 2067, a multimedia survey of "contemporary art of the future." At CULT, these videos will be slowed down and pitch-shifted in the style of “chop and screw” in order to create an eerie sense of time warping, providing a hypnotic, multi-dimensional platform where visitors will be invited to explore the hidden depths of pop cultural idol worship–and sing along.
For the pseudo-compilation album and limited-edition photographic series TOP TEN HITS OF THE END OF THE WORLD, Prince Rama invented a narrative around ten different pop bands that died during an imagined future apocalypse, channeling their ghosts to perform various songs. The work explores pop music’s relationship to memory, nostalgia, and the spirit world, filtering sound and aesthetics through the lens of a post-apocalyptic future looking back at the wonders of its sonic legacy. It incorporates influences as disparate as cosmic disco, motorcycle rock, new-wave, grunge, tribal goth, Arabic pop, and ghost-modern glam. At CULT, Prince Rama will present a selection of songs and photos by the deceased bands, presented as if they were transmissions received from the afterlife. The installation THE EMPIRE NEVER ENDED was inspired by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick's book VALIS, in which the protagonist, Horselover Fat, envisions the landscape of southern California as a holographic projection superimposed over ancient Rome. Here, that scenario is reversed, revealing commonalities between the two societies in terms of wealth, ersatz spirituality, and aesthetic decadence.
ABOUT PRINCE RAMA
Prince Rama is sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson, who are currently based in Brooklyn, New York. They have lived in ashrams, worked for utopian architects, written manifestos, delivered lectures amidst pools of fake blood, and conducted group exorcisms disguised as VHS workouts. Their often unpredictable live shows incorporate elements of psychedelic ceremony, performance art, and dancefloor initiation rites. Discovered by Animal Collective’s Avey Tare in a Texas dive bar in 2010, they signed to the independent record label Paw Tracks shortly thereafter, and have since released six albums and toured on four continents. Prince Rama’s art has been exhibited internationally at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York, the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and the MoMA PS1 VW Dome.
PRINCE RAMA - Top Ten Hits of the End of the World (excerpt of Guns of Dubai & Taohaus), archival inkjet and limited edition vinyl, 13 x 147 inches, 2015, edition of 3 + 2AP
Photography by Samantha Casolari