All those material inclinations and brutal appetites, which oppose with so much obstinacy and vehemence the practice of good, the soul is freed from through the aesthetic taste; and in their place, it implants in us nobler and gentler inclinations, which draw nearer to order, to harmony, and to perfection…


–F. Schiller, The Moral Utility of Aesthetic Manners


Considering the far-reaching applications of image maintenance today, what better place to confront the indeterminate frisson of the contemporary arts – and bourgeois notions of cultural value – than in the space of the salon?

Here, in the Bed-Stuy BID, this intimate and rarefied space is taken to be pedagogical, dialogical, pleasurable, potentially transformative. Forget the non-exclusive audience; the UNISEX SALON is our non-exclusive paradigm, operating along lines parallel to art’s market economy without betraying the grace of creative expression or the dignity of elevated feeling, uninhibited by fe/male dualism and retrograde taste. In the cosmetic world, skill and genius are required in equal measure for survival; selling is not inevitably selling out. The ephemerality of material forms – plaits, extensions and acrylic nails in two-to-four week cycles – interlace biological features and synthetic invention, yielding fluid identities unhinged from mainstream representation and generic desire. Beauty is in the being of the whatever-singularity, reflecting back to each gaze a different look.


If the Salon des Refusés encouraged the modern artists to experiment with the boundaries of stylistic classification, then this salon of acquiescence staged for the second iteration of M/L Artspace similarly breaks the hermetic seal on the lame aesthetic hegemony of the so-called high arts, and in doing so, lays the groundwork for a latent political project cutting across class and gender lines. Why not reconfigure the Wages for Housework Campaign to address the endemic social demands of 21st Century image production, a category of living not only confined to art?


With contributions by Anne Lina Billinger, Thomas Cap de Ville, Tyler Dobson, Lena Henke, Lisa Holzer, Sergej Jensen, Marie Karlberg, Morag Keil, Daniela Leder, Emily Sundblad, Stewart Uoo, Jean-Michel Wicker, Cajsa Von Zeipel.


This is hard work, so look your best in solidarity. Get nailed: come correct.


Kari Rittenbach


Cajsa Von Zeipel, Lessen, Angest, Bajs, 2013

Cajsa Von Zeipel, Lessen, Angest, Bajs, 2013

Emily Sundblad, Sex Party in Bay Ridge, 2012

Jean-Michel Wicker, may be chihuahua (may be), 2013

Daniela Leder, Scorpio can be very sadistic, Being that a mermaid has no pussy, My fantasy starts out in Aquarius,This sounds long, but it takes longer to read than to think, from left to right, 2013

Daniela Leder, Scorpio can be very sadistic, 2013

Daniela Leder, My fantasy starts out in Aquarius, 2013

Lena Henke, Grey Gardens, 2013

Lisa Holzer, My hair, 2013

Marie Karlberg and Cajsa Von Zeipel

Marie Karlberg, Bed in Hell, 2013

Morag Keil, Sidney Hayden Fraser, Ashley Reese Foster, Jordan Blake Webb, from left to right, 2013

Morag Keil, Sidney Hayden Fraser, 2013

Morag Keil, detail

Sergej Jensen, Surrender of Denmark, 2013

Sergej Jensen, detail

Lena Henke, Sergej Jensen, Jean-Michel Wicker, Lisa Holzer, Anne Lina Billinger, from left to right

Stewart Uoo, Untitled (After Ebith), 2013

Anne Lina Billinger, 666, grande lustique, dots in spots, curly frame, perigee moon, roller-coaster,


Anne Lina Billinger, dots in spots, 2013

Tyler Dobson, Total Glocover, 2013

Tyler Dobson, Total Glocover, 2013

Thomas Cap de Ville, CIAO, SO BE IT, SPARE ME, GROUNDED, MY BFF, 2011, from left to right

Thomas Cap de Ville, SPARE ME, GROUNDED, MY BFF, 2011, from left to right