Court Square is pleased to present Neither a Lie Nor a Confession, a group exhibition featuring the work of Maria Antelman, Deb Karpman, Alexandra Lerman and the collective Slavs and Tatars. The exhibition will run from September 18 - October 30, 2011, with an opening reception to be held on Sunday, September 18 from 5 - 8 p.m.

Neither a Lie Nor a Confession traces four discrete investigations into the construction of myth, both personal and collective. The title is drawn from Roland Barthes' seminal collection of essays, Mythologies, wherein he proposes that "Myth is neither a lie nor a confession; it is an inflexion." Barthes defines myth not as a factual system, but rather as a semiological one in which an accumulation of signs and signifiers engender new narratives that, regardless of their veracity, come to be inductively understood as fact. Existing somewhere between truth and fiction, the varied inquiries into history, politics, and place presented here reflect in particular on conceptions of landscape or homeland and the dystopic and traumatic byproducts of historical conquest. The exhibition further brings to bear the romantic heroization of events and figures of times past, and considers how myth acquires life through image.

Alexandra Lerman takes as her subject the famous nineteenth-century Russian "poet of the Caucasus," Mikhail Lermontov, and his political exile to the Caucasus Mountains where he served in the Imperial army. Her work Mind the Map reconstructs Darial Gorge in Northern Georgia, a site where both the Georgian Military road (a significant invasion route) and the Caspian gas pipe cross. The location where Lermontov's poem, 'The Demon' is set, Lerman journied here in an effort to graft her own research into geo-political conflicts within the site of a complex but romanticized expansionist history. Expanding upon these themes and its cultural reverberations, Maria Antelman's video work Moonlight Serenade juxtaposes dreamy black-and-white images from the 1960s of the lunar surface with random shortwave radio transmissions thought to be the recordings of encrypted military espionage. The coupling of these expressive registers - a sense of hopeful possibility comingled with single-minded paranoia - implicates this specific moment in history and delineates the possibility for multiple readings. Conversely, working in more general terms, Deb Karpman's meticulous collages begin with posters of Roman wall paintings, which are deconstructed and reconstituted into formations that insinuate fragmented vessels or ruins. In the artist's hands, these destabilized architectural structures morph into pictorial delineations of an invented world, conjuring the vernacular of the epic quest. Finally, Slavs and Tatars' artist book Love Me, Love Me Not and corresponding wall mural are comprised of a series of diagrams that trace the linguistic consequence of conquest, showing the progression of various names assigned to specific Eurasian cities under shifting political regimes and revealing the arbitrariness of language and labels in creating identity.

Court Square is located in Long Island City at 21-44 45th Avenue#2. The gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays, from 12 pm - 5 pm, and by appointment. Neither a Lie Nor a Confession is a project by Ceren Erdem, Jaime Schwartz, and Lisa Williams. For further information and directions to the gallery, please visit or contact

Download the full press release here.
Download exhibition checklist here.