THE CONFIDENCE GAME Curated by Savannah Spirit & Joe Nanashe

UNDERCURRENT PROJECTS
Presents
THE CONFIDENCE GAME A multidisciplinary group exhibition about life in the post-truth era and how con artists condition people into believing misinformation.
Curated by Savannah Spirit & Joe Nanashe

Digital Exhibition: October 20, 2020 — January 21, 2021

Exhibiting Artists: Kumasi Barnett, Natalie Baxter, Chris Bors, Eric Doeringer, Carla Gannis, Alex Gingrow, Guerrilla Girls, Tommy Kha, David Kramer, Yuliya Lanina, Morgan Lappin, Lisa Levy, Loz City, Stephen Manka, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, Alexandra Rubinstein, Michael Scoggins, Fabian Tabibian, Tiny Pricks Project, David C. Terry, Milan Tiff, Spencer Tunick and Martha Wilson

PT Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Of course he lived in the age before Facebook. Now, a factory of misinformation clouds our previous notions of objective facts. The post-truth era allows Q-Anon to gain traction, the Fyre Festival to strand wealthy attendees on an island wasteland, and Theranos to fake its diagnostic tests. Ignore the man behind the curtain. What you’re seeing and what you’re hearing is not what’s happening.

The first recorded scam dates back to 300 B.C. when the Greek shipman Hegestratos sank his own ship, sold his goods and kept the insurance payout. In the early 19th century, Gregory McGregor sold British and French investors on a fictional colonial paradise called Poyais; instead of claiming riches, a hundred colonial Europeans died upon arriving in the Central American jungle. And then there was the famous Charles Ponzi: promising big returns, Ponzi sold people on a pyramid scheme of postal notes. Since then there’s been a plethora of dubious conspirators.

This exhibition, the Confidence Game, takes the age of the scam as a leaping off point, broadening it to reveal hidden truths and reevaluating knowledge. The Con Man, the Trickster, the Jester, the Joker: all exist in the realm of turning the world upside down. We must be smart enough and clever enough to identify when we are being played. Sharpen the bullshit detectors and listen to them. The works in “The Confidence Game” tells a tale of how we are conditioned to believe. On the opposite side of the coin, it questions those beliefs, while recognizing the emperor has no clothes.

This exhibition, the Confidence Game, takes the age of the scam as a leaping off point, broadening it to reveal hidden truths and reevaluating knowledge. The Con Man, the Trickster, the Jester, the Joker: all exist in the realm of turning the world upside down. We must be smart enough and clever enough to identify when we are being played. Sharpen the bullshit detectors and listen to them. The works in “The Confidence Game” tells a tale of how we are conditioned to believe. On the opposite side of the coin, it questions those beliefs, while recognizing the emperor has no clothes.

©2020 THE CONFIDENCE GAME, Kumasi Barnett, Stephen Manka, Tiny Pricks Project, Savannah Spirit All rights reserved

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