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exhibitions/cuurent: nov. 28 - Jan. 10 [closed dec 23- jan 2]


Thirty floors up, Carlstone Dempsey steps out of his apartment into a
waiting Limozeen. The entrance to his habitu-unit closes automatically
behind him. Carlstone neuro-docks with the onboard sat-nav and the vehicle,
uploads the destination, fires up and pushes forward, out into the wind-whipped
void, accelerating hard so as to not be slung back by a random gust into
the blackened block.

The chill of the Expanse hits him.

A vast flatness of bleak slate-black mirror, devoid of native lifeforms, the Expanse is oceanic in its endlessness; treacherous in its deceitful silence. Predators lurk out there. The Others sit in wait. They make massive, wet
nests with their huddled bodies.

Carlstone prefers to live in this place, in one of the two block towers that
are still standing in this vast nothingness. It keeps things real.

In the distance, beyond the cruel obsidian savannah is the Metropolis
– an emptied out fuck-zone of half-demolished architectural shells,
mangled lampposts, sink-holed streets, and uplifted sidewalks. Row
after row of empty scorched-out flesh-boxes and habitu-units silhouetted against a dark purple sky, cut across with pink post-nuke flashes,
whirlwinds of ash and crystallized skin flakes. The prolebians who once
lived here don’t exist any more – but they can still be sensed. They left us
their lingering ghost-stench. It sticks to clothes, to hair, to skin and burns
into our nasal passages. The phantom smell of the dead invades our
epidermal layers, our cellular structures, our molecules; they lodge
themselves in our fibrous tissues, our arterial webs, our digestive
tracts, turning our insides into inhuman olfacto-scapes. In this way
we carry what is left of the dead, entwined with a profound hate – as
much for ourselves as for them.


Carlstone isn’t prolebian. He’s sub-prolebian, a sexier caste these days; the fantasy placeholder of the elito-displaced who still dream of things like authentic experience, inter-subjective connection, ‘complex realities’, and other laughable inanities. Wan, lanky, and undernourished, the subs are bringing back a kind of heroin-chic that is so ‘before-days’. Retro-decay: emaciation, anorexia, anaemia – once again these words perfume all the talk of cutting-edge and high fashion. Exposed ribs, eye-bags lightly dusted with glitter, and junk tracks are the new retro-swank.

Wearing a crisp suit (with pseudo-shit-smears down the legs), a faux-wrinkled shirt and vinyl shoes, and flying on the two meth lozenges that he’s twirling on his tongue, his neuro-connections are starting to fire up… he wishes… he wishes… if only he could cry! Carlstone is heading to the only place that matters anymore – theHead Gallery.



2 September – 5 October 2096
Reception: 1 September, 6–9 pm

165 East Broadway
New York 100242
Tel: +1 212 477 5006
Tues – Sat, 10 am–6 pm

Head Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition by artist Carlstone Dempsey. The exhibition will mark the New York debut of his latest monumental sculpture ‘Inferno/Candles and Queers’ (2096). This will be the artist’s first solo show at the gallery.
The context for the artwork is the construction of a replica of Solomon’s Temple in the downtown nu-settlement by an evangelical neo-Thelemite splinter faction called the Universal Church of the Kingdom of the Will. The temple is built with stones imported from the decimated and radiation-infused territory of ex-Israel, thus establishing a new Holy Land on the obsidian landscape of the Expanse. 
A full-scale reproduction of this sacred architecture has been installed at Head Gallery. Within the interior of this ‘temple’ structure, Dempsey has placed one of his now famous synth-bronze sculptures, depicting an open-section view of a New York subway carriage with animatronic figures inside. It is styled in the manner of Rodin’s ‘Burgher’s of Calais’ relying on the same dramatized features and charged gestures.

The installation’s conflation of place, history and belief allows Dempsey to weave connections between the complex realities of the Expanse and the histories of Old Jerusalem. Shot through with stylistic references to ‘before-days’ Hollywood action epics, the work is presented as ‘historical pre-enactment’, commingling fact and fiction, prophesy and legacy management. Histories of antiquity in the Middle East merge with contemporary death culture, as the artwork addresses the grandiose temple project through a vision of its future destruction. 

Carlstone Dempsey (exact birth date unknown, Kfar-Yehezkel, Israel) studied at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Neo-Jerusalem; the School of Visual Arts, New York; and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.

For press inquiries, contact, or call (212) 477 5006

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-truders. They appear as swift and wet shadows.    

are here. It’s over for this crowd. For Carlstone.

The management turns on the recording equipment, in order to suck in and preserve the surveillance vid. The managers smirk. They know they can monetize the massacre. The plan edges genius, says one. It’s a step on in terms of ideas of antagono-de-materialization. The audience, instead of the object, goes insubstantial.
Without warning, the innards of a collecto-retard explode out of his body. He simultaneously shits himself, profusely. The pain shuts down all his internal mechanisms. He barely has time to scream, and something gnarled comes out instead. The scream is so primal that it seems to come from his intestines. The visceral sound travels with the offal as it erupto-fucks against the white walls in splatters. Blood sprays all over the bronze sculp and fem-juves. And then, the scream is silenced.

Nothing else happens for a few minutes. The Others are enjoying the moment. Their gleeful and moist breathing fills the air. The tension is building. They pounce on one or two other people in the crowd, and then back away. They allow the hysteria to swell, to reach an apotheosis, and waste itself. The wailing and pleading dies down quickly and it is followed by a quivering silence. A collective whimper settles over the crowd. This is what the Others savour. They like their prey terrified, on their knees, pressed up into corners, grabbing each other in their desperation to survive, fear disfiguring their faces. The smell of urine starts to fill the air, vaguely recalling grass, leaves and asphalt with a bit of pollution. It precedes that sharp, fugitive smell of pure terror that will eclipse everything else. Yes, the Others are enjoying this. They are holding themselves back in order to find greater delight in the end. Enough of these attacks have taken place for people to know that it will be swift for whoever stands and volunteers their neck to the hunters. A clean decapitation. No pain. Some people offer themselves in this way, Carlstone among them. He’s a realist. Coming from his background he feels he has achieved all he could. He kneels down as if praying. In an instant, his head is flying across the room, blood splattering on the window panes. Then, other heads. Bodies simply give and fall. No screams, no gore. The whole thing is almost surgical. It’s as if the executed have demonstrated the proper level of respect to their killers, or, in their resignation have zeroed-out the pleasure of the Others, who therefore simply remove them from the scene in a process of routine erasure.

For those who resist it is different.

The investorati for the most part think that they may still survive this. With the same logic that they use to justify the way that they continue to buy artworks in a world that is nothing but a giant ball of solidified and polished magma, they believe they are entitled to walk away from this. Entitled, that’s the word that circulates in their heads. It’s the name of their collective fantasy. But it’s too late for this. What do these predators know of their entitlement? Terrified, desperate, straining to survive, the collecto-deluded try to defend themselves, grabbing chairs, breaking bits off the sculpture to employ as weapons, but to no avail. The Others feed on their panic gleefully; they incapacitate them with a quick sting and ram oxy-tubes deep into their victims’ throats, all the way down into their lungs, and fire up miniature pumps, so that these rudimentary gadgets breathe for the victims, keep them artificially alive in paralysed horror. The Others like to eat from warm, still-living bodies. Hearts still throbbing. And so in insatiable packs, for the first time visible to the naked eye and the surveillance cameras, as a wet huddle of pure frenzy, the Others tear open torsos, and dine on the half-dead in the gallery.

One of the managers in the conference room, still amazed with the way the carnage can be read from a certain perspective as a beautifully choreographed ballet, opens a box of posters that arrived earlier that afternoon from the printer. The posters, purple ink on white paper, are faux-mimeographed.