From the DS Archives: AVAF

Originally Published on May 22nd, 2008.

Each Sunday we reach deep into the DailyServing Archives to unearth an old feature that we think needs to see the light of day. This week we found a feature of Assume Vivid Astro Focus’s 2008 exhibition at Deitch Projects in New York City. If you have a favorite feature that you think should be published again, simply email us at and include DS Archive in the subject line.

Deitch Studios in Long Island City is currently showing assume vivid astro focusAbsolutely Venomous Accurately Fallacious (Naturally Delicious) until August 10th. avaf is a collaborative group of artists, designers, filmmakers, and performers that creates different projects based on each institution and space they visit. They have exhibited all over the world, including at the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, and will be participating in the 28th Sao Paolo Biennial. The number of people working on each project varies, and the group always wears masks to encourage the viewers to focus on the work and not their personalities. The exhibition at Deitch is a combination of murals, collages, sculptures, video, and installation, as well as a special zone for experience and interaction (included in every avaf project).

In the center of the gallery space is an enormous gender-bending figure lying belly down across the floor. The massive trannie sculpture (with high heeled strappy shoes, a meandering phallic symbol, and two heads) loudly references change and is trapped beneath the facade of an old Brooklyn house. This architectural inclusion references the reconstruction (and destruction) that is taking place throughout the city and into Long Island. The walls are covered with a beautiful mix of printed wall papers and neon sculptures, which are juxtaposed with harsher materials such as raw plywood and cardboard.

avaf believes in a philosophy of viral contamination, which asserts that as contemporary cultural participants, we are bombarded with an incessant stream of information and imagery. This bombardment leads to the development of a new human species, one which is capable of digesting unbelievable amounts of information through various media. In avaf’s opinion, music is the medium that comes closest to perfection because of the way it reaches the listener. With no physical presence, music manifests itself in our bodies, giving us a somewhat abstract, but intensely sensorial and corporeal understanding of what we hear. Visually, avaf uses abstraction and figuration and a wealth of materials and information to construct an environment to envelop us. The fusion of elements, actions, and artists creates a synergy and abundance that consumes us, much the way music does.