LAXART is pleased to present Sperm Cult, an exhibition by Berlin-based artist Elijah Burgher and select collaborators from the US and abroad. Although Sperm Cult was initially realized as a book, LAXART has invited Burgher to reconceive the project as an exhibition that will take on the candidly homosocial and homosexual content of the original: a publication featuring photographs of young gay men--sometimes styled with boldly painted bodies and masks--engaged in sexual acts. Works by Burgher will be accompanied by those of other artists that share an interest in the occult, ritual, and ethnographic sexual taboo. In this exhibition, Sperm Cult’s Edenic mis-en-scene is cast as a decidedly queer space, one of seclusion where desire can be acted upon in free form. Burgher reimagines homosexuality’s subcultural past as tribalism as he pushes against its normalization within contemporary society. With respect to gay subcultures, Sperm Cult is willfully regressive for the sake of being critical rather than nostalgic.
In May of 2018, Burgher traveled to Los Angeles for a short production residency. The resulting body of work will further evolve on-site at LAXART during an installation process that incorporates ritualistic and performative actions. This exhibition, along with a related series of public programs, will serve as moment to reflect on gay subcultures in both a theoretical and historical sense.
Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
This program is also presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood's WeHo Arts program. For more information, please visit www.weho.org/arts or follow via social media @WeHoArts.