Kahn & Selesnick, ‘The Jolly Company’, 2012, Carrie Haddad Gallery
Kahn & Selesnick, ‘The Jolly Company’, 2012, Carrie Haddad Gallery
Kahn & Selesnick, ‘The Jolly Company’, 2012, Carrie Haddad Gallery
Kahn & Selesnick, ‘The Jolly Company’, 2012, Carrie Haddad Gallery
Kahn & Selesnick, ‘The Jolly Company’, 2012, Carrie Haddad Gallery
Kahn & Selesnick, ‘The Jolly Company’, 2012, Carrie Haddad Gallery

archival pigment print, edition of 5
10 x 10 inches unframed, 17.5 x 17.5 inches framed

This modern, surrealist style photograph was printed by the artist duo Kahn & Selesnick in 2012-13. The print is part of the Truppe Fledermaus series that explores the chronicles of a the traveling circus group dressed as bats, skeletons, and other odd creatures that performer for animals and mythical beings along the countryside. Here, members of Truppe Fledermaus are pictured traveling to their next destination across a barren landscape blanketed with sea grass and sand dunes. The group caravans in an odd wagon contraption that is navigated by a robed bat-like creature at the helm. The creature's large brown constructed wings act as tillers and direct the caravan in the right direction. A skull masked man in a old-fashioned grey vest and red blouse is steering the bat-like creature with reins made of thick rope. Characters dressed in brown and red costume create beautiful contrast against the expansive blue sky, green sea grass, and beige sand. The imagery depicts an imaginative narrative and encourages the viewer to continue the saga in their own minds. The pristine archival pigment print is complimented with a clean white frame measuring 17.5 x 17.5 x 2 inches.

About the work:
The ultimate storytellers, who have been showing with Carrie Haddad Gallery for more than 20 years, are Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick of Kahn & Selesnick, who met at Washington University in St. Louis in the 1970’s. Their initial collaboration started in Truro, MA with real film and a box camera, (that belonged to Kahn's father and was actually used during the war), a real darkroom, stacks of cotton rag paper, and a xerox machine set on sepia tone. The first few series documented an invented history about “The Royal Excavation Corps” and their experiences with a shaman, experimental wings for solo flying, psychedelic honey and all sorts of adventures shot like an old movie. Eight series later, Kahn & Selesnick now shoot with digital cameras and alter them on the computer. The results are stunning and still have the appearance of an era long ago. One of their most interesting series, Truppe Fledermaus (Bat Troupe), explores magic realism and documents a group a performers dressed as bats, “greenmen” and “death dancers” who wander the countryside performing only for animals. There are many hand-made elements in Kahn & Selesnick's work—imaginative costumes, stage sets, carved clay bat heads and figures, as well as drawings.

Series: Truppe Fledermaus

About Kahn & Selesnick