Cannibals of Love takes as its inspiration the romantic comedy genre in film and television – the “Rom Com” – to “cast” an exhibition that explores themes of love and humor.
Selected from an open call that yielded over 120 submissions, the work included in this exhibition critiques or reflects notions of heartache, summer flings, awkward love triangles, unlikely couples, one-night stands, unrequited loves, the “meet cute,” or other tropes of Rom Coms. More specifically, the curated works explore romance and/or humor in relation to cinematically-scaled stories of pathos and eros.
Although the exhibition theme might at first appear to engage with light-hearted frivolities, the curators assembled a nuanced survey of contemporary artistic responses to love and power, as well as a diverse examination of relationships and romance. With the mention of cannibals in its title, the exhibition also investigates the intersections of desire, appetites, and other perceived taboos and “improper” behaviors largely absent from or suppressed by Hollywood and Hallmark. Moreover, the curators included work critical of the conventional heteronormativity, pervasive whiteness, and gender politics of the film genre.
Ultimately, the artists in the exhibition, selected for their range of perspectives, identities and works across visual media, provide viewers with new and inclusive insights into the shared human impulses to love and laugh.