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Linda Carmella Sibio: The Economics of Suffering

Curated by Martha Wilson

January 26 – March 9, 2019

Economic Paradigm of Life, 2018, Gouache on paper on dibond

Economic Paradigm of Life, 2018

Gouache on paper on dibond

13 x 20 in

Cash Air, 2018, Gouache on water color paper on dibond

Cash Air, 2018

Gouache on water color paper on dibond

20 x 13 in

Poetic Pond of Despair, 2018, Gouache on paper on dibond

Poetic Pond of Despair, 2018

Gouache on paper on dibond

13 x 20 in

Double Trigger, 2018, Gouache on water color paper on dibond

Double Trigger, 2018

Gouache on water color paper on dibond

20 x 13 in

Body Type C Minus, 2018, Gouache on water color paper on dibond

Body Type C Minus, 2018

Gouache on water color paper on dibond

13 x 20 in

Intestinal Tongues, n.d., Mixed media on paper

Intestinal Tongues, n.d.

Mixed media on paper

13 x 20 in

Only a Chasm Lift, 2017, Mixed media on paper

Only a Chasm Lift, 2017

Mixed media on paper

13 x 20 inches

Check Mate: Monkey Stew, 2012, Gouache on arches watercolor paper

Check Mate: Monkey Stew, 2012

Gouache on arches watercolor paper

48 x 45 in

Holy Dismemberment, 2006, Gouache on paper

Holy Dismemberment, 2006

Gouache on paper

96 x 48 in

Andrew Edlin Gallery is pleased to present The Economics of Suffering, a solo exhibition for Linda Carmella Sibio that explores the devastating and intense emotional scarring on the poor and disabled caused by the financial crisis. The show will include an installation, 60 works on paper, and two multimedia performances by the artist – one at the opening reception and a second on February 9th. The renowned artist and founding director of Franklin Furnace, Martha Wilson, will serve as curator.

The show explores the psychological ruptures wreaked on those most vulnerable—the mentally disabled, the elderly, those in extreme poverty, and other disenfranchised populations suffering from homelessness, hunger, and violence. The avarice of multinational corporations, cuts in government aid, and a callous judicial system continue to exacerbate high levels of suffering among the poor and disabled.

Linda Carmella Sibio’s art probes the fringes of society. Diagnosed with schizophrenia as a young adult, madness is a dominant theme in her work. Her mother, also schizophrenic, was incarcerated in mental hospitals in West Virginia during Sibio’s childhood. Following her father’s death, the artist was raised in an orphanage. In addition to her personal experiences, Sibio’s art is influenced by seminal essays and philosophical tracts like Foucault’s Madness and Civilization, Artaud’s The Theatre and its Double, and Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Along with her focus on homelessness, mental illness, and the underbelly of society, Sibio is interested in the raw power of human emotional contact. “The fragmented thinking of the schizophrenic is a window into the placement of our culture. We are living in a deconstructed world, no longer thinking linear thoughts,” says Sibio. “Our perceptions are continually interrupted by television, the Internet, video surveillance, and the media – we no longer have a single thought; we think in multilayered complex patterns. For our culture to go forward, the darkness of the dismembered body needs to come into the light. We need to fragment to become whole again.”

The Emotional States of Zero – Two Performances (January 26, 6 PM, February 9)
Sibio’s “The Emotional States of Zero,” centers on a woman who can’t sleep while exploring the relationship between zero and the psychological states of everyday life--induced by financial hardship and extreme emotional pain. Fragmentation, dismemberment, and the mixing of time spring from financial conditions that affect the internal psyche. The performances will incorporate video projections, sound, props, and costumes.


Panel Discussion (January 15th, 7 pm, the New Museum, 235 Bowery, NYC)
Sibio will participate as a panelist at Unusual Brains: Neurodiversity and Artistic Creation, in conjunction with the Outsider Art Fair’s OAF Talks.

Insanity Principle Workshop (February 16th, 2-4 pm, Andrew Edlin Gallery, pay what you wish to the artist)
A two-hour Insanity Principle artist workshop led by Sibio, focuses on performance, writing, and contemporary art through a series of techniques that include fragmentation, interrupters, psychological opposites, and the psychological model as methods for art-making.

Linda Carmella Sibio (b. 1953, West Virginia)

Sibio was diagnosed with schizophrenia while studying painting at Ohio University where she got her BFA in 1977. In the 1980s, she studied acting in Hollywood with Eric Morris, and performance with Rachel Rosenthal. She has received over 20 grants and awards including a Lannan Foundation Grant and a Rockefeller MAP Fund Award. Most recent grants received are the Wynn Newhouse Award and the Tree of Life Award. She has performed at numerous venues including the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Franklin Furnace (New York), and Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles). Solo exhibitions of her art have been held at Track 16 Gallery (Los Angeles) and Andrew Edlin Gallery. Sibio is the founder Bezerk Productions, a nonprofit organization that educates the public on the interdisciplinary art of persons with severe mental disabilities. She teaches both performance and visual art privately and in workshop settings.

Martha Wilson, Curator

Martha Wilson is an American feminist performance artist and the founding director of Franklin Furnace. Over the past four decades, she has developed and created innovative photographic and video works that explore her female subjectivity through role-playing, costume transformation, and the invasion of other peoples’ personas. She is a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, an Obie Award, and a Bessie Award for commitment to artists’ freedom of expression. She is represented by P•P•O•W Gallery in New York City. Wilson has advocated for Sibio’s work since the early 1990s. In addition to inviting Sibio to perform her piece, “West Virginia Schizophrenic Blues,” at The Anchorage in 1991, Wilson served on the board of Sibio’s Bezerk Productions from 2000 to 2005 and has remained an important mentor and friend.

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