October 17th – November 15th, 2014


Reception for the artist: Friday Oct 24th, 6-8pm

The event is free and open to the public.

Chicago, IL - Kasia Kay Art Projects is proud to announce the opening of Carla Gannis’s third solo exhibition with the gallery entitled: Garden of Emoji Delights. This is in tandem with The Garden of Emoji Delights, New York at TRANSFER Gallery.

Carla Gannis’s work examines the narrativity of 21st century representational technologies and questions the hybrid nature of identity, where virtual and real embodiments of self diverge and intersect.

The exhibition is an installation of a large scale triptych, which comprises digitally collaged emoji symbols and animated characters into Hieronymus Bosch’s painting THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS, (1500-1505), along with a small 3-D printed sculpture entitled ESCAPE POD, a collaboration between  EVERETT KANE  and GANNIS that explores the theatrical poetries of the modern domicile. The exhibition will also include one-of-a-kind digital drawings by Gannis. 

In The Garden of Emoji Delights, Carla Gannis contextualizes Emoji within the iconographic lineage of the works of Hieronymus Bosch, re-inscribing the third panel of his triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights, by using the new secular, pop vocabulary of signs and digital symbols.

These symbols are as pervasive now as religious symbology was in the 15th and 16th centuries. According to Carla Gannis, Emoji add a new flatness to the iconography of the past, emptying it of controversy and replacing it with something akin to Murakami’s Superflat aesthetic questioning the “sins” of our contemporary consumer culture.

In an essay accompanying The Garden of Emoji Delights titled ‘Digicalyptic Realities, or The Frolic of the Flat’, curator Sabin Bors claims that this is arguably one of the most relevant digital works in recent years. While discussing digital symbology in its relation to Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, the relation between Emoji Delights and the works of other contemporary artists influenced by Bosch, or the place of Emoji Delights in the work of Carla Gannis, the author makes an interesting interpretation on the role of the digital in contemporary society and the passage from culture to civilization.

For all its technological infrastructure, the digitalization of communication is seen as a means to disseminate an increasingly analogical content that bears more emotional charge and agency. Sabin Bors argues, however, that to understand The Garden of Emoji Delights, we must understand the type of culture these images and their power belong to, the technological codifications of today’s language, and the relation between expressions and consumer culture.

Carla Gannis lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Gannis is the recipient of several awards and her work has been featured or reviewed in The Huffington Post, Wired, Art F City, Hyperallergic, The Wallstreet Journal, & The New York Times, among others. Most recently she collaborated with poet Justin Petropoulos on a transmedia book, installation and net art project entitled <legend> </legend> (Jaded Ibis Press and Transfer Gallery, 2013). She is faculty and Assistant Chair of the Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute. Carla Gannis is represented by Kasia Kay Art projects Gallery in Chicago and by Transfer Gallery in New York.


Catalogue essay: Digicalyptic Realities or, The Frolic of the Flat: Carla Gannis, The Garden of Emoji Delights by SABIN BORS.

A full version of the essay is featured on anti-utopias.

Also, see Vice's "The Creators Project" article.


Acknowledgments: RAFIA SANTANA, studio assistance