Nicholas Kersulis


The title for this film series is a phrase that stood out after reading Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism, the First Sixty Years (2012), by Geoffrey Nunberg, who points to the paradoxical irony in rudely pointing out others’ rudeness that is at the core of the phrase. Nunberg expands upon the asshole-baiting style of political discourse, linking it to (amongst many other factors) the personalization of political discourse, the technology of modern communication, and to a collective character disorder. The increased usage of ‘asshole’ during the late 20th c. parallels the takeover of counter culture by commercial pop culture at the century’s end.

The films listed for this series are bound to my understanding of counter culture and its influence on art, social concerns, and politics. After years of watching, reading, and listening to art related to counter culture, it has become clear that the historical precedents that spawned this counter culture, the contexts that it left behind, and the detritus that have taken its place have all became obstacles in the realization of much of my work.

mind your manners, asshole (movie poster); acrylic paint on canvas with grommets; 81 × 81"
mind your manners, asshole (movie poster) detail
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