Nicholas Miles Kahn, b. 1964, New York

Richard Selesnick, b. 1964, London

Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn

Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick are a collaborative artist team who have been working together since they met while attending art school at Washington University in St. Louis in the early 1980s. Both were born in 1964, in New York City and London respectively. They work primarily in the fields of photography and installation art, specializing in fictitious histories set in the past or future.   These may include: documentary-style panoramic and square photographs that combine absurdist fantasy and bogus anthropology; elaborately crafted artifact, costumes and sculpture, often constructed of unlikely materials such as bread or fur, painting and drawings ranging from large scale works on plaster to pages of conceptual doodling. Kahn lives in Ghent NY, and Selesnick in Rhinebeck NY.

Their current work features the recreation of the Truppe Fledermaus's Memory Theatre of 1932 with its full complement of Batfolk, Greenmen, Rope-Slingers, and Death-Dancers in all their Carnivalesque glory.  Kahn & Selesnick have participated in over 100 solo and group exhibitions worldwide and have work in over 20 collections, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution. In addition, they have published 3 books with Aperture Press, ScotlandfuturebogCity of Salt, and Apollo Prophecies. Their most recent book, 100 Views of the Drowning World, is available now from Candela Books.





1986     BFAs, Washington University, St. Louis


2015   Truppe Fledermaus, Suny Ulster Gallery, Marbletown NY

           Truppe Fledermaus, Warner Gallery, St. Andrews School, Middletown, Delaware.

           Truppe Fledermaus 3, Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown MA.

           Truppe Fledermaus, Dreams of a Drowning World, Robischon Gallery, Denver Co.

2014Truppe Fledermaus, Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta

          Truppe Fledermaus, Hammer Gallery, Chicago

          Truppe Fledermaus, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

          Truppe Fledermaus, Carroll & Sons, Boston

2013Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, Boise Art Museum, Boise, Id

         Truppe Fledermaus, Cleveland State University, Cleveland

          Truppe Fledermaus 2, Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown, Ma.

         Truppe Fledermaus, Gallery 51, North Adams, Ma

          Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, Galeria Mü, Bogata, Columbia

         Truppe Fledermaus, Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles

         Truppe Fledermaus, Robischon Gallery, Denver

2012Truppe Fledermaus, Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown, Ma.

2011City of Salt, Galeria Mü, Bogata, Columbia

          Apollo Procephies & Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, Brenau University

          Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, Carrie Haddad Photo, Hudson, NY

          Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles

          Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

          Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago

          Apollo Procephies & Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, Museum of 

            Contemporary Photography, Chicago

2010   Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, Carroll & Sons Gallery, Boston  

           Kahn and Selesnick Cress Gallery, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

           Eisbergfreistadt & Other Fictions Torch Gallery, AmsterdamNetherlands

           Eisbergfreistadt Overbeck-Gesellschaft Museum, Lübeck, Germany

2009Eisbergfreistadt  World’s End Contemporary, London, UK    

Eisbergfreistadt  DNA Gallery, Provincetown, Ma.
           Eisbergfreistadt, Robishcon Gallery, Denver, CO

    Eisbergfreistadt, Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 

    Eisbergfreistadt & Apollo Prophecies, Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI

    Eisbergfreistadt & Apollo Prophecies, Untitled [ArtSpace], Oklahoma City, OK

2008     Eisbergfreistadt, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago 

      The Apollo Prophecies, Hiestand Gallery of Art, Miami University, Ohio 

     Eisbergfreistadt, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York 

      Eisbergfreistadt, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale 

      Kahn & Selesnick: A Ten Year Retrospective, Aeroplastics Gallery, Brussels  

2007     Eisbergfreistadt, Pepper Gallery, Boston

    Eisbergfreistadt, Irvine ContemporaryWashington DC

2006       The Art of Kahn and Selesnick, Dowd Fine Arts Center, SUNY Cortland

    Kahn/Selesnick: A Ten Year Retrospective, Robischon Gallery,  Denver

2005    The Apollo Prophecies, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago

    The Apollo Prophecies, Irvine Contemporary, Washington, D.C.

    The Apollo Prophecies, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale

        The Apollo Prophecies, Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles

        Nomadischespuppetheater, Berta Walker Gallery, Provincetown

2004The Apollo Prophecies, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

    The Apollo Prophecies, DNA Gallery Provincetown

            The Apollo Prophecies, Pepper Gallery, Boston

2003City of Salt, Focus Gallery, London

    City of Salt, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

2002    Scotlandfuturebog, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

    City of Salt, Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles

    City of Salt, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago

    City of Salt, Pepper Gallery Boston

    City of Salt, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale

2001    City of Salt, DNA Gallery, Provincetown

           Scotlandfuturebog, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York

2000    The REC, Past-Future, Palo Alto Arts Center, California    

    Schottensumpfkunftig, DNA Gallery, Provincetown 

    Past and Future, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale 

    Transmissions from the Schottensumpfkumpftig, David Beitzel Gallery, New York

1999    Schottensumpfkunftig, Pepper Gallery, Boston 

    The Circular River, Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles    

1998    The Circular River, Monique Knowlton, New York 

The Circular River, Eli Marsh Gallery, Amherst College    

    Bachelier Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, Connecticut

Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York

    The Circular River, Pepper Gallery Boston

1997    The Pavilion of the Greenman, Monique Knowlton, New York

    The Burren Expedition, East End Gallery, Provincetown 

    The Journals of Peter Hesselbach, Monique Knowlton, New York

    Tent of the Mesmer, Gallery Camino Real, Boca Raton

    The Photographic Journals of Peter Hesselbach, Pepper Gallery, Boston

1996    Tent of the Mesmer, Bachelier Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, Connecticut  

    The Golden Age of Devonshire Semaphore: Royal Excavation Corps Signal Flag

     Manouevres 1934-36, East End Gallery, Provincetown

    The Roodloft of the Drunken Beekeeper, Monique Knowlton, New York

1995    Zelt der Biscuit Mench, East End Gallery, Provincetown

    Chapel Dedicated to the Human Head, Hudson Walker Gallery, Provincetown. Collabrative Paintings, Gallery Camino Real, Boca Raton        

1994    The Eskimo Paintings, Bachelier Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, Connecticut

    The Biscuit Triptychs, East End Gallery, Provincetown

1993       Bog Pastries and Bread Heads from the Archives of the Royal Excavation Corps,                      

       Forum Gallery, New York

    Painted Heads, East End Gallery, Provincetown

The Delusional Object: Banners and Artefacts from the Royal Excavation Corps, Diana Burke, New York

1992     Flagman Artefacts, East End Gallery, Provincetown

1991     East End Gallery, Provincetown

    Owen Patrick Gallery, Philadelphia

    Klein Art Gallery, Woodstock





2014   Alles Maskerade!  MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, Germany

           Breaking Ground  William & Mary College, Williamsburg, Virginia

           Icarus: an Exploration of the Human Urge to Fly UNC Charlotte

           Uncanny Spaces Usdan Gallery, Bennington College

           Dawn to Dusk, Queensland Center for Photography, Brisbane, Australia

           Vanishing Ice, Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Wa

           Vanishing Ice, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Tx

           Vanishing Ice, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada

2013   Extraordinary, Nooderlicht Photo Festival, The Netherlands

            Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: An Artist’s Guide to the World, Florence Griswold 

                  Museum, Old Lyme, Ct

            First Contact, Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, Mi.

            Lies that Tell the Truth: Magic Realism in Contemporary Art, Indiana State 

                  University, Terra Haute, In

           Nature’s Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art, and Invention, The Leonardo, Salt Lake City

           Nature’s Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art, and Invention, Ulrich Museum, Wichita, Ka

2012   Covet: Art + Objects, Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, Ma

           One of a Kind: Unique Artist’s Books, Dalhousie Gallery, Halifax, Canada

           A Dream of Eternity, Villa Empain, Boghossian Foundation, Brussels, Belgium

           Terra Cognita, Museum Belvedere, Heerenveen-Oranjewoud, Netherlands

           Nature’s Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art, and Invention, The Field Museum, Chicago

           New Yorker Fiction: Real Photographs, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, 

                   Beijing, China  

2011One of a Kind: Unique Artist’s Books, Pierre Menard Gallery, Boston

            New Yorker Fiction: Real Photographs, Stephen Kasher Gallery, New York

            Worlds, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, Ca

            Beautiful Vagabonds, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

            Saturnalia, Irvine Contemporary, Washington DC

2010The Nature of Cities, United Nations Pavillion, Expo 2010, Shanghai, China

2009    2009 Godowsky Award Winners, Photographic Resource Center, Boston, Ma

Miroirs d’Orients, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Lille, France

Art on the Moon, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, Germany

2008    Such Great Heights, Carrie Haddad Photographs, Hudson, NY 

    Melting Ice, Hot Topic, Field Museum, Chicago, IL,

    Melting Ice, Hot Topic, Ministry of Culture, Monaco, 

Eco-Sophia, Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada,  Reno Nevada, 

2007    Melting Ice, Hot Topic, Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway

    Melting Ice, Hot Topic, Bozar Museum, Brussels, Belgium

    Art from NASA’s Collection The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

    Rare Essence, Aeroplastics Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

2006    The Twilight Zone, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York

    Fellows, Hudson Walker Gallery, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Ma

2005    Dreamscapes, Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

The City: Contemporary Views of the Built Environment, Lehman College Art Gallery, New York

Regional Triennial of Photographic Arts, Center for Photography at Woodstock

2004Dreamweavers, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York 

The City: Cotemporary Views of the Built Environment, Lehman College of Art

2003    Re-presenting Representation VI, Arnot Museum of Art, New York

First Photographs: Henry Fox Talbot and the Birth of Photography, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego

2001Rumors of War: A Contemporary Exhibition Inspired by the Art of Jacob Lawrence, Triple Candie, New York.

Digital: Printmaking Now, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York         Works by Fellows of the Fine Arts Work Center, Cape Cod Museum of Art

Photosynthesis: Recent Developments in Contemporary Photography, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts

Of Dreams and Dreamers: Art as a Vehicle of Escape, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago

Photo-Synthesis: Recent Developments in Contemporary Photography, Gallery Camino Real, Boca Raton

2001    False Witness: Joan Fontcuberta, Sputnik, and Kahn/Selesnick, David Winton 

                Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence

2000     American Art Today: Fantasies & Curiousities, The Art Museum, Florida 

    International University, Miami              

1999    Referencing the Past: Six Contemporary Artists: Kahn/Selesnick, John O’Reilly,

George Condo, David McGee, and Laurie, Hogan, Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts

    Rattling the Frame, 1974-1999, Camera Works, San Francisco 

Dramatis Personae: A Look at Role-playing and Narrative in Contemporary Photography, Photographic Resource Center, Boston University Faces of Time: 75 Years of Time Magazine Cover Portraits, National Portrait 

         Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.  

Expanded Visions: The Panoramic Photograph, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover

Self-amused: The Contemporary Artist as Observer and Observed, Brush Art Gallery, Lowell, Ma

 10 Artists/10 Visions, De Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Ma 

 Provincetown in Hudson, Carrie Haddad Gallery, New York

1995    Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles

    Inaugural Group Show, Monique Knowlton, New York

1994-95 Visual Arts Fellows from the Fine Arts Work Center, Drerup Gallery, Plymouth State College





2015   Lewis Lapham “Them”  Lapham’s Quarterly  Winter issue

2014   Adrienne Parks “Snozzberries for the Yellow King: Why True Detective is a 

                 Religious Text” The Mockingbird, Summer Issue

           Goings on about Town: Art The New Yorker, July

           Vicki Goldberg “Art in Review” New York Times, June 20

           Cate McQuaid “An Exhibit gone Batty” Boston Globe, Jan 15

           Cover image Chronogram

           Portfolio and cover, Dawn to Dusk QCP Exhibition Catalogue

2013   Martha Schwendener, “The Organization of Art” New York Times, August 9

           Portfolio & Text, Picnic Magazine, Issue 53 

           Portfolio & Text, 1814 Magazine, Issue 4

           Harrison Berry, “Mars Revisited” Boise Weekly, June 12

           Susan Dunne “Raw Power of Nature” Hartford Courant, June 27

           Shearwater, “Fellow Travelers” Sub Pop Records, Album Cover

2012   Portfolio & Cover, Ecotone, Volume 8, Issue 1, Fall 2012 

           Matt Bua & Maximillian Goldfarb, “Architectural Inventions: Visionary Drawings”        

                  Laurence King Publishing, Hardcover 

            Emily Epstein, “Life on Mars” Daily Mail Online, Aug 15

            Hallie Sekoff, “Stunning Sci-Fi Art” Huffington Post, Aug 16

            Peter McCollough, “Mars-Inspired Art” Wired Magazine Online August 15

            Sara Nelson, “Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea” Huffington Post UK, Aug 8

            Ann Landi, “Out of this World” ARTnews, June 14

            Christopher Bentley, “Creations of Biodiversity” New Scientist, June 16  

            Portfolio & Interview BLINK Magazine, Issue 10

            Shearwater, “Animal Joy”, Sub Pop Records, album cover

2011The Moth & The Flame, album cover

            Narayana Sewnandan “Meeting with Kahn & Selesnick” Blend Magazine, August 

            Kisa Lala, “Mythographers” Huffington Post, Feb 14 

            Holland Cotter “Beautiful Vagabonds” New York Times, Aug 11

            Reproductions, Philosophie Magazine, July

            Robert Hirsch, “Exploring Color Photography” Focal Press, paperback book

            Nick Flynn, “The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands” Greywolf Press, cover 

2010Sarah Falkner, “Alien Scenic Views,” Reality Sandwich, Oct

            Mark Feeney, “Exploring Brave New Worlds,”  The Boston Globe, Oct 1

            Jean Hess, “Kahn & Selesnick”, Art Papers July/August 

Maria Petersen “Eisbergfreistadt – Hintergründe zur Ausstellung” LübeckischeBlaätter April

Michael Berger “When an Iceberg threatened Lübeck” Lübecker Nachrichten,

       April 10

            Jennifer Calkins, “Kahn & Selesnick”, Eikon Magazine, Cover story, Issue 69

            Shearwater, “The Golden Archipelago”, Matador Records, album cover

            “Findings”, Harper’s Magazine January

             Greg Cook, “Photography after Facebook at the PRC”, Boston Phoenix, Jan 15            

2009    Mark Feeney, “Colorful, Alternate Realities”, Boston Globe, Dec 5 

            “Exhibition of the Month” GQ, October issue

            James Dean, Bert Ulrich, Tom couch, Michael Collins “NASA/ART: 50 Years of

      Exploration”, Abrams, hardcover book

Leah Ollman, “Kahn & Selesnick at Kopeikin,” The Los Angeles Times, July 31

    “Der Mond” Hatje Cantz, paperback book

    John Brandenburg, “Pano-vision,” The Oklahoman, Feb 22

Panoramic foldout, “The Space Age,” Outlook Magazine, China, 

Jonathan Lethem, “Lostronaut,” The New Yorker, Nov 17

2008    Shearwater, “Rook,” Matador Records, album cover

    Portfolio, “Horizons”, Ivory Press, hardcover book

Alan Artner, “Banknote Birds Recall Financial Panics of the Past”, The Chicago Tribune, Nov 7

    Portfolio, Vision Magazine, China, Nov

    Portfolio, Focus Magazine, The Netherlands, Feb

2007    Sarah Coleman, career review Photo District News, Feb 3

    “Findings,” Harper’s Magazine, September

Jan DesLoover “Kahn & Selesnick” Fotomuseum Antwerp Magazine, fall

 “Art in Action: Nature, Creativity & Our Creative Future,” Natural World Museum, hardcover book

Robert Hirsh, “Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age,” Focal Press, paperback book

        Mark Freely, “Eisbergfreistadt,” The Boston Globe, May 13 

        Jessica Dawson, “Reflecting on a Cultural Divide,” The Washington Post, Nov 19

        Shearwater, “Rook,” Matador Records, album cover

2006    book review “Pick of the Week: Ye Olde Astronaut,” Time Out NY, Sept

2005    “C Magazine” Ivory Press, hardcover book

        Portfolio, Photography Quarterly, fall issue

        Portfolio, Sides Magazine, Sept 

Jessica Dawson “Reflecting on a Cultural Divide,” The Washington Post, Oct. 6

        Review, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 

        “Findings,” Harper’s Magazine, July 

2004    Caroline Bagenal, “The Apollo Prophecies,” Art New England, Oct. 

    Cate McQuaid, “A Lunar Extravaganza,” The Boston Globe, p. C16, May 28

David Haycock, “The Extraordinary Findings of Kahn/Selesnick and the Royal Excavation     Corps,” Wraparound, pp 26-35, Spring

2003    “Next stop Shangri La,” Men’s Fashion of the Times, The New York Times, pgs  

                122-133, sept 21

Sarah Douglas, “Kahn/Selesnick at Yancey Richardson”  The Art Newspaper, June 13 p.5

2002    Portfolio, Provincetown Arts Magazine 

Cate McQuaid, “Self Portraits of the Artist as a Man facing Mortality," The Boston Globe, April 19

Vince Alletti, “More, More, More: the best photography books of 2002” Village Voice Feb. 3

Leah Ollman, “Power of Illusion and Desire” The Los Angeles Times Oct. 19

The Stamp Project, Cabinet Magazine pgs 63-65. Fall 2002 issue.

Colour reproductions, “Photography Past Forward: Aperture at 50” hardcover book, introduction by R.H.Cravens. Back cover, page 172. Aperture Press

    Miles Unger, “Head Games”, Boston Magazine, April

2001    Rich McKown, “Small Works from the Fine Arts Work Center at the Cape, 

                Museum of Fine Arts,” Art New England, Dec. 

Cate McQuaid, “Putting Provincetown in a Poignant New Light,” The Boston Globe, Aug. 4

William Jaeger, “Reassembled Visions,” Albany Times Union p.12, Jan. 28

Linda L. Fenoff, “Photographer’s Lenses Not Bogged Down by Reality” The Independent, p.24, Jan. 26

Bill Van Siclen, “At the Bell Gallery, Reality Keeps Slipping Away,” The Providence Journal p. 28,     Feb 15

2000    “Lost Horizons: An Imaginary Photograph Assignment by Collaborative Artists

            Kahn and Selesnick for the Men’s Fashion of the Times,” The New York Times Magazine, pp.106-116, Sept. 24

    “Readings,” Harper’s Magazine, p.38, April

    Richard Nilsen, “A Visionary Beauty,” The Arizona Republic, March 23

Roberta Smith,  “Kahn/Selesnick at David Beitzel Gallery”, The New York Times, March 10

Miles Unger,  “Tales of Intrigue for a Museum of Unnatural History,” The New York Times, pp.35, 38, Feb. 6

2000    Eileen Kennedy, “Art in Review: Kahn/Selesnick,” Arts Media, p.11, Jan

Kate McQuaid, “Funny Phantasm, Emotional Edges & Realms of Beauty,” The Boston Globe, Dec. 30

1999    Leah Ollman, “A Provocative Trek into Pseudo-History,” The Los Angeles Times, 

            p. F28, Nov. 12

1998     Daniel Pinchbeck, “Boy’s Own Adventure Through Siberia,” The Art Newspaper, 

                p.72, November 

Vince Aletti,  “Choices: Art,” Village Voice, p. 72, December 1

Ken Johnson,  “Kahn and Selesnick at Monique Knowlton,” The New York Times, p.32, November 27

Christa Worthington, “Mining the Relics of Journeys Past,” New York Times, p. 45, November 22

Fredrick S. Voss, “Faces of Time: 75 years of Time Magazine Cover Portraits,” Little Brown, pp.126-7 

Matt Unger, “Kahn and Selesnick at Pepper,” Art News, pg.163, July

Grace Consoli,  “Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick: Panoramic Photographs from the Siberian Expeditions of 1944-46,” Arts Media, pp. 18-19, May

Kate McQuaid,  “Duo Makes Art by Faking History,” The Boston Globe, pp. C1, C4. May 9     

Lucy R. Lippard, “Moments of Grace: Spirit in the American Landscape,” Aperture, pp. 61, 66-7, winter issue

1997    Grady Turner, “Kahn/Selesnick at Monique Knowlton,” Art in America, p.130,  


Kate McQuaid, “Kahn and Selesnick at the East End Gallery,” The Boston Globe, August 14

    Vince Aletti, “Choices: Art,” Village Voice, p.12, April 15

1996    Joanne Silver, “Visions Exhibit Draws a Perfect 10,” The Boston Herald, pp.14-

                15, June 20 

“Stranger in a Strange Land: a Collaborative Work by Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick,”     Arts Media, pp. 9-11, November

Souren Melikian, “In Another Orbit,” International Herald Tribune, October 26

 “Findings,” Harper’s Magazine, June

Roberta Smith, “Kahn and Selesnick at Monique Knowlton,” The New York Times, p.55, May 17

1995    Cover, Ploughshares, winter issue

Vivian Raynor, “In Kent Differing Image and Books as Endangered Species,” The New York Times, p. 20, May 14

1994    Cover and inner gatefold,Time Magazine (Man of the Year Issue, Pope John

                Paul II), pp.48-50, Dec.26

Nancy Stapen, “The Bold Meets the Soulful on Newbury St,” The Boston Globe, p. 57, Sept. 29 

Ann Wilson-Lloyd, “Selesnick and Kahn Collaborate a Clever Conceit,” Cape Cod Arts & Antiques, pp. 18-21, August

1993    K.C. Myers,  “Trust: the Collaboration of Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick,” 

                 Provincetown Arts, pgs. 91-93, Summer

Robert Taylor, “Outer Cape Art: Fresh Daily Catch,” The Boston Globe, p. 27, July 24


Madame Lulu’s Book of Fate

November 1 - December 28, 2019


When you look through the porthole of your berth aboard the ship, what do you see? The raging ocean? Distant clouds? A lone iceberg? When you stand on the deck and look through a telescope, what do you see? The future? The past? An undiscovered shoreline? A drowning man? The Truppe Fledermaus invite you to look through the peephole where you shall find scenes of men and women trying to parse that which is to come, speak with those departed, or just finding their pleasure amid the florid decay of a world in decline. For in a world where personal and societal mythologies supersede facts, where the promise of virtual reality threatens to supersede the real thing, what better way to approach an uncertain future than through the arcane methods of augury and clairvoyance – after all, is not prophecy the original fake news?


Kahn & Selesnick’s latest project “Madame Lulu’s Book of Fate” continues the adventures of the Truppe Fledermaus, a cabaret troupe of anxious mummers and would-be mystics who catalog their absurdist attempts to augur a future that seems increasingly in peril due to environmental pressures and global turmoil. In this body of work, the artists also examine the notion of the carnivalesque – traditionally the carnival was a time when the normal order of society was upended and reversed, so that at least for a day the fool might become king, the sinner a priest, men and women might crossdress, and sacred ceremonies and normal mores are burlesqued and spoofed. During such brief times of anarchy, societal pressures were relieved by revealing their somewhat absurd and arbitrary natures. Costumes and masks were traditionally worn so that all people might have the same social status during the duration of the festival. The Truppe ask you to consider: is it the carnival that is upside-down, or perhaps the real world that it purports to burlesque?