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Paris-Scope: Mike Estabrook

The Lair of the Phantom Dandy

Mixed Greens and Projective City are pleased to present the work of Mike Estabrook through the Paris-Scope.

The tomb of Charles Baudelaire in the Cimetière du Montparnasse remains, after almost 150 years, a place of pilgrimage for misspent youths, idiot poets, foolish and savage dreamers, delinquents, literary wonks, and drunks with delusions of genius. His hauntings are now perhaps just as legendary as his life, and his indestructible phantom remains a source of inspiration for misanthropes, skeptics, and subversives of all stripes. Yet how can this ghost, this apparition who gave modernity its very name, continue to haunt a decidedly post-modern milieu? The purgatory into which Baudelaire must surely have been cast has itself become obsolete in contemporary life, which so easily provides redemption at low cost in thousands of assorted flavors. No longer burdened with the effort of escaping purgatory, Baudelaire's ghost has chosen to manifest itself at Projective City, conjured through the dark and plastic arts of Mike Estabrook.

Continuing Estabrook's epic "The Book of the Dead" project, The Lair of the Phantom Dandy places the viewer in the role of the journeying soul, presenting a Dorothy/Orpheus encounter with the Wizard of Oz/ Hades. Transforming the gallery space into a macabre grotto, the viewer can attempt to glean messages (over a mystic telephone located in the Mixed Greens gallery) from this ancient oracle of the modern age. Estabrook's channeling has resulted in a space which is at once an homage to a great spirit and a two-way conduit to the netherworld where Baudelaire now comfortably resides.

Mike Estabrook is a Brooklyn-based artist with recent solo projects at Bliss on Bliss Art Projects, Queens, NY; Art in Odd Places, NYC; and the Krannert Art Museum, IL. He has held residencies at the LMCC Swing Space and Workspace, NY Arts Beijing, and the MacDowell Colony. Currently, he is the recipient of a 2014 BRIC Media Arts fellowship, helping him to continue his explorations of the afterlife.


This is Mixed Greens’ thirteenth installment of Paris-Scope — a series of peculiar, collaborative exhibitions that give visitors to Mixed Greens a glimpse into French-based Projective City’s gallery space. The unique series provides a new possibility for the practice of exhibiting aesthetic experience, and allows artists unprecedented control over the gallery space. Through this alchemical experiment into the possibilities of “action at a distance,” the viewer is able to peer into (but obviously not enter) the space both thousands of miles away and inches from his or her nose — to mystically be both HERE and THERE simultaneously.

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