PROJECT 9: The Most Lamentable Comedy

December 3- 10, 2022
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 1-4pm
The Flagg Building 500 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C.
Hours: Wed - Sat, 1-5pm

Washington, DC: As part of Transformer’s 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition, Transformer20, on view at the GW Corcoran School of the Arts & Design through December 10, Transformer - in collaboration with guest curators Rex Delafkaran and Nancy Daly, co-directors of the artist run business  but, also - are pleased to present The Most Lamentable Comedy: a series of exhibitions within an exhibition, within an exhibition. Featuring more than 400 artworks from Transformer’s FlatFile Program, this pop-up exhibition will commence on December 3rd from 1-4 pm with six back-to-back opening receptions for the exhibitions within the exhibition within Transformer20.

Taking place in the Rotunda Gallery of the GW Corcoran School of the Arts & Design historic Flagg Building, the six exhibitions within The Most Lamentable Comedy will feature but, also guest curated selections of small to medium scale works by each of the 75 artists from Transformer’s FlatFile program. The Most Lamentable Comedy exhibitions and their openings will all take place as part of a celebratory winter holiday event from 1-4pm on December 3rd with sweet treats & beverages. All artworks will be available for purchase, with 70% of all art sales going directly to the artists. The Most Lamentable Comedy will be on view through December 10, 2022.

The exhibition’s namesake is derived from The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe a play within the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In this play within a play, Shakespeare parodies his main characters’ mishaps and encounters in love. but, also co-directors Daly and Delafkaran invoke this parody as a means to describe the performance of being an artist, and the comically inept romance between an artist and ‘success’:

“In but, also’s first year, we produced six exhibitions with 120 artists, setting our pace. In order to improve that pace and stay relevant in this, our second year, we must complete six new shows by the end of the year. With little time left, these six shows must be both simultaneous and distinct. Both an ode to and critique of the sometimes perilous journey of ‘keeping up’ in an industry that is both job and passion, our performance of six openings draws attention to the competitive productivity embedded in the art world industry and the inherent shortcomings that result from doing too much.”

Combing through the diverse Transformer FlatFile archive, the breadth of work opens the door for investigations: rich dialogues  between these artworks emerge. The six exhibitions within The Most Lamentable Comedy are each curated around overarching throughlines found within the artists’ work broadly, including: systems of power, landscape, the body, memory, materiality and interpersonal relationships. Presented within a single space, the six exhibitions are woven together so that the installation encourages visitors to both understand but,also’s curatorial vision, while simultaneously making their own connections across shows.

“Transformer’s mission is rooted in collaboration. Throughout our 20 year history, Transformer has facilitated a broad range of collaborations with artists, emerging curators & arts organizers, artist co-ops, collectives, artist-run businesses and emerging arts initiatives through a variety of temporal projects to embrace and foster inventiveness and collegiality in support of artistic experimentation. We are thrilled to collaborate with but, also as part of our Transformer20 retrospective exhibition and anniversary celebrations, highlighting their distinct and robust approach to arts organizing .” - Victoria Reis, Founder/Director, Transformer.

The Most Lamentable Comedy Exhibitions Hours:  Wed - Sat, 1-5pm  through December 10, 2022


t r a n s f o r m e r   is a Washington, DC based 501 (c) 3 artist-centered, non-profit visual arts organization. Founded in June 2002 by artists & arts organizers, Transformer provides a consistent, supportive, and professional platform for emerging artists to explore and present experimental artistic concepts, build audiences for their work, and advance their careers. A catalyst and advocate for contemporary artists and emergent expression in the visual arts, Transformer connects and promotes emerging visual artists within regional, national and international contexts through innovative exhibition and programs partnerships with a broad & diverse range of individual and organizational partners.

t r a n s f o r m e r’s   2021/22 Exhibition Series and programs are supported by: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The CrossCurrents Foundation, The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities/NEA, The Robert Lehman Foundation, The Sachiko Kuno Foundation, Arts Forward Fund, Logan Circle Main Street Association, and Transformer’s Visionary Leaders Circle – a growing group of individual donors & corporate sponsors.

Click here to view and buy the work.

Monday Nov 5 2018