Preview: Love Like a Devil’s Handshake

Four artists collaborate on a one-night-only event in the studio courtyard of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center


On Saturday, artists Jonathan Bouknight, Brian Hitselberger, Kirsten Mitchell, and The Back Pockets will present a one-night only interactive and collaborative event, Love Like a Devil’s Handshake. Curator Bouknight will contribute video installations, Hitselberger will exhibit drawings and books, Kirstin Mitchell will perform at 8 pm, and The Back Pockets will perform at 10 pm.

A statement from the artists describes an unusual engagement with the audience, “Openly exploring the relationship between artist and audience, the title Love Like a Devil’s Handshake sets the tone for a potentially dangerous interaction — a deal-making of sorts, between artist, object and observer. In Jiujitsu, a devil’s handshake is an offensive movement involving the extending of a hand in false greeting, followed the sudden manipulation of the arm into a “come along,” a position of total control. Painful to the victim, a devil’s handshake betrays seemingly friendly intentions, and offers no clear exit strategy. The artists featured in Love Like a Devil’s Handshake operate in a manner more or less in line with these objectives: conscious of their being looked at, the works comprising this exhibition alternately seize, seduce, disarm and disorient a viewer, operating under the aesthetic premise of a handshake.”

It’s hard to say exactly what to expect from the event, but that seems to be part of the vision. In any case, it is the first performance in Atlanta from Mitchell, known to some as Kiki Blood, in a long while. Catch a taste of the exhibition and more details after the jump.