top of page

Private Dancer

Patrick Sarmiento

March 14 - April 7, 2024

Patrick Sarmiento (b. 1990) lives and works in New York. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Zak's (New York, NY), Camp Eternal Hell Chamber (Cobleskill, New York), Y2K Group, with Luke O'Halloran curated by Sara Blazej (New York, NY), and East Hampton Shed, with Chloe Seibert (East Hampton, NY). 

Ideally, you will never see the contours of a darkroom, both because it will mean you have stayed too late and because to do so would be to violate the laws of its fairytale cosmos.  You can have anything in the dark so long as you don’t switch on the light and try to make it stay. That is why there are so few real darkrooms left; they require a singularity of purpose not fit for our time. They are not really rooms but pits. 


During Flaubert’s obscenity trial, the prosecution pointed in particular to a scene from Madame Bovary wherein she instructs her coachman to drive her and her lover around, scandalously shutting the curtains while they ride. Of course there is nothing obscene about it. Once the curtain is drawn, Flaubert describes only the city streets and scenery, the various districts they pass in and out of on their lengthy journey. He is acquitted after one day. 


Nowadays instead of a darkroom, what you will get is a gay bar that every fourth Thursday or second Sunday throws a party whose theme is that it’s filthy and whose key feature is a temporary space cordoned off by temporary curtains in some back little corner where just the night before you may have been playing pool or stashing your coat. Only now it costs thirty dollars to put your coat there and the delicate felt surface of the pool table is wrapped up in tarpaulin. What they are after here is a resurrection and they’ve made the mistake of believing it was the stone in front of the tomb which made the body disappear. What they’ve achieved instead is something of a lesser miracle. The light is always on; it shines through the thin sliver between the curtains and the floor. Nothing need happen behind these curtains. Indeed, nothing has. 


– Kevin Champoux

bottom of page