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an end to sleep
Forget Nightmare on Elm Street. This year the nightmare has come to Cady’s Alley. Hidden in plain sight from most Georgetowngoers and residents, von ammon co. has transformed from a stark art gallery into a terrifying, and terrifyingly campy, mini-golf course inspired by the Freddy franchise. While this is not the Detroit-based multimedia artist Tony Hope’s first showing at von ammon co., it is his first solo exhibit. Combining Hope’s classical training (he holds an MFA from Yale) and professional work (he was a scenographic artist for the Insane Clown Posse), an end to sleep follows the artist’s trajectory of drawing inspiration from sites of suburban family gatherings while simultaneously exploring the trauma, melancholy, and longing of the ’burbs. It plays on the campiness of the franchise as well as Nightmare’s dark subject matter—a murdered child-killer who hunts basically parentless teens in their dreams. But Hope also uses the exhibit to examine American youth, capitalism, and the concept of “reawakening.” The six-hole Putt-Putt course is playable with golf balls and clubs available at the door. Each hole is a hyperrealist structure depicting a defining scene from the first five films (there are seven total, counting 1994’s New Nightmare and ignoring the 2010 remake), as well as a true-to-“life” depiction of the dream-stalking, teen-killing, burned boogeyman, Krueger himself. Lit entirely by blacklight with darkwave playing over the speakers, Hope’s exhibition feels like an off-kilter mini-golf course, one you might find in an old-school shopping mall, and the perfect setting for a ’80s-inspired scary movie. This exhibit would win over horror lovers anytime of the year, but it’s especially alluring during the month when we gleefully embrace all things frightening. If you haven’t revisited the franchise recently, trust me, you’ll want to after this. As Taryn says, “Okay asshole, let’s dance.”
an end to sleep runs through Oct. 31 at von ammon co, 3330 Cady’s Alley NW. Open until midnight on Halloween. vonammon.co. Free.