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90 Carlton Street, Athens, GA 30602
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“Tell Me Everything” features artist Richard Prince’s most recent suite of works based on the joke archives of influential 20th-century American comedian Milton Berle (1913-2000). Berle, whose career lasted more than eight decades, often documented jokes on index cards, which he organized by subject in file drawers. Prince, an avid book and rare manuscript collector, bought four cabinets of thousands of Berle’s jokes at a Los Angeles auction. Although viewers are not privy to individual jokes, the enlarged inkjet images developed from this archive reference the centrality and lasting significance of jokes in communicating ideas about everyday life, taboo subjects and broader cultural norms.

During the 1980s, Prince began reappropriating old jokes in his work, utilizing handwritten jokes and later creating large monochromatic canvases with silkscreens of individual jokes on the surface. The title of the exhibition was inspired by the first joke he came across in a secondhand bookshop: “I went to see a psychiatrist. He said, ‘Tell me everything.’ I did, and now he's doing my act."

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  • Charles DiGiacomo

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