For Theirs is an Empire of Memory opened this weekend, amid the noise and wonderful chaos that accompanies any large scale art project. The first event (the opening) was a success but is only a taste of the fabulous fabulist happenings to come…
This show marked the ‘finish line’ of what turned out to be a gauntlet of deadlines and projects. Two shows have opened at Open Door. I’m still a member of the Postcard Collective. Both the workshop and the minimarathon happened without me messing myself. Other than a few small-works shows, the pieces of which are already done (or, ahem, drying as we speak), I’m essentially done for now. Saturday and Sunday I slept, napped, lounged, listened to books on tape, lazed, played in the dirt, ignored my inbox, roasted some vegetables and didn’t feel guilty in the slightest.
The opening also involved a performance piece in which, masked and essentially blind, I ignored the world and peeled paper off a wall. It was quite possibly the best way to spend an art show. The piece, the performance, the show- all of it brought to the surface many questions and answers and further avenues of exploration, but to be honest I am still processing a lot of it. And still tired. Let’s just all take a bit more time off to enjoy the holiday weekend and let things settle. I’ll be back next week with photos, plans and coherent thoughts. In the meantime, stay warm friends.
Received this gem in my inbox two days ago:
I’ve been thinking about the exchange for a while now. Originally, I figured if I just started working on postcards before finding out if I got in or not then at worst I’d have some new work made and at best, I’d avoid the frantic marathon sessions of last time.True to form I started today. In part, because I need to have some sort of definite deadline, and in part because I was doing a lot of thinking about this run of cards in the interim. Now that there is a definite deadline looming (along with a vacation the week before everything needs to be sent), it’s time for some making.
Planning on doing all new watercolors again. Still thinking about the process/concept. It’s all in there, just not in coherent language yet. I’ll let you know when it’s all reshuffled.
Again I say Huzzah!
Recently, at the gracious invitation of Jen G, I got to go to CMA to talk to Project Pivot; the coolest group of teens I’ve met (and so stylish! Maybe it’s because I’m from Indiana, and the 90’s but these kids looked awesome.) This was also the first time since college that anyone asked me to think about my artistic practice and turn it into something serious and coherent (which was eye-opening). The group’s working on social practice within art, something in which I have a large interest.
After a brief talk about how I became ‘a painter who doesn’t,’ they helped to create the Third public performance of what is now known as ‘The Letterbox Project.” (if you were near Broad Street around 2pm you might’ve seen it.) They. Were. Awesome.At one point I asked “What do you guys think it takes to become an artist?” Had you asked me that five years ago I probably would’ve said “Uh, graduate from art school? Go to grad school? Have someone buy my things?” These guys responded with answers like “passion.” “risk-taking” “keep working on your skills.” Rock. I can’t wait to hear what they decide to do for their project.
Also got to hear Kenay Kash speak, which was mind-blowing. I’ve known Kenay for a while through our mutual involvement with CMA, but I had no idea he designed the Metal Head connector in the Wonder Room. Or that he was a complete artistic badass. Be sure to check out his other site, too- Puntitler.
Apologies if updates have been sparse in number and in content. I was essentially useless last week due to the beginning of peak marathon training (coinciding with sudden “record breaking” heat) and a lack of sleep. Add to this the energy required to not get fired from my amazing new job and a trying family emergency and you get one useless person. I was even napping after work- Napping!
Fortunately, though, all things must pass- Been spending the weekend practically hibernating, the heat wave is breaking at this very moment (rain! huzzah!), and the family thing has been brought to an end that, when viewed unselfishly and objectively, is the best possible. Finally feeling like the me of seven days ago.*
Also been working on that drawing/performance collaboration that no one but me remembers (probably). As strange as it may sound coming from one who writes in first person narrative and makes largely autobiographical pieces, I hate being looked at, being the center of attention. My work? Fine, yes, totally. Look at it! Look! Just don’t look at me. With most of my work, there’s an object or image or words that can act as a buffer- tell the stories I want to tell while being detatched from myself. With performance, however, there’s immediacy. The audience is right. there.
With this drawing project, I knew almost from the beginning I didn’t want to do a big, elaborate ‘in a gallery with an audience’ type of performance.I admire the hell out of artists like Marina Abramovic, but Marina I’m not. Around the time of the Goodwill Project, I started to do a lot of thinking about performance as PERFORMANCE! vs. performance as ritual. Over the course of several conversations with artists who I’m lucky enough to know, including Hannah Barnes and Jen G., the idea of private performances came up. The idea of making things in general as a sort of meditative and ritualistic process is already a favorite theme of mine- even if the end product isn’t a tangible object, why couldn’t I keep working with this theme? Hannah in particular made a comment about ‘setting up an experience’- making public work (like the Goodwill Project) that invited participation which could be noticed or not. (sort of like Miranda July’s Eleven Heavy Pieces or Art Club’s shows).
So, over throughout September, I’ll be doing a series of five performances- each 1-5 minutes, each based on a 5 min. drawing from 5 artists I know that I’ve received over the course of a year. In keeping with the themes of impermanence, lack of control (on my part) collaboration, and the use of antiquated technology**, the performances will be executed with the help of 5 new artists met in the past year and documented with pinhole cameras.
This weekend I built a prototype and experimented with exposure times. Here’s a ‘best of’ (most of the rest are repeats of these images w/ slightly different exposures).
Also, I’m pretty sure using a matchbox to take photos is akin to magic. Definitely sure. I’m practically a wizard.
*Jeff Smith would say it was the rain.
**and in part because my A4 is in disrepair
About a week ago (alack!) I received the most recent installment in the Correspondence Campaign from Laura
This is actually a view of the front next to the view of the back. When you hold the card to the light you can see the images combined. Awesome. I think my favorite part about this card is that it can only exist as an object (postcard). If I were to frame it, I’d lose half the piece. I was thinking about this the other day- In my studio I have all the cards from L hung up on a line in order and it’s interesting to see the evolution of this process. As they’ve gone along they’ve become less individual images and more a story/conversation (which I suppose is the point of correspondence) and their being postcards (rather than paintings mailed in envelopes) has become more important.
The image itself is about perfectionism and an epic sunburn, which you can read more about on her site. I had an idea about cataloging my own body’s experience with summer (I’m pretty sure 75% of my blood now lies scattered amongst the Olentangy mosquito population) but didn’t think of it until too late. I could always document my burgeoning farmer’s/runner’s tan a la Travis Shaffer ,but that feels like too much of something already done. Hm. Will ponder….
Finally finished my next installment to Laura’s Correspondence Campaign!
When we first started the campaign there was no discussion about trying to make our postcards related, but it’s been eerie how connected Laura’s cards have been to my own ideas. Like Laura’s last card, I too wanted to try and just paint something. I’ve been having thought/doubts about my use of (reliance on??)minimal symbols and repetition. At the same time, though I wanted to create a context in which realism would be appropriate.
And speaking of appropriate context,