Saturday, September 7, 2013

New shows are must sees!!

Hoard Couture #26

WOW!!  Okay, I’m done. That should suffice to be a blog about a couple of shows I viewed last night. 

Before I elaborate on them however, I want to say how much I have missed so many of you. Being out of the loop for so long made me realize just how much my “art” friends mean to me, even if we are not the buddy up to the bar type of buddies. Now that life may have settled down…………………..

Sorry, I was off finding a big piece of wood to knock on… perhaps I can find the time to see what you all have been up to. Judging by the offerings at First Friday, evidently you all have been very busy.

First up is the First Stop at the CMA. Judi Longacre did it again by putting together a group of local favorites that offered push pin pieces at hard to beat prices.  I hope people were thinking ahead to Christmas (after all is past Labor Day and the wrapping paper is starting to appear in the stores!).

Not to be missed is the packaged traveling show “Environmental Impact” in the main galleries of the CMA. A limited engagement through Oct 31st is worth the time to view the art and read the statements or stories that go along with them. Think the underbelly of National Geographic. Sad to realize that such beauty can be found in such tragic situations. Often we read or hear about the affects of pollution, overpopulation, and urban sprawl, but to “see” the impact through an artist’s eye offers a perspective that goes beyond mental. The shame of what we are doing to our planet becomes visceral. Using the trash itself to make art as in the polar bear sculptures right inside the door, is pure artistic irony. Hey world, you give us garbage and we will make something positive from it whether you like it or not.  My overall thought was that I am tired of this, which I meant in the sense that rubber tires seem to be everywhere in this show. Our very own rhino in the arts district should be added to this exhibition and sent packing for awhile so others can see what can be done with such castoffs.

We stopped by Saxton Gallery and Journey Art Gallery.  The JAG team was meet’n and greet’n a constant flow of people once one gets past the arterial clog of 4th and Cleveland N.  Their location on the bright and open corner of 4th and Cleveland S is ideal for showcasing the variety of pieces offered. Less local and more regionally oriented, it will be a good resource for those who do not venture out of the area to collect.

Do not miss the current show at Translations, Ludlow Prep 1929, a collaboration between Craig Joseph and Clair Murray Adams. The Ticket did a good job explaining the premise so I will not elaborate on the how this installation was created or the why it was done. WHAT was done is far more worth my limited space. I would not be surprised to find that the gallery is haunted during the month of September. All those mementoes hidden inside the desks must surely contain a spirit or two. Claire did a spectacular job making visual what Craig illustrated through words.  One must be willing to take the time to read and become a voyeur of sorts to the lives behind some long forgotten faces in a discarded old school photo.  In a way, the premise is a bit creepy because we like to think of ourselves as being respectful of the “dead”. Poor Craig had to keep telling people it was okay to sit in the desk chairs and become one with the soul whose name was on the back. It is when one pulls out the seat and realizes a sepia toned photo of the real person is still sitting there, that an uncomfortable feeling takes hold. Granted, the names and places have been changed (or in this case made up) to create a narrative of lives lived, entwined and immortalized.  A copy of the text for each desk is available should one not want to try and read the ones on the desks themselves, which for those who forgot their readers, may be necessary. I asked for a copy to be emailed to me so I can take my time later and enjoy the stories.

Inside each desk are the bits and pieces of someone’s life who once sat in that chair as envisoned by Claire. Such a display makes one think about what we are leaving behind, which dovetailed right back to the show at the CMA and to thoughts of my own Hoard Couture project. Looking at baby shoes, faded photos and costume jewelry is moving in a way that one does not want to really confront.  I applaud Claire’s attention to detail and her method of weaving together a personality inside a box. Finding melted candles lets one know that she did not just plop the stuff inside the desk, she had to assemble it with intent, which is her signature style.  Our own habitual behaviors happen on top of the desks. Every person held on to the glass sculpture on top of one of the desks before lifting the lid. Yes, it was glued to the surface, but we instinctively take hold so it won’t fall off. Do we automatically make assumptions about people the same way?

The teacher’s desk is a delight to explore unto itself because of the subtle humor found in its contents. Any former or current teacher will relate.  How simple times were back then, or so we thought. Cute little girls with chopped off hair in their frilly white dresses or bored looking boys in britches and bow ties…the game of life was never so much fun.

Approach this show as if Stephen King, Alfred Hitchcock and Louise Nevelson decided to have a threesome.  If you happen to hear the theme of the Twilight Zone playing somewhere in the background of your brain, all the better, but don’t be one bit surprised to find that a chair or two may just scoot out on its own accord as the occupant unseen decides to cut class.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back. It was wonderful to see you and Michael at the new gallery last night. You've been missed.