Wednesday 1 July 2009


(provisional criticism in the spirit of provisional painting)

THE STRAND Manipulated Imagery & Installations
by Karen Hennessee

Aged and quiet,calcified in a constant transitory state of purity. Time changes and yet everything remains,withering and fragile. Brushed white and bleached by the sun,the salt,and sand. Inner dialogue and memories wash across each other. The wind off the water is endless and its empty persistence is both wonderful and without at the same time. It leaves us in a place. The very presence of the ocean and its sounds. There are stories.

This installation's manipulated imagery is a piece of a beautiful sea shell sticking out of the wet sand. It is waiting to be discovered for its state of completion. As a person experiencing it, we become the wholeness of it.
Sometimes it is morning and there's nobody around. Weathered careful hands seem to be wisely and carefully behind the scene. Or someone adept in
mimicking this patient kind of crafting. The kind that seems to only come from a time that is now lost. The same stillness and narrative quality of some of Andrew Wyeth's work floats on the air and in the light coming off of the objects. It makes an effort to purposefully pay homage to what has become traditional oceanic collectibles and memorabilia. They create a mood. They demand also that they are simply objects. Representations reminiscent of the real thing,a reminder of what it is like to take a keepsake,to make a memory. Transplanting a real moment and carrying it altered and sacred forever.

A Photograph embedded with a fragment of shell. A certain reality collides with an ideal. Images that have begun to fade,scratched and tattered and hanging as if exposed to the elements.
Innocence also is shifted into this. In the suggestions of stories and shared experience there is an intense sense of isolation to this installation. Alone with your own time,you can pay attention to the details. Nature has its relationships with us and between us.Just like us. Lost in it and disregarding the passing of days or years. The environment and its ceaseless sounds are never ending. A patina that only can be made in dried white scrapes of salty air consumes this place. It is both a faux finish with a deliberation that is reflexive, while also being something that comes out into our space and into another layer of consideration.

Perhaps these words belong in one of the empty envelopes. Maybe in their hollow shell sound they are symbolic of the empty envelope. Rather than wanting to fill it,they become a desperate lost vessel. A discarded misunderstood golden spiral that once housed something spineless. Entering this show,this cycle with your thoughts,it finds a rhythm. That constant comforting sound. It finds you and your part in the rouxteen.

(The temptation to type curse words here is strong. I have no idea why my image insists on posting sideways. I must have turned 90 degrees and saved the thing 6 times now. It appears the correct way when selected. Having closed and reopened windows repeatedly,I am at a loss.
I kinda like it,tho. Now that I think about it-it just reinforces the clunky approachable characterisitc to this whole mess.It truly carries that "provisional" voice forward. Except for maybe not now that I've explained it to you. Unless of course explaining it is just an extension of it. Which it isn't. I will be honest.

Believe me,I necessarily apply previous knowledge to grand observations & presumptions just go with that. The entire framework we exist in grasps for pathetic straws. I am stil demanding and telling. Just not how you are used to. So catch up. As far as if you go to see Karen's show...truth be told, I don't care. This was about me.)


  1. I'd sooner die than leave that image sideways. There's no excuse for it. If it stays means something.

  2. So I went and looked at Cathy Fox's and Pere ubruhuh's atlartcritic blog thing again today. I actually do respect her and it.

    It's times like these when I realize the fundamental politics at the core of positioning a perspective. There is a reason why I remain unclean and is purposeful. But i just have to wonder....the loop of it all-it keeps me doing it for myself,but dammit. I am sharing with and finding minds.
    There is much being deliberately done. I feel that what i will generally call "Cathy's position" serves a necessary stance to become relative to. It must be empowered,because the way i see it,right now it is simply trying to project an ideal to a supposed readership-just like anyone else. It is not responding to a need so much as it is trying to create one by reassuring certain people that a certain environment of cultural standing does in fact exist. In prayer of building on that cloud.
    I wish it would work. But it never has and never will.Isnt the def. of stupid something like doing the same thing over and over,while expecting a different result? Many gallery owners will be damned to admit this. But they will confess to a lack of sales....('s advertising's fault..uh huh..whatever.)
    Sometimes I feel this city has nothing but two extremes: stuffy crackers and tattooed hipster kids. I know that glosses over and generalizes.
    There ARE other potential voices's that could connect with a living vital nerve and scream from real life for this city. Other cultures. Voices. But it just seems everybody-and suprisingly in the most abhorrent fashion from the most deprived,the most hurting- is an obvious shallow namebranding intent on enslaving themselves to a certain ideal,often a marketing ideal -an ideal set up and systemized by an oppressive dead automated poweful machine of... stuffy crackers- one that can't exist as anything but an empty gesture anyways..not without the truth being told first! With art!!!
    Who is going to say it? Do it? I really think it needs to leave the galleries and come into daily life would still have to call itself "art". but it would be a breath removed from real life. The other place is the other extreme. The internet. It needs to be using its freedom as well.
    today's truly relevant art is obscured by its own needs to itself.isnt it? it's forced into not showing its hand.

    I'm truly stunned and saddened by how often this city seems like a giant insolent quasi-sentient tarbaby. it also make sit perfect for great things to happen. It has no air about it of high culture,not really. It tries should stop trying and willfully not be that way.
    so i change my mind.
    i dislike the fox blog.



If you think you think you should heed the warning of your mother and sister and not risk uncertain sorcery,turn to page 25


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