Sunday 14 February 2010
I went to Lenox Mall. Mostly because of all the poop-talk on Burnaway & Artlanta ( art blogs covering the atlanta art scene) that I did in their comments section. In fact, like this Flux Bloom thing at Lenox Mall-I should have just remained in my leaving them alone realm. Well- I should leave Burnaway alone-not Artlanta. Artlanta represents freedom. Really, quite frankly, here lately I'm starting to feel like I don't have anything left to do but actually splinter off from everything. Freedom. To actually purify my perspective. Write from there. I suspect the directness and will to call it like I see it would sharpen dramatically. It would be an interesting phase of research for the character.
Maybe, instead of art galleries, I will start hanging out in malls. I will display care and desire for expensive decorative things, from a place that is at least more direct about doing just that.
I have no use for Lenox Mall. I don't recall going there since probably the early 90's. It's a mall. I know what is in there. Oh wait. No. In 1999, when I was concerned with fashion, I purchased those Buddy Holly Giorgio Armani frames in, I think it was a store called Specteca. My goodness.
Let's try again: Today at Lenox Mall.
The Bloom Dance thing was about what I expected it would be. What kept recurring,tho, as I looked around, I couldn't help but realize that I wouldn't normally find myself here.
It has been many years since I had any regular use for malls. Was this... artistic missionary work? Was it trying to deliver a message to those it felt needed to hear? Or was it simply booked there because they knew the trick would momentarily dazzle the herd, while presenting a safe friendly empty gesture? Or... do the organizers simply not "get it"?
The message claimed behind the performance, but not necessarily overt in the thing itself- seemed to think there were people to be reached and that their message would not only reach them,but be interpreted as they intended. It wanted to claim it was being confrontational to the materiality of the environment. It was not.(one of the dancers blatantly wore nike swooshers and theres even a publicity shot over on one of the other blogs prominently displaying the same shoe swoosh,huge and glowing-coincidence? we'll never know) In reality, it was very playful and seemed appropriate for the holiday weekend entertainment in the mall. (I am all ready seeing other write-ups and the self-fulfilling writing and creating of the myth of this silly ineffectual gesture--and id be supportive were the need for the reality of it not so desperate-)
This mall-is this a broad audience?A new platform? I'd say the platform,if one was attempted to be created-was overcome by the pre-existing expectations of the mall environment. There were a variety of types of people there, of course, but I challenge that a common denominator in the desire to be there at all blurs that variety and bonds them. If I wanted to be snarky and blithe-I'd say the adhesive relied mostly on work invested by television commercials and magazine covers .
Did this dance performance challenge? Did it bring something new and unexpected - or "foster an awareness of the richness and diversity of the city's creative culture"? I don't really feel like it did. It felt like it seemed as though it belonged there on some fundamental level. It had the attitude of importance in much the same way a girl in a clothing store would.
It is really unfortunate. I understand the intent and am supportive. I simply feel that, in order to actually culturally stir things up-art is going to have to reach into that deeper more confrontational reservoir. This age moves fast. It's collective memory has seen a great deal and requires more. Reaching into the reservoir that is more direct and unedited, realizing how pure the message needs to be. To actually make change, that is. To not be just some happy gesture. It not only has to say direct things it has to be direct about it....that seems so obvious.
The confrontation is a natural by-product of remaining focused on what needs to be done. Just as MLK would have realized, I suspect. Civil Disobedience comes to mind. The cultural state of this city is sedated and requires dissolving of existing cinder block thick bonding agents. Phony dividers fabricated from sick shallow materialistic senses of the self keep us apart. They connect us and keep us at arms length. Events like this actually reinforce this glue. Keeping us apart and capable of being herded..into malls.
Today in realtime shared space and the internet- utilize an awareness of the information traveling- on the very same wires,in the very same air used to share/create with, how it is shared with life itself-the art experience-the act of observing is so immediate,the effect is blended with the cause in an instant-exposed and raw. Unedited and powerful. Not simply a Happy Valentines Day surprise treat.
I did produce and fund my own mall art show, not too many posts back it was recorded. Displayed in the much more low-key or low-rent mall-North Dekalb Mall,the show lasted about 24 hours. I'm sure you all recall it..the one where Eggtooth channeled the spirit of the recently deceased King of Pop, Michael Jackson? And in doing so, found Michael's main wish was to use crayons,like a child, and draw doggies-like a child? Well, that's what Michael did. And I showed them (and gave them away by leaving them displayed) to visitors of North Dekalb Mall. Those were the days. Empty weird crude and naive gifts. Perhaps it fostered an awareness of the richness and diversity of the city's creative culture.
Today, at Lenox Mall, I watched mall patrons watch these dancers- a dance troupe whose name I forget- establish a central square point in the mall, string musician in chair with security guard,convenient to the Giant Starbucks Island-it was happenin'. The dancers worked their way outwards from here, about a dozen of them. Mostly female wearing what appeared to be deliberately sort of stylish-dingy black and white, they were reminiscent of mimes in moments. An accordianist followed,as did Louis Corrigan(founder of Flux and funding this event) with a child-like smile, as he giddily kept pace with his camera.
Mall patrons had the reaction one might expect. About half seemed oblivious, discussing happiness or concern in the purchase they found as they zipped through,maybe passing a quick curious glance and moving on. Others enjoyed mocking what they had just seen by displaying their version of the dance movements observed. I found myself watching reactions as much as the dancers themselves. Many seemed bemused and disengaged. Or on the verge of laughing. Some simply did laugh as they moved on. And yes some enjoyed it and took pictures with their phones. It made me wonder what it would be like were this not billed a big one-time special deal, but a usual part of our culture-a regular part of life. No need for selling it as this highly emotionally physically charged whatever, no need for blaring within the mall the expected gushing musical scores.
I saw one couple, a freaky rat's nest haired weirdo and her boyfriend in distressed expensive hipness with tatt sleeves. They were inspired to dance on their own as they exited the scene of the event. This amused other mall patrons just as much if not more than the Bloomers. Seeing that it had inspired others to dance was actually kind of nice. I sensed part of the desire was in the mockery,like talking back to a movie in a crowded theater, testing one's base comedic/charismatic sass-ability with strangers. It was a playing with the circumstance, a chance to express one's self in the most immediate convenient way.
But the thing itself. It is not what I think of when I think of the Flux Mission statement-which i will now post right here:
Flux Projects supports artists in creating innovative
temporary public art throughout Atlanta. The organization
produces new platforms for artistic experimentation that
engage a broad audience in their daily lives, beyond the
walls of traditional arts venues. We challenge artists to
make exceptional, surprising work that inspires Atlanta
and fosters an awareness of the richness and diversity
of the city's creative culture.
It hurts to read that because on a generalized level it is inspiring. I can tell they realize what they are dealing with in this particular city. The diagnosis is on-its just the treatment. it gave them what they wanted. or rather,simply didn't strive to mark deep enough. I cant help but feel the words "innocuous" and "congruent" somehow belong in the mission statement.
Going beyond the walls of traditional art venues-the appropriation of this idea by this organization: In much the same way that detournement is a part of the language of modern advertising, in as much as this idea of "lowbrow art" is no longer coming from a sub-culture or counter-culture. It's concern are still ultimately with playing the game right.
Did it foster an awareness of the richness and diversity of our city's creative culture? People seemed pretty accepting of its occurrence.I listened and even conversed with a few people about it. I saw and heard reactions. Some did seem curious about why-they saw others watching and wondered what they watched-but to go so far as to make a connection with anything beyond assuming a mall sponsored holiday event and into something, in theory bigger,like a city's creative culture...no. No way.
It is like in the movie poltergeist where we realize the headstones have been moved- but not the bodies. We look at headstones and deny that we know the bodies are not there. To do so is crude and snarky, I suppose. A vulgar inappropriate thing.
Why do we pretend the surface is all that is needed? Yes...digging up a body is (figuratively and literally)probably scary,dirty, ugly- work. Realizing how far we have to go back and within to confront fundamental truths about ourselves-and work forward from there. It doesn't require committees and permission, resulting in the compromise of six different feet dug, one foot spread across the surface in 6 places, going only so shallow and gestural. It digs straight down in one focused pure spot. Directly to the goal. By itself.
Which is what I intend to do. Dig my own grave. By myself. Screw all of this. It's useless.
Wednesday 10 February 2010
i wrote too much and decided it was pointless and presumptuous.(like art?)
i will take a swag,knowing full well this one has ancient and modern writing elaborate and beyond me ripping this topic inside n out---but yr words jess:"no one involved with any show ought to read any more into any review other than it being the documentation of one person’s experience."
to be honest,my whole sharing and hanging out comment had a double edge.was being sassy. in terms of cultural exploration (evolution?)(or the desire to command a dollar value)---oh oof.where's ciliberto, i hear him around the corner)--this whole presumption about bringing into public to show to others anything has an expectation. it has the idea of expectation...not seeking to define that specifically,just drawing attention to the desire to make marks. to prognosticate or be relevant to now.indicate awareness and building from there. that desire's existence is undeniable... Reasons are endless...but the very act of taking it into public-or environments that suggest "this is a place/place comes to this/you are now/now you are- art and/or experiencing ART".
for instance, i try (and fail)-because i care about the individual and not the artist they are?) to consistently measure an expectation from art in atlanta against this idea stemming from what i def. know is my intentions. the individuality in it goes for navel-gazing oblivious rotten self-absorbed broke- and why shldnt it? if im going to do it-do it.curiously, its source is to try to actually realize there's nothing to lose and it's because i care about... everyone..the "doing it for yrself" thing is like saying something cheesy like falling in love happens when someone sees you as you see yrself..(wipes vomit from side of face here)
/not like i have an obligation to an expectation tied to trad expectations of clean editing and nice frames and non-reflective glass/ coherent/ cohesive 3fbiwerfgberigrei..do i? do i? not like i write for the loaf or ajc or some by-product of it trying to adapt to the times- this desire to be concerned about the business aspect of art,quite frankly. it's art first. how pure can that be? am i malleable and definable by the direction of the wind...blurred edges to the point of not existing. id hope my "agenda" was generalized by not to the point of not existing-but also not hyperspecific..im more interested in how themes are handled, i guess.
both idealism and our track record reflect a need for an address of art on its core terms. meaning-stripped bare and fuzzy and bright,pungent...speaking of pungent,heres a good example of something but i dont know what: old whatshisface over at solomon projects: okay-i confess to the work not engaging me in the slightest.id go so far as to say it bored me and even made me chuckle as i at once deeply respect when a postcard sized architectural doodle titled, i believe it was "barn" and has a context that escapes me, and requests what i consider an odd value in order to own it physically. but i sense a goodness to it...i cld research (curious how research itself is that act of becoming something you presently arentz) ...malevich,suprematism,case study houses.eames favorite chair i dunno the jongno tower or cctv -it still prolly wldnt engage me. but ya know ...my gut still tells me something important was in there somewhere...and it could have been brought to light for good reason.
and it wld be asking people involved to read more into it than they are(if they arent)
isnt part of sharing/creating putting ourselves exposed to situations and experiences alien to us?
i wanna research whittington. i guess. boy does kibbee stink,tho.crikey..they consistently make me feel like im covered in aspartame)
hey yall that r still reading...in the willingness to just..do this here now is my hand i show.(hi jess.) theres art to even this phase/being as an individual in public, meeting... ahem-friends who also make art, too. knowing how to harmonize/make dynamic-leave in or out,manipulate and use others by pretending to be oh so risky when in reality yr careful and.., oh did i say that out loud? (and yeah uh huuh..riiiight...the word COOL no longer exists. or genius. or TALENT. or uugh. funny how much i hate politics and yet i really love/obsess it on a removed spectator abstract level-- oh another word: Valuable....i mean, we care and share and hang out with others...the ends justify the means and dammit..what are those ends again? lies tellin' truths anyways,right?important work positioned with importance by someone- whose word is... respected?-not this "might interest you". life before art.. it has to be.
but atl--yes...i wanna see stuff that is so raw its like a zit in yr armpit, popped and photographed -taken under one of those lights in a department store dressing room.at lenox.on a bloated pale day. more bloated and pale than usual, while holding a picture of yr first pet. gross. i was going for a description of immediate genuine honesty.
sorry- i was just hangin out sharing. i dont trust anyone- especially myself. but its fun to halt all the whirling internal chambers every now and then and fire passionately and as hard as i can.recall doing it 2wice from random angles on a whitespace show..beauty of the internet..love effing with its (my sense of self i mean) boundaries on a bare bones blunt instrument level.
love escaping from daily grind. using intuition ...and learn stuff that i cant- and in falling short create something.
Friday 5 February 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Charged spiritual particles so subtle. Imagine elaborate narratives sung by a choir of albino castrato,the metal gristle dangles and jingles in some alien history book. They wear these items one might imagine. Masks and silver louvres for trapping gasoline fumes. Gills and tails wiggle,made of aluminum and bone. A culture vulgar and pure and ridiculous. These objects are actually from our own. Made real and quietly asking nothing now. It is here on earth, like a rotting spore-ridden black and white archive, spread sheet-thin over a tattooed sacrificial alter-it is wrapped in itself and its history. Brought to now for display.
Using randomly chosen symbols or gifts of chance, letters chosen by higher powers, they are designed and found together by a channel. A body with an openness to bringing both new meaning and revitalizing a golem's wish for the old. Old meanings are often reinforced by realizations, usually circling back to a fear of death. Bound to this earth through sarcasm and wisdom,research becomes a weakness. Just listening to the self is the path. Intuition deadheads an auto mechanic's morphed perversions, and curves fluid feelings through their abandoned usefulness. Made new and rediscovered. They never left us, only took on new faces. New ways of becoming. New ways of being worshipped.
Made of rusty flesh, the evening's kiss is delicious and ripe with found and lost moments. To the lecherous underworld and its pantheon of textual flavors,they (being Ayed's ingredients) couldn't and don't try to hold the waning candle's maudlin subtext. They hold their own. They blindly grab seven letter words (like quixotic)-thats 8-okay- in one go. They smile and live.
The deliberation of this man's perambulations and fingered gravel gatherings is washed up with beautiful everyday ossification's-Ayed Hallim-his exacting tendencies examine the spiritual and the new truth in metals exposed to elements. Structures razed and nurtured at once, they deteriorate and become parts for analysis. Parts of a pattern. Parts of man-made engineering, freed and undead from a fertile disease related to the act of breathing and praying. A healthy rejuvenation serves as a beacon to specify reason.
This almost is not art. It is more of a museum of relics. Stories fabricated to mimic either lies that soldify or completely make gooey and edible an honest connection to why we're here and where we go after we die. It is about the charade and the persona,the gestalt or the thermodynamics of sharing creation.
Scattered fragments of charged energy are collected at Eyedrum in the small gallery. Remnants of another's past, imbibed with lilting and flowering memories, layered by a delicate and strange brain. Ayed Hallim is a menagerie. Within his kingdom is a reversal of organic milking wealth. A raised goblet or chalice (or book written by that discworld guy) overflowing with lightweight fonts, loaded with detached meaning. Recontextualized and silent, the parts have age and intrigue.
Under a glass case and scattered all about, thoughts and secrets are like disembodied puppy noses.
Danielle Roney observed (this isn't a quote) in conversation one time, on a night as un-rainy as this one, "flat readings" of art have a certain i dont know what. Research and conversation with artists are lodestones of ubiquitous tectonic layering(my words).
All consuming and more involved as conversations develop, going into history, the inclusion of the found object and the collage behaviour of awareness, it is set inside of intentions. It gives words to themselves and back to us. We piece them together. Singing metal gives everybody from Hephaestus to the Rougarou a lesson in the origin of the tango. History supports certain thoughts. Washed up brake pads vaguely connected by the softer semi-circular recyclable and generative bone developing crumb trail. Red plastic chokers,mothers of new iron teats to trod upon and ponder.
We keep digging into artists' skulls and into local art blogs for boredom and for pleasure. We find ourselves caught in an unproductive cycle of having to nod to what is wrong. The fundamental approach sees direct paths to honesty and denies it as a medium for either being art or reporting art. Or both. We compartmentalize and age and replace dysfunction with gestures. The coils that once carried oils,the gears that once operated like bumble bee wings in another ecology, they scatter and become lost and singular entities. Hallim's pieces have meaning that expand if held or isolated. with consideration-not closed off minds. Interact with its history, its forgotten community. Imagine how it functioned as a mark within a bigger piece.
Often meaning reflects against nothing and wilts. Meetings form to examine the parts with smiles, manufacturing ridiculous frankengetrudestein-ian dolls- that fall apart as they perform perfectly. The system can only continue, as it means well..and in being so avoids the criticism it needs. The new vantage made real by an artist's hands.
Fear is in how far back in intent one must go to examine and start over. Parts placed together, reassembled and crying out, they show their experience with their textured amber patina. The search for signs of ourselves in relation to others only stares at itself.
For meaning, the shortest distance between two points is in honesty, regardless of its wisdom. Unaware and taken and made perfect in an awkward dynamics that grows with time. Keep working under deadlines until yr dead and have bypassed meaning in places where it was offered. Parts rust and fall off to be found by another. Perhaps a month from now or twenty years-it would be just as refreshed and throbbing. The ends do not justify the means.
The hope is in what freak finds the parts and if he can get past that dorky watchful eye of the machine.
The Gods of Ayed Hallim's world: Note the sound reverberating within. Release an individual moment and approach with a specific vision.Tiresias bleeds mercury as the caution attended to this rebuilt orchestra. The markings sing,sometimes in a rough guttural voice. It plays when you are not looking and serves as a conduit for the act of assemblage and examination. However time shifts and regurgitates,we come back. In some cases by the deliberate will of one of our own. Ayed Halim isn't legion. He is not a shaman. A mystery of an idea, a front made of realisms for connection between the man behind it and those before him.
Ayed Hallim's Instrumentalities is on display at Eyedrum through February 21st
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
If you think you think you should heed the warning of your mother and sister and not risk uncertain sorcery,turn to page 25
- ▼ 2010 (57)