Sunday 5 June 2011

Tracking My Movements

Went to Eco Lab & Big Medium last night. 1st art openings of Austin since arrival in town. I had been counting the days since arrival, using a sketch I dated as occasional reference when I forget.

But I've let somebody borrow the sketchbook to collaborate with me. So I'm guessing I'm on day 42. Fun facts. That could be false.

Neighborhood drives. Neighborhood art experience. Texas unstained picket fences around big picnic yards. A barn. With the white walled space inside. I'm suddenly reminded of Houston & Rothko Chapel. The Menil. Set in a neighborhood environment. Eco Lab is, too. Playing new Cold Cave on the way there and not really liking it. Put on long black pants for some reason. Eco Lab is a hot box. I decided I wouldn't write about any of the work in this place.

But I knew I wanted to.

Heard about Big Medium around the corner.

Jamie Panzer

At the end of a long dark driveway, past docks and roll-up garage doors. Entrances to curtained off studio spaces. Another wood fence, half open, comes into a back concrete patio area. Big warm light coming out of a big ol' garage entrance. White walls. Sculptures and wriggling colorful things. Photography. Tiny things on the walls. Various corners to examine. Is a burst of color. Purity and primary in an almost carnivalesque way. Fun things to go and experience.

At my feet are giant replications of what appear to be Jacks, made from bowling balls mounted to vase turned column posts w heavy chrome gold veneer. Sturdy funny things. There are a few of these about. Strange and fun and impossible to play with.

To the left in a corner are more things. Find myself wanting to attach associations with others with regards to meaning and intent and end up floating on a child-like surface.
Sitting on a squat bench plinth-ized thing is another thing. "Mother Hen". A blatantly fake uniform grey tree branch, in the shape of a shambling alien bug. A headless stripped bare rib cage of a creature, almost creepy but too funny to be so. It's various angled branch tips end with grey human fingertips. Perfectly ending. And beginning where it starts to feel. Organic blends with organic, the human kind suggesting supposed controlled logic and expectation, tho. This set of branches appears to coddle and protect little plastic rings beneath it, stacks of colorful toy parts that remind me of avoiding the noid from domino's pizza in the 80's. Silliness that can't be because of some unspecified heavy undertone, but ultimately disarms with it.

Mounted on the wall near Mother Hen is a little device operating a slow turning roll of camera film . Loaded to a mechanism that almost imperceptibly scrolls the negatives of clouds past a little light bulb. The entire gadget, titled "Invention", is awkward stained wooden parts, mounted and held together with nails and thumbtacks. Examination of nature and the clunkiness (uncontrolled/randomness) built into our bodies. Our intentions. With a sense of self being the most important thing in experience and discovery.

Photography, a series behind glass and pixilated grey scale wheat paste. Beautiful images of clouds becoming cubes inna man vs. nature/ logic vs. emotion timeless tumble.Water and fire get the same treatment. In another area, paper prints of atomic mushroom clouds stacked on themselves to heaven, glued to the wall. I am become death and I am become death becomes it's turtles all the way down. or up . to death. without a God. But funny about it.

Panzer enjoys interacting with his audience. A box with paper and pencil asks for donations and suggestions. A fresh tomato sits on the box's corner, maybe an allusion to throwing tomatoes at bad theater performances. Two slots for either type submission lead to the same place - of course. Panzer stalks the opening with a bullhorn, at random blurting thoughts to those hanging around.
I was invited to "use the horn". The piece, titled "Horn" - for what reason I'm not sure, was a horn from some unfortunate animal with a handle added. it sits on a tiny shelf. The artist photographs you interpreting yr consideration of and way of "using it" with a friendly almost hidden smirk.

Meaninglessness is a loaded thing. Reminding one of simple pleasures seemed to be what came from this experience. Odd colored objects twisted from human anatomy mounted high and low. Little tiny ledges jut from the walls in places. On examination, these tiny ledges suggest craggy mountainous plains, aerial jetties like weeds in a gallery. They have little people meandering about on them. Tiny people that require leaning in real close to almost make out. They're just people. I wanted them to be toy soldiers from a distance. But no. They were just people. Looking around.

Erlenmeyer flasks full of what can't be Kool-Aid but sure looks like Kool-Aid. Or maybe the yum juices from freezer pops. Or water with food coloring. But it isn't. It's important studies. Processes are taking place in these flasks, to be certain. Classic fun with contradictions, served up light. We've walked into a scientist's lab. And if he came around the corner he would probably resemble a living cartoon.

There's more things hiding about in Jamie Panzer's show, "you see...thing is..." Even though I spent time, wandering in and out and around and back in, doing the re-approach, I bet I still missed some things.


  1. Eggtooth,

    It was good talking to you in the sleepy dark of Big Medium's driveway. Nice blog about Panzer's work.

    Katherine from L.A.

  2. hey wow thanks for reading. was good talking. let's go art hoppin' sometime.



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