Saturday, December 12, 2009

bau 60: Dec 12, 2009- Jan 3, 2010

bau is holding a reunion exhibit of most of the various member artists from the coop's 5 years.  
In the process of formulating my contribution to the show, my mind immediately tracked back to seeing the character of the space before it became bau.  Prior to our taking possession of the space, I photographed it through the storefront windows.  It was mess and the walls carried vestiges of previous lives as a record shop and as a bar.  Below are a few of those photos.  At the time I was intrigued by the amalgamation of textures, wall paper, florescent paint and posters that were subsequently covered by the gallery's walls.

My response for this exhibit harkens back to this introduction to the location.  I decided that I wanted to create a piece that would reveal some glimpse of that life lurking behind the drywall.  I was given the green light by Gary Jacketti (the sole remaining member of the original 6 artists that started the space) to go forth.
I knew there were interesting characteristics within the walls.  I didn't know what I would end up with once I started cutting into the wall.  As I sawed through the wallboard on Thursday night, I was thinking about how this piece is an expression of my compulsion for archiving and documenting some previous state of something. 

My plan was originally to continue the slice from ceiling to floor.  When I got to around the four foot level, I stopped.  I can't remember exactly why, but I didn't feel anything would be gained from going lower.  What can't be seen in the photos are lines drawn in pencil intended to guide my cutting.  The transition from open wall to an extension of the cuts to the pencil felt right and I guess that's primarily what made me step away.   

Another motivation for doing this piece is that I've been less than inspired by the nature of the work that's been rolling through bau over the past couple of years.  With a few exceptions, the work exhibited has been rather conventional and staid.  I'm not saying anything I do, or what was done in the first year of bau was particularly exceptional, but I do think that there was a willingness among the broader body of artists to take a chance and do something outside of the normal mode of operation for each person.  This sense of exploration may have been manifested in a material new to the artist, or a collaboration that resulted in something unexpected - uncalculated - but whatever it was, it seemed more more evident in the early days (to my perception).   I just don't sense a churning creative vibe coming off the joint that much anymore. As I said, there are exceptions that have been sprinkled throughout the past couple of years.  I particularly dug on the series Art/New York screenings hosted by bau early this year.  Of course it's a matter of personal taste. That being the case, I couldn't see myself simply choosing yet another painting or assemblage to tack on the wall.  It's just not interesting to me, and there wouldn't be anything I can add to a group show such as this that would distinguish it much. 
This piece is an excercise in cutting through the prim fussyness that has, on occasion, befallen the gallery .  It's a gentle jibe, framed in an undulating scallop of kitsch. In the end though, in a room filled with art it becomes, as with anything, just another thing on the wall.

Also participating in bau 60 are: Jane Blake, Michael Gaydos, Carla Goldberg, Tom Holmes, Peter Iannarelli, Gary Jacketti, Joann Klein, Tony Moore, Franc Palaia, Linda Richichi, Angelika Rinnhofer, Christopher Staples, Elizabeth Winchester, Grey Zeien, Lisa Zukowski.

The wall cut along with work by Tom Holmes, Lisa Zukowski and Tony Moore.

Peter Iannarelli's work on the floor between paintings by Linda Richichi and Joann Klein.

Angelika Rinnhofer's video.

No comments: