Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Indispensibles: Salon des REfUSE at the Garrison Art Center, through Sept 7.

 My column of used paint rollers in the center fore.
Peter Iannarelli's wall of paper bags, Duro 8, on the right.

When I saw the list of artists on the brochure for the salon dees refuse, my first thought was of the film franchise The Expendables.  Not that the gathered group were bloated, aged relics with a legacy of notoriety behind them, but that the assembled group is largely a roster of stars who have shaped my 11 years of living in Beacon, NY and for whom I have loads of respect. Secondly, my thought was surprise at how focused the group was. While preparing my piece for the show, I had an image of a sprawling roster of the local artists who work with "real world" materials to create their works, . Lastly I felt gratified and honored to be listed among this group.

A wider view with works on the wall to the left by Karlos Carcamo, Iannarelli and 
Eleanor White.  Steve Rossi's ladder sculpture on the right foreground.

The Salon des REfUSE is curated by artist Thomas Huber who selected this group of artists who use discarded/ recycled/ non art materials fore the material of their art making.

Angelika installing her wall work consisting of bottle and jar caps.
Works by Carcamo on the left and Rossi on the right.

 My Latex Essays from 2010.

 Two works by Eleanor White.  Angelika's cap piece on the left.

One of James Murray's exterior sculptures standing in front of the art center.

The show is cool, light footed and attractive.

Salon des REfUSE runs through Sept 7 at the Garrison Art Center in Garrison, NY. An opening reception will be held on this Saturday, August 23 from 5 - 7 pm.
The artists participating are: John Allen, Karlos Carcamo, Matt Harle, Peter Iannarelli, James Murray, Angelika Rinnhofer, Steve Rossi, Eleanor White.  

Below is Thomas Huber's statement about the exhibit:

Salon des REfUSE features artists from the lower Hudson Valley, who work with found objects and industrial materials. In transcending everyday materials into art, the artists act as tricksters – forcing viewers to confront and reconsider the objects out of context.

The title of the show makes reference to the exhibition “Salon des refus├ęs” of 1863, an exhibition in Paris of paintings refused by the French Academy, where the 19th century trickster Edouard Manet created a scandal with his painting “Le dejuener sur l’herbe”. While many paintings favored by the Academy included nude women, the nudes were all in a biblical or mythological context and followed the Academy conventions of romantic otherworldly settings. Manet’s nude however, was picnicking in a Parisian park with men in contemporary dress, mocking the conventional Academy art.

Manet passed the trickster torch, by way of the cabarets of Montmartre, to Marcel Duchamp who took it a step further by not just painting what is actually there, but by making the actual object the art -- the “readymade”. As art the readymade object is in a new context and now has a title. The object’s position is also different from its usual pragmatic stance--urinal upside down, coat rack on its side.

The torch passed to John Cage when he met Duchamp in New York and began to champion his ideas. Cage’s classes at The New School influenced a generation of artists from Alan Kaprow to Robert Rauschenberg. Cage also used everyday objects to create music and sound, removing artifice and introducing chance and silence. His students expanded on these ideas in music, dance, performance and visual art which became a major influence in the trajectory of contemporary art.

It is this readymade tradition that inspired Salon des REfUSE. As the show evolved it came to include artists using nonart and recycled materials. Re-use is an important idea for many of the artists in the show. When an object is reused in an art work, its life cycle--already thrown out of balance by the synthetic plastic materials of our culture--is interrupted. An object’s typical life cycle goes from its manufacture and use to its trashing where it is hidden away in a land fill to decompose.

In our post modern world, recycling and reuse of ideas as well as objects has become an important aspect of art theory and practice. Combining various seemingly unrelated ideas creates new ways of seeing and understanding ourselves and the world around us.


Angelika Rinnhofer's a priori on Indiegogo - Right Now!

Angelika has been working on her a priori project for a couple of years now. Thus far, she's traveled to Germany, Canada and around here in the NY region to interview, film and photograph individuals who have stories of a Jewish heritage which they'd only discovered later in life. The potentially life altering revelation her subjects have faced stems from the extraordinary circumstances of families fighting to survive the ordeal of Nazi persecution before and during WWII. Although her subjects share this one common family secret, the telling of their stories reflect the range of responses of and impact on people after any fact of their identity which has been obscured for a large part of their life has been discovered, regardless of the nature of that fact or the reason for its concealment.

Angelika's project has grown into its own as an art work, starting as more of a straight forward documentary project, then evolving into a platform for her to reflect on and express her own impulses in response to interacting with her participants.  And this evolution continues.  Currently, the main physical components of the project are photographs of details of her participant's living spaces, subtitled with selected text from their interviews that appear as film stills.  Angelika has also been transcribing her participants' words by hand, on sheets of vellum that are then installed on the wall as a billowing, fragile representation of each person's voiced history.

A priori will be on exhibit in Dresden, Germany this fall as part of a Jewish Music and Cultural festival.  Angelika is conducting an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for her to travel to the opening of her exhibit and to also cover costs of shipping the work back home.  

Beyond the niceties of attending one's own opening, opportunities like this that offer Angelika the chance to engage with the public.  Conversation is, after all, the basis of a priori. But more importantly, it's through these kinds of interactions that Angelika usually finds more participants interested in sharing their experiences, thereby enhancing the project.

The a priori Indiegogo campaign is approximately half way through its term, with about two weeks remaining.  I invite you to check it out and lend your support, if you are so moved.  You can click on the widget above to access the campaign. Below is the video that explains everything.

Do the World a Favor, August 20

August 20

Monday, August 18, 2014


Carla Goldberg's kork installation "Play!" in Jan 2011

I'm taking a moment from my Do the world a favor string of posts to make mention of the much too early death at the end of July of Deborah Bailey Browne. 
DBB gave me free reign to ply my creative impulses, repeatedly, in her office of her accounting firm in Poughkeepsie.  My initial Curatorial endeavors in her office was a response to how square I found the business scene centered around Poughkeepsie to be.  In Denver I had known a business sector that was somewhat hip and open to culture of all sorts. Granted, Denver is a large metropolitan center. Poughkeepsie is a rather small city, but I assumed its proximity to NYC would have an effect on the sophistication of its cultural climate. This assumption was wrong.  
My motivation in these art hangs in DBB's office was to show work that, with each iteration, was progressively more unusual for an office environment.   I became more and more interested in addressing the mechanics of the office as a generator of art... Eventually, I stole -adopted- an idea of Angelika's which became kork which had a three year run as an independent entity within the office above the photocopier.
DBB was ever a booster for all I had cooked up, even when it left her staff shaking and scratching their heads--which I warrant happened often.  I don't know that deborah ever really got what I was up to either, but her unflagging enthusiasm for each project was a great stage on which to play and it's something for which I'm very grateful. 

Do the WOrld a Favor, August 18

August 18