Saturday, January 29, 2011

Went and saw erin turner’s show in san fran last night. I left feeling pretty inspired and fell asleep with my mind buzzing with ideas (love that.) her work had some overlaps to mine, and I was excited by how she used a space that I am going to show at in the future. I think it was essential for me to critique her show in order to help me structure my own, because there were things I really responded to and liked about the show and things I would have done differently if it were my project. 

The show, as I experienced it at least, was about a huge red piece of hairy rubber that had gone on a journey from her hometown in Tulsa, Oklahoma all the way to the gallery in sf. The whole show was pretty dimly lit, and there was a slide show being projected of the red thing’s very visually striking journey cross country... amazing photos.
The red rubber piece was intertwined on the ceiling with a large intricately woven intestinal shape made out of newspaper. There were paintings on plastic drop cloths on the walls and also paper mache’d chicken wire pieces in a corner. At one point the artist asked the people at the art show to lie down on the ground and she played a sound recording that was layered poetry that somehow related to the whole thing but I found pretty abstract.

the most successful things --- i really liked:
-that the red piece had been on a journey—and the slideshow described where it had been. It was autobiographical about her own voyage from her hometown westward, but the piece was there to absorb it. while i was looking at the sculpture, i was very aware that it might be soiled with all the places it had been. the photos were beautiful and they gave the red piece so much history and personality.
- she used the gallery space so dramatically; it was impressive in size and there was so much going on (painting, sculpture, projection, sound, performance)
- Mythic quality. Even though it was hard to decipher, the red piece looked like fire and there was something about it that reminded me of native American ritual and dance. The installation was called ‘the totem and the ocean’ which led me to believe it was about something deep but i kinda liked how vague the references were.

After seeing erin’s show I jotted down ideas for my own show, naturally getting stressed out because I am going to make a similar (although slightly shorter) journey to Portland next's what i wrote down:

-basis for the show: seams document labor as drawing
- must use space dramatically – installation/experience, not just discrete sculptures
-should the drive to Portland be documented like erin's red piece? (i could document scenery, a garment’s journey from santa cruz to Portland? the embedded stories in clothes that i could create myself.) this could be worth doing even if i don't end up using the photos.-video/sound – maybe I shouldn’t think about the san fran show right now... a few posts back i was writing about making videos with music and maybe i should just show a few in portland? even though there might have been too much going on in erin's show, there is something so powerful about orchestrating an entire experience -- and trying to incite all the senses.

-large installational task for 3 weeks… how will I spend my 3 weeks in Portland? i liked how erin used the red piece to make a journey and the newspaper piece to work on when she got there. and like my commercial pattern pieces in my thesis, i love laborious big tasks, masses of one thing. i am imagining a web of cut away seams suspended in the center of the room, as i described in this post, sort of like eva hesse's tangled pieces or marcel duchamp's 16 miles of string.
- use bargain barn clothes/collected materials, references to clothes line/closet, heavily OCD/organized packing – my own wardrobe, materials. Should I bring my keyboard?
-Etsy? Idea of money/value somehow present, sentimental value/stories meets retail
-Plaster/paint – messy art – these can be discrete pieces

to tentatively include in the show:
-camo piece
-sari piece
-clothesline w/ bbarn/personal clothes
-seam drawing installation

to do before i go:
collect knittings/yarn for videos
organize stuff I printed at fabric workshop, bbarn stuff, etsy
cut seam drawings and make mutants – plaster, paint

to bring:
sewing machine, thread, sewing supplies
Fabric workshop work
Personal clothes, bag of thrifted bbarn clothes
Etsy clothes

{photos: 1 & 2 erin turner's poly's gone 3 works in progress from the totem and the ocean (erin turner), 4 eva hesse , 5 marcel duchamp's sixteen miles of string, 6 tony cragg (he had a rope tossed into the sky and took a picture of the resulting 'drawing') ... images 1, 2, 3 are from erin turner's website and images 4, 5, 6 were found in a web piece called 'string theory' written by one of my fave craft theorists's glenn adamson from the victoria and albert museum website}

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