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You’re not a hierarchy, are you? Plus radicalizing pick up soccer. Daniel Lara To the Lighthouse

“I appreciate now that you let the drawing by Andy Robert in the show. I mean I noticed it at the time as an act that speaks, but I’m thinking more and more of this show as a process, as fluid rather than fixed. I like it.” Daniel Lara came in to JB Jurve early today to talk about his Non Talk event. When we’re lucky, conversations stray. “Oh. This is not what we expect from Daniel. Where are his paintings?” This from a mutual friend who arrived before the opening to beat the crowd, and “How did you know what he would do?” There was a bit of chiding in the tone of these words, and my friend’s face betrayed her consternation as she looked at the unfamiliar, mechanical chess set. “Well, we talked about ideas. Daniel does videos that show people in exaggerated dependence on mobile gadgets and apps, I am interested in them and so we began there, with systems of support and with the invisible language of code that underlays every one of our encounters.” http://www.daniellara.com/ “Soon Daniel was telling me about a soccer ball project that grew from his love of pick up games. He and his wife travel a lot, and when they do, Daniel inevitably seeks out a soccer game on the street and in parks.” Daniel collects these balls, he exchanges them for newer balls with the promise to re-exchange in the case of failure. A loose network, a community even, is created. The balls used in these games are well-worn, lovely really, and show the history of playing and give...

Carrie McIlwain “If I wear all the clothes I own, I might suffocate” recap

Carrie’s mom tended bar last Thursday at If I wear all the clothes I own, I might suffocate. For this casting off ceremony / potlatch Carrie McIlwain brought all the clothes she owns to JB Jurve with two suitcases and piled double mountains of clothing in the second floor space. “I was angry with those clothes for becoming such a burden. I was angry with myself for being tricked into finding my identity in objects – mere  coverings for my body! – that had turned into such monsters of responsibility. It was time to shed some skin.” Tequila from several donated bottles was poured for the gathering crowd with eager frequency into tiny, plastic shot glasses by our volunteer barkeep, as the heat grew sticky and electric. Windows open to Broadway let in air and the sounds of cars, speeding and honking. Outside were neon and flashing lights, while inside, under cool white fluorescent tubes, Carrie – at first easily and with grace, then later struggling, stumbling and sweating – donned each tank top, sweater, pair of shorts, leggings, each era of her past was represented, from her glass working days in North Carolina to her college days at Fullerton and all through her anarchic youth. Her face grew red with the burden of all this history represented, as it was, by clothing meant to be attractive, protective, flattering and/or rebellious. When she reached Bibendum stage and could no longer navigate the space around her, she stopped. As I recall her next move was to carry – again stumbling and struggling – a shirt to her young friend Bodie,...

Dear Adam, on the first day

Dear Adam, I’m happy that you are in Germany pursuing your engagements within and outside pedagogies, but it really sucks that you were not at the opening! I and we missed you. Visitors were very curious about “What did Adam put in the show? Where is his work?!” I would sort of chuckle and reply, “Well, it’s in his CV, with the others.” When I returned to the space this week with Andy Robert (about which more later) I noticed that alone among the printed CV’s, your was lifted. Some eager fan, not understanding that the art of your practice is in the experience rather than the object, must now imagine they hold a precious artwork. I’m laughing because we both know that a studio visit would be more the work of art than a printed paper representing your practice. Aah, but about that sparkle in your eye that we all missed at the opening on Saturday – despite my best attempts to mythologize you, Adam, as pure intellect walking, when we finally met and talked you laughed and made jokes, and well, I recognize once again my foolish need to find ease of relating and safety in myth. If I can tag a person I can contain them in my mind.  (Have you ever read Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time?) The painting I made for you and gave you before you left has an eye, roughly painted on the verso of a paper towel that droops from the top, and hangs over and hangs down. A marriage of two paintings via an intuitive gesture of ripping apart...

Ben Rivera, Frank Ryan at Gallery KM

It seems so simple that I can’t understand why it is confusing and compelling. A sheet of plate glass slices through a wooden chair, when I stand nearby my eye sees this as a mirror, the apparent doubling of the chair is not a reflection, but is fact. And the half chair that I do see in the glass really is doubled by the thickness and the two surfaces of the plate glass. One of these chairs has the glass balanced on point and this feels dangerous and it intrudes into my space – I can feel its threat in my belly. The second chair has glass flat to the floor and it feels contiguous to the floor, as though the grey surface of the floor rises up into the sculpture. The space of the slice is nice looking, and it makes me aware that rather than being separated, the chair parts are joined – literally by the plate glass between them, and metaphorically by the space between. I could rush to fill this theoretic void with some pop song or a cliched eternal truth, but stopping short feels more fruitful to understanding. Frank Ryan’s Antonioni film stills are beautiful and not only because they are beautifully painted. By painting two frames together on a single canvas Ryan reveals time, and this makes me think of Rivera’s sculptures again. I think that the seconds that separate one captured moment in film from another join as much as divide the stills. And too, the woman that Ryan has chosen to depict is of a certain age – her eyes and...

Mateo Tannatt at Marc Foxx, more than 100 x 6 seconds ago

I listen near a plywood baby grand piano as it hangs from a ceiling strut (the skylight frame, to be precise), it swings slightly, and I hear the slowed sound of another, and real, piano as it is dropped from some height to crash on some floor, somewhere (apparently the Hammer Museum). The sound comes from inside this plywood surrogate for a baby grand, on a fine looking boom box. I imagine that I detect an audio tape being rewound, as though the original of this digital file was on tape, but no one does that anymore, right? When I inquire at the front desk I learn that what I heard may have been the resonance of crushing ivory keys and tight metal strings, as these are warped in Mateo Tannatt’s process of slowing six second (give or take) performance recordings to a six minute piece. The rope that suspends this weighty sculpture from the ceiling curls nicely beneath its swinging mass, the end of this rope points up and to the south. I notice now a spindly spider hanging near an unused electrical outlet. I can smell pine and some sort of adhesive, probably a non-formaldehydic glue in the plywood. Having crouched to look at the spider, I see green paint at the bottom edge lid – at the hinge, and this green matches in tone, if not in shade, a blue cord that runs through the rope. Circling the swinging keyboard I find more green paint staining the back (the verso of this sketch of a piano?) and the bookend matches have me wondering just how Mateo...

Jason Ramos – Notes on Looking at New York

Field report: New York Jason Ramos April, 2012 Bushwick I met with artist Kevin Regen in a dark bar near the Morgan L train stop in Brooklyn called King’s County.  Every 100 feet in what has been referred to as “Greater Bushwick” there is a cool bar, a cool coffee place, a cool something.  Kevin ran an exhibition space in the basement at 1673 Gates Avenue (Genesis and  Lady Jaye Breyer P-Porridge’s old place) called Famous Accountants, currently on hiatus.  Like every conversation in NY, we end up talking about real estate.  I remark that people in NY talk about real estate the way others talk about the weather.  Richard Hell apparently said it first.  We are soon joined by Paul M. Nicholson, who was part of another now-on-hiatus space in the area called Botanic Gallery.  Paul and Kevin had never met in person before, but sort of half-knew of each other, in that familiar art world way of meeting personalities before meeting people. Also near the Morgan L stop lies the building at 56 Bogart.  Within it’s walls exist non-profit spaces, gallery start-ups, artist-run outfits, performance art spaces, studios and more.  Some of the people who run these spaces point me in the direction of some artists working in the neighborhood   All of those little spots every 100 feet that I think are so cool are there to serve the artists who live and work in this area – all but one of the studio visits I did while in New York were within a two block radius of each other here in Bushwick.  All the young artists...

Jacob Yanes at Steve Turner, now

the inability to tell a b/w weft w/ a color warp she is slipping off her gown @ the shoulder the arms are slender, like a crane’s legs like cranes, arms lack agency w/out the brain behind her eye her mouth is closed, yet Philomela speaks a simple and pleated gown does not cover her toes, and this showing feels like telling The show closes May 26...

Artist Non Talk Event: If I wear all the clothes I own, I might suffocate. A performance by Carrie McIlwain

“In preparation for my flight of the following morning, I am proposing to pack my suitcase in the gallery. I will bring my entire wardrobe to JB Jurve and attempt to wear every item, adding layer upon layer until it is impossible to proceed or all clothes are worn. The clothes I can wear I will keep and pack to take with me. Those which I can not wear will be offered to the audience as mementos. Any remaining garments will be donated. My impending move overseas has brought to my attention my desire to hold on and collect objects to excess. I want to investigate through conflict the physical weight of my possessions and the possible relief in letting go.” Carrie McIlwain – If I wear all the clothes I own, I might suffocate. Artist Non Talk for To the Lighthouse at JB Jurve. Thursday, May 24 at 8 PM Gallery is at 742 North Broadway, 2nd Floor, and will be open on Thursday from 12 to 6 PM and 7 to 10 PM “When I get settled in Berlin I’m going to walk across that city the way I just did Los Angeles,” Carrie McIlwain said to me at the Chimney Coffee House on North Main, “honestly, I partly did the walk last week to learn about this city. I grew up in SoCal, left for Europe, and have been back here for more than a year. When I tell friends that I’m moving to Berlin, they mostly ask me how I can leave the best city in the world.” With that we discussed the relative charms of...