A group of artists got together and decided that UT has a major presence in the shows being presented around town and decided to create a space not affiliated with the school. Funny thing though, most of them are affiliated with UT. I chuckled. So they get a hold of the old Fresh Up Club space next to Blue Genie Art and the Blue Theater and inaugurate their collectiveness with a group show.
Me thinks this group was a little zealous. I saw sculptures, paintings, videos, photos, drawing and a performance. Let’s see, I think prints are the only medium I didn’t see in the space. And they titled the show Related? While looking around though, I actually started to see some relationships emerging.
Leading up to the entrance were some groups of stacked cinderblocks. They were part of Jarrod Beck’s sculptural work. As the cinderblocks entered the space, colored strings anchored themselves and zipped up to some some wooden bars dangling, seemingly in mid-air, and then a cloud of the strings refracted and blurred the light. Underneath the strings and scattered playfully throughout the space were some fabric objects by Jade Walker. These objects looked like cone shaped Pokemon. Most were in pairs that gave them a cutesy feel.
I foolishly did not grab a price sheet, so I am sitting here trying to guess who did what. But instead of stressing, I will describe the work and return this weekend on an artcrawl.
Behind Mr. Beck’s sculpture was a performance. A young lady dressed was sitting, legs apart but with her skirt hanging down, on a seat made of wooden bars. In front of her was a tower of the same bars and a young man dressed in a shirt and tie. Carefully sliding a bar out of the tower like a game of Jenga, he hands a bar to the young lady and she removes a fabric casing from underneath her, behind her skirt. After covering the bar, the young man takes it and begins to build a new tower. Very ritualistic. Next to the performance are a pair of paintings. They look like graphite drawings of mountainous landscapes, but have colorful lines or bars included into the space.
In the back corner their is an installation of about eight televisions with an arm sticking out presenting four? sets of headphones. I recognize one of the videos as a Roberto Bellini self-portrait. He denies it and points out that it is a Robert Boland piece. Nudity of someone I know plus yogurt prevent me from comfortably watching the rest. So on the back wall is a giant xerographic dragon. Xerographic? That counts as a print, doesn’t it? The scales on its back and tail are composed of some wierd, four-digit, nubby claws. In the other corner is what appears to be exercise equipment in front of a workout mirror. Erin Cunnigham had created a bronze casting of someone’s belly roll. So as you sit on the apparatus you can pull the cast over your lap and place it on your pelvic area. The resistance weight keeps it firmly in place as you examine your new figure. No pain, no gain.
Coming back out of the space there was another painting. This one larger and a painted mountainside with colorful geometric shapes in the space. Woah, deja-vu. Following were a trio of what I think were photographs. They each had a blob of vaporous paint in one section that looked like a rip in the fabric of space/time or a supernatural being caught on film. Next to these were some photos by Thuy Van Vu. The top row documented her getting dressed? in some sort of costume. And the bottom row presented the application of clothes-pins all over her upperbody and the subsequent marks left behind.
Well now I just feel stupid. I forgot about Stephanie Wagner’s print of a tarlatan ominously hanging on the page. And there was a set of drawings of characters from horror movies next to that. I thought Ms. Wagner had drawn them because they are next to her print, but then I thought maybe Ali Fitzgerald made them. But I could be way off, that’s why I’m going back. Marianne McGrath has a plaque of testicular objects next to that. And then at the entrance is another video installation. I remember a fake crow and other Halloweeny objects around the monitor. For some reason I envision a witch in the video. I don’t think that’s right though.
In case you didn’t pick up on the similarities that I saw, I will write a second part to this. After revisiting this weekend, I will come back with proper identification and better descriptions of the pieces where I sound like an inconsiderate jerk. Even though the work was crowded I think this show was GOOD. I’ll explain more on the next round.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.