This one didn’t get published, but that’s okay. Reading it, I think I went a little overboard with the idea that Transformers and collecting memorabilia were heavy influences. This was before I learned about the Calamari video game. Without further ado…
When Camp Fig closed I wasn’t worried about having lost an energetic space in Austin. Why? ‘Cause they told me on their website that they would be back in a couple of months. So now after some “management reshuffling,” Most of the Camp Fig crew with half of the Fresh Up Club and a coule of new guys Okay Mountain has opened its doors. In terms of the space, it is 200 times better than the old closet that they called Camp Fig. You could actually take two steps back without bumping into the wall. For their first show they had almost everything in it. Thanks to Jason Villegas there were drawings, paintings, video and sculpture.
“Bah-weep-granah, weep-ninni-bonn.” Greetings from beyond the stars and welcome to the Accumulare System.
Walking up to the gallery you find a big ball of stuff. People, animals, buildings, and other miscellaneous objects were drawn on foamcore or gatorboard, cutout and bunched together to form this large meteorite of junk. To the left are four drawings of a similar nature. They depict collections of different animals swirlling on the paper as if they were maps of galaxies as they rotate around their celestial axis. The different collections seem to be categorized according to ecosystem. The drawing with sea creatures has them forming an octopus-like system.
On the back wall was a gaudy Christmas star painted over and splattered on as if the ghostly creature below had taken a bite out of it. This wall painting created another view of this galaxy and puts you on a different scale. In the center of the gallery, next to the ball of junk is a portable wall. On the back side of it was a video projection that showed a big-bellied naked man laying on is bed a la Manet’s Olympia, as if watching tv. The video then cycles through some animation of items being snowballed into a meteor hurtling through space. On the same wall is an ink and paint drawing of again space with a satellite of junk. This particular satellite is comprised of video games, radios, video taped movies, television sets and other audio/visual paraphernalia. The video is projected onto the largest video screen.
Facing this portable wall are a few drawings of space debris or of space monsters. The wall painting of the back wall wraps around and continues behind these drawings. On the final wall their are a group of small drawings hung in a grid. Each one has a ball of junk, again mostly animals, in its center. Each drawing allows for a close inspection of the accumulated items. Next to these drawings are three small sculptures. They look like plaster molds of a piece of a ripped collar. Except for the color they are identical. On the outer side of the curve is a tiger logo while on the inside are nine blocks. They look like the buttons of a phone, but I don’t know. I do recognize the logo, but I fail to see the significance of these pieces and their relation to the rest of the show.
Looking at my collection of comic books, action figures, and movies, I feel a little guilty for falling prey to the space monster and the Accumulare System that Mr. Villegas seems to comment on. The constant need to consume newly released products raises the question as to what happens to the obsolete. Launching packets of trash into outer space may seem like a good idea now, but when it comes back crashing down on us, where’s Bruce Willis gonna be? It’s not like he’s ever been turned into an action figure.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.