Monday, August 3, 2009

intersecting the personal, part 2

Back again, K.
I wanted to devote an entire post to the other show I visited on Sunday. One which approaches your question about the balance between modern sleekness and the home-spun. I think we would both agree that the modernist box of galleries/museums offers good and bad perceptions of the art experience. It's void, full of potential (like your tabula rasa), yet separated, exclusionary. There exists an in-between, flexible and comfortable, inclusive while still challenging---the exact sort of vision I hold for "Good Stuff House."Home Gallery is in a sunny townhouse in Hyde Park. It houses minimal furniture much like your "Kitty Bowe" collection (clean, simple, the slightest bit 60's), and is literal home to Laura Shaeffer, Andrew Nord, and a couple of young-ins. In tandem to the various knick-knacks and accessories a lived in home collects, artworks dangle, perch, and peek out of every viewable space. Laura and Andrew have been inviting people in for about 9 shows now---several solo exhibits, some artist duos, and this recent curatorial experiment. Laura says that this gives her a lot of room (no pun inteneded) to explore her thoughts in art viewing and making, and has become an interesting connector of people, artists and other creative-minded folks.

The experience is warm and thought-provoking. Just as you interpret someone's personal space as an identifier of his/her character and interests (I've always thought of the home as a place where one "curates" their sense of the world), Home Gallery openly invites viewers to examine the objects on the walls, coffee tables, shelves, pillows, etc. And not only do they welcome you in, but they offer you brunch! (At least this was the case on Sunday.) So as you are sitting on the couch, snacking on grapes, and watching a video play from an old t.v. set on the bookshelf, you also begin noticing the situation. Is that little shoe on the floor also part of the exhibit? What about those drawings on the fridge? It's funny. The container becomes the art, too! And unlike the modernist belief, it is NOT distracting. It is all encompassing and organically contagious---I can't help but look for connections and juxtapositions.

The Diorama Show was particularly playing into those blurred boundaries (perfectly conceptualizing its host: "home" vs. "gallery"), much like I expressed about Gunnatowski's Territory project. Sets within a set everywhere---revealing the stage props of reality as well. The show collected a curious grouping of works, all variations on the diorama. Originally drawn to this exhibit because of my recent work with diorama-like forms, my satisfaction may have been biased, but here are a few images: This is a diorama-box containing a video of weather: "Tree Line," by Luftwerk.The above, called "Mono Lake," is by Jenny Buffington. She included several ice-mountain forms in the living spaces and outside.In the backyard, trees and bushes held up some kids' work, too. These marshmellow people where the cutest!

And the image at the top is a tiny piece by Laura and Andrew hiding in plain sight in their hallway. I might have missed it, if the show hadn't encouraged such detail-looking. (I made C stand next to it for scale.)

Hoping to one day own a home (like you) and a gallery!

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