“Just Make Something” is a group show with a challenging concept: invite curatorial teams to create art together. The work inhabits an indistinguishable space between maker and curator, studio space and gallery display, private and personal – all becoming one conversation. Suggestions like this show concept make these never-ending binary discussions fall by the wayside in fresh, new perspectives that is a sign of our times. No pun intended with the series by Carey Lin and Sarah Hotchkiss of the curatorial project Stairwell’s.
“More T-shirt Ideas” are a series of 4 mirrors with accompanying signs that encourages the viewer to wear the sign and look at themselves in the mirror. The text is in reverse, so when it is viewed on the body the words are perfectly legible. The pieces are humorous and make participants complicit in an interaction that prompts questions regarding identity and the language one might prescribe upon themselves, brandishing it for others to read. Other pieces in the room are more formal in their presentation, but still activated by gesture and materials, and indicate corporeality.
“Orange” by Nate Hooper and Andy Hawgood of The Popular Workshop is a framed piece comprised of layered paper, matte boards and super bright pinkish-orange plexiglass. Situated leaning against the wall on the floor, the glossy surface reflects the surroundings creating additional layers, changing it with each turn. Alluring to look at, the piece is calming despite the vivid color.
Across the way is “Untitled (alien 122)” by Et al. gallery trio Aaron Harbour, Jackie Im and Facundo Argañaraz. A black and white collage print drawing from various sources depicts indecipherable narratives, including a headless body playing electric guitar and prone individuals who appear to be in agony – their bodies ruptured by violent injuries. The cryptic message along the bottom and a small pile of folded, creased and crumpled colorful origami papers on the floor allude to inevitability grounded in futile gestures. I feel a bit sad, the humor and delight of the other works in the show are accompanied by “the dark side” here.
Also on view is the untitled series by Aaron Harbour (“One of Et. al”), which brandishes the aftermath of burning. Very dark brown, almost black abstract shapes are singed on heat sensitive paper accented by red, intricate graph lines. The hot device used to make the impressions appears to be a high wattage halogen light bulb and if so, becomes a profound source for these shadowy remnants of contact – the opposite of light and permanently dark.
Overall I think of exquisite corpse – of new parlor games in a sense – the positive outcrop of collaborations. The exhibition closes June 30, 2013.
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-Contributed by Leora Lutz