Brendan Fowler, Bobbi Woods, Adam Marnie
BRENDAN FOWLER: So, would it be crazy to say that it was a mutualuse/appreciation of proactive negation gestures that brought us together? Is that too much? I can say this much for sure: this past spring I was asked by Terrence Koh to curate a show at his Asia Song Society (ASS) Gallery. My initial thought was to build a show around Bobbi Woods and Adam Marnie, my two favorite artists who had yet to have major showings in New York. Then, when we spoke in depth, Terence specified the request as "do whatever you want, but we would like for the show to include yourself as well." This can be an awkward request, curating a show around one's self, but I took it backwards, as in a request to include myself in this show which I was already excited about and just trying to resolve. It seemed like it could work, right? I knew that our practices related, and I had spoken with each of you at least a little bit in the past, but I was really "curating from the gut," you could say. As such, it wasn't until the show was up and Bobbi and I began speaking about the show that I realized just how deeply the works did speak to one another. For starters, we all three employ strategies to cancel very literally, graphically, physically, but to ends that are often optimistic.
BOBBI WOODS: I really like that in that show there was a shared approach of economic means in relation to the negation/cancellation you are talking about. I think the show had a kind of silence, and not in a passive way but rather a silence which leaves your ears ringing. At least this was the case for me, as the work was visually understated and yet there was definitely a strong resonance. I am curious about your reference to optimism and what you think influences this kind of approach/attitude and where you consider optimism occurring in the work. Also, I am interested in the way our work employs repetition and how it perpetuates negation/cancellation.
BF: "Repetition" is an idea, a strategy, that tends to happen into my work out of several major impulses, I think — both conscious and lessconscious/automatic — almost like a lake of repetition that is fed by varying rivers and streams of impulse and intention, just to make a truly ugly metaphor. Growing up with the 1980/90's cultural reality of seriality (records at the record store, skateboards at the skateboard store, Warhol, et al.), and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (the official disorder of seriality?) alone really established repetition as — you know, to be honest, the idea of just one of something feels foreign to me. I think it's that simple. Let's hit the point home, let's repeat it a million times, let's set it up in a line to pull it down, let's look at every single aspect — every version of every aspect. No serial stone unturned. And I'm really not into just repeating something to repeat it, I am into versions, and then with the canceling, it's like versions of cancellations of versions. I want to talk about the optimism, but I also want to talk about abstraction, which is happening with with many young practices these days, and certainly in ours to some degrees. As such, with my own practice, well, abstraction is coming into the work as a strategy right now for a few reasons. One of them is very much to complicate or obscure the ideas, which in and of itself is a strategy for further cancellation. As you know, as we spoke about before, cancellation for me is this dynamic act: it is at once violent, an attack, an endgame to a struggle, but at the same time the mega opener. In the place of something cancelled there is only opportunity, only potential. The latter is obviously an optimistic take, but I think that as often as it can be applied, it is the most useful take, especially in "creative" occupations where projects are not always at the mercy solely of their creator. For example, an event is cancelled, you have the night free; tour is cancelled, you have two weeks to stay at home and work in your studio and sleep in your own bed and not lose money; exhibition is cancelled, now look at all of this time and material you have floating around — just pretend the credit card debt doesn't exist! — but, you know what I mean? The bottom line is canceling as negating, as a way to remove to create potential, to create space. So after working for a while with the graphic of a literal "CANCELLED" stencil image, it was like, how do you cancel that? How does that get further negated? This question came from that fact that I was in a group show at Rental in May of 2009 where I had a wall of pieces made from these cancelled tour posters (CANCELLED Fall 2008 Westcoast Tour Poster, 2009), and then I had a solo show there in October of the same year and I felt funny at first showing so much work in the same space twice within six months. I was excited, but I felt like I had to address it, and that led to me feeling like I had to "erase" my work from the first show to make room for the second show, which was to be my first solo show for the gallery and something that I was so excited about.
So then it was like, "How do you cancel something that is already cancelled?" Well, you can literally erase it, but then how do you show that graphically? This question has been answered many times by many people, but my approach was to rescreen white —the color of erasement, right? — through the original screens of the poster over the original screened colors. In theory this was going to just cover the original three colors so that they still peeked out a little. But, when it came time to actually screen the white over the remaining original posters I remembered that I had screened the initial posters with very loose registration so I actually couldn't screen the white over them in the way that I had planned. There was just no way to register them predictably. After screening a few I realized that I needed to let the white out of the lines so I diluted the ink with extra solvent, but the solvent heavy white started picking up the black and purples from the underlayers and it became shades of grey and finally I — actually, let me back up for a sec. I have thought for a while about the old predigital photo tradition of slashing a negative once a photo edition had been completed and then printing the slashed negative as assurance that the edition was closed, done, over. And I have thought about how I wanted to do this with a silkscreen. So, going back to the screening of these posters, I realized that this was the time. I needed to cover more ground to cancel these, to negate these, and the slashed screen, the very literally opened screen became the strategy. The image is still there but abstracted into cancellation. That was the idea, anyway.
ADAM MARNIE: Bobbi, I agree, that show at ASS was a lot of fun. Let's do it again sometime. I also agree with you Brendan in that repetition is an enormously complex and useful tool. And while I don't see it specifically in terms of negation, I do see one of its possible applications to be that of creating a volumetric hum, like static. A colossal barrage; a voidlike confusion. Repetition, as it relates to the creation of modular units, or as you say in the above, a seriality, is something that I use in specific situations, like with the Objects of Premeditation, 2009 the four punched pieces I showed at ASS but for the most part I am interested in making singular works; unique forms derived from specific demands. When that uniqueness is achieved, I tend to abandon that form in pursuit of some subsequent form. The longer I keep doing this the more I have developed concurrent tacts of production to satisfy / explore different problems / interests. However these tacts do seem to be characterized by their central thematic or material repetitions; like the works in sheet rock, or the presence of wood in various forms from one group of works to the next, or the floral theme in both the Vanitas collages and the spray paintings...
Repetition is one possible characteristic within the boundaries that define a given work, boundaries marked by the path of circumnavigation around the central theme; for me repetition is less and less the outward aim, though often a kind of fracturing happens, where a work is made up of interrelated repetitious parts.
I want to try to define this thing that we're starting to talk about, these "negation strategies" that make our work resemble each other's in appearance. In certain of my works I am concerned with manipulating the image with sculptural strategies that negate some or all of its picture qualities in order to heighten other (privileged??) schema, which are more sculptural in nature. These strategies can be additive or reductive, and in some cases, like my punched pieces, don't start with an image at all but deal directly with the image plane as selected and presented with the frame. Does this description hold for either of you?
BF: Yes, for me, absolutely. A lot of times I feel like I'm just looking for something to cancel/negate/pull apart. I can say that I never select things "in vain," but to be honest I know that this later phase of my production, the part that complicates or destroys things, is my favorite. I almost can't believe I just admitted that. I feel very open right now. Bobbi, you still need to answer Adam's question, but I want to ask this question as a followup to you both: how do you see your pieces as existing in time? In my mind, Bobbi, yours are operating as active portals to an open space, the optimistic space we have been describing. Adam, I think of your punches and your sprayed flowers as materials, identities/spaces, that have been affected by an act. If this is right, then would the collages and totem pieces be more actively frozen?
BW: Until you mentioned negation, Brendan, I had not defined it that way specifically. Yet, it is present, in terms of omission. What is hidden and revealed. Like a strip tease: witholding as a form of seduction, or else withholding as seduction itself. When I block out images with large graphic shapes and leave only portions of the original image beneath, I think of it as a way to enact something as having been looked at. Given the source material I am partial to, which usually has something to do with sex and/or humor, it is a way to negotiate a place within it. Someone once asked me if my work is about censorship and I feel it is not at all. It is not a "for" or "against" situation, but rather a process of finding a space within a given image and locating my terms of arrival. In other words, I am not as interested in perpetuating a critique of the representation of sex and gendered stereotypes as much as I am in describing what it is like for me to interact with images and to be an active participant in their production and reception.
To touch more on what you said, Adam, I think of blocking out as both additive and reductive. Images can be fragmented and in other instances the poster is reduced to merely text: a movie title or tagline etc.. and in essence abstracted. Foolin' Around, 2009, which we hung in the bathroom in the ASS show, no longer related to the movie's title as much as it relates to the title's newfound context. I thought about the words in relation to (my) art production and also, and perhaps more obvious, sexually. I liked that we decided to put it in the bathroom, where it was suitable for such an encounter.
I relate to a lot of what you said, Brendan, in that once portions of the image are blocked, cancelled, or negated, this absence presents another surface, and, in the case of the work in the main space at ASS, literally, that of black glossy enamel. The folds of the poster are more apparent. I liken the geometric shapes to a curtain moving back and forth, hiding and revealing portions of the image underneath.
Repetition for me has a few functions: the text on two of the three posters said "Nothing." I thought about "nothing" a lot when I made these: nothing to do, nothing to wear, nothing to see, nothing to say, double nothing, and double negative. The third poster was blocked off on the opposite side and the rest of the tagline revealed: "if it feels good." I liked that. The unadulterated poster reads "Nothing is wrong if it feels good." I really wanted to omit the word "wrong" as it seemed too moral or preachy and I don't really want to get involved in adopting that kind of tonal strategy. I liked nothing, nothing, if it feels good.
BF: Yes! We have choice, we have say. How wonderful the power to omit that word, "wrong," because you don't like the connotations. I loved those three pieces and all that went into them, all that you said and all the I read into them before we spoke and now, but even just that gesture alone... yes please!
AM: I love how personal it is for you Bobbi, it seems like you need to interact with your chosen material so you can describe what it's like for you to interact with it. It is interesting for me to hear your varied experiences with those pieces, and to try to identify what your primary focus is with them individually. In one instance, it seems to be the adulteration of the image, in another, the glossy surface, and another, the wordplay. No doubt all three exist in each to varying degrees. What visualizing that ultimately brought to my mind was the central fact of your presence in each of these works, a physical, nearly ABEX approach to these media-canvases. This seems totally relevant to your work Brendan, too, the development of the physical gesture, and through this, the articulation of the figure / subject as you. I acknowledge this "body capture" in my own work, with the punch pieces and the totems. The two of you both have further articulated this, Bobbi, in your video works and Brendan, in your music. Brendan, I love the form that your [current work] has taken a machine designed to move forward by chewing up your past as BARR. This is something I've been hugely concerned with, both in works like the totems, that were designed specifically to put past objects to rest, as I've said before: "to rid myself of my sentimentality"; but also in tangential thematic arcs like the idea that my sculptural now is digesting and putting to form the discoveries that I made in my painting based work of the past. Perhaps an hourglass is more accurate, the emptying of one to fill another.
Brendan, in beginning to answer your question about time, I agree with the demarcation within my work that you chose. I feel the punched pieces and the flower sprays on one side exist in similar frames of immediacy and of singular time / non time, where the totems and the collages on the other operate in terms more along the lines of simultaneity or condensed time. It's important for me to have languages that operate at different speeds. The most recent punch piece the punched cube Object, 2009 may begin to bridge those two sides. I think its construction may beguile a quick read, it looks immediate, but upon inspection, it's somewhat more complicated. I like when it gets complicated, when the thing starts to take thematic hostages, like maybe it's about architecture, and maybe it's about beauty, or maybe it's about porn, or maybe it's about formalism, or maybe it's about this work over here, or maybe it's about this room..
BW: Brendan, I have been thinking a lot about the way time plays out in your work and I am interested in the way you describe presenting absence through strategies of canceling. I am thinking of this in relation to past work resurfacing in your newer work. Also, Adam, in your case, I wonder about the way you talk about thematic hostages and the way your subject(s) shift to becoming potentially something else, sculpture, images, environment. This becomes active, one potential engaging the next. Are you thinking about this as an inclusive process, subjects taking shape as an impending occurrence? I wonder if this at all has anything to do with the "optimism" which has been looming overhead?
Time affects the posters in a particular way. As promotional devices they have a limited life span to function as particularly enticing images. They are most prominently available prior to and just after their movie has been released. I wander around Ebay a lot and rifle through so many posters. The older ones have collectable cache while the more recent ones seem to exist in some kind of coma, having just lost some, if not much of their ability to successfully allure as initially intended. I think about the way revealing takes place over time and finds physical form within and throughout the work, as was the case in the ASS show. The process of looking was played out in the series of multiples, hiding and revealing like movie trailers, something is on the way, but only flirts with arrival. In other words, it does not fully put out. I guess I like waiting for certain things...
BF: So, I think we can acknowledge this other connection, a deliberate use of time, or tense, perhaps. I am, on some levels, very much chewing up my own past as you said, Adam. As well, I completely relate to this idea that you suggested of Adam, Bobbi, "subjects taking shape as[/of] an impending occurrence" and I think a lot about the way that that you described revelation coming slowly over time as in your own work, "flirt[ing] with arrival." As a fan of other artists, I love process and seeing processes develop. When I'm a fan of someone's, my favorite thing is following them from show to show, seeing languages develop. I love the steps, the reference to one's past, the reveal, however little it may be. (As a side note, I think this is one of the best things about the internet, that even though you can't see every show in person, you can now, much more so, sort of see at least some sense of every show now that people have. As a fan, an audience, you have access to so much more work). In my own practice, I have visions of things that I want to make, but it is of utmost importance that I always work my way there, no skipping ahead. For me, art is about problem solving, so it's not even just "how do I create these steps" but the steps are earned by answering actual questions. Why is this thing made? Take the crashed frame pieces for example: I talk a lot now about free jazz/improvised music as a departure point from which to adapt this compositional strategy, a still of this violent act, the crash when all of the players are improvising, playing free and then hit on the same note. Boom! The idea is that you feel it as a live moment paused, stuck as it is it feels tenuous or stressful — I think that is the best case scenario, anyways — but that's not where the idea first came from. For me, the initial idea of crashing images together came from spacial concerns. I was showing work in the 2nd Cannon's space in Los Angeles, which is a space the width of a standard two panel sliding glass deck door and about three feet deep. I wanted to show three framed images that I just couldn't resolve spatially with the dimensions of the space, so I was trying to figure out how to cram/stuff them in there. What if I could consolidate? Well, I wasn't ready to let any of the images go, I mean, there were only three to begin with. Could I keep them autonomous and still turn three into "one"? And how to resolve that question in a way which demonstrated it's own process? My resolution was my first "crash" piece. How does this complicate the narrative relationship I was trying to establish within the show? Well, for starters, now the show's whole narrative was jammed into one piece that spoke directly to the hostile relationship between the three elements which, appropriately enough, was there to begin with. So I began doing the crash pieces to solve a problem and I would like to think that I have earned this language by solving that problem. I did it for a reason and now it's, like, I learned this behavior, so I have access and right to it. It has entered both my gestural and strategic vocabularies. In my show at Rental, I wanted to make a piece that demonstrated how my frames are constructed, their built in armitures and all, because people would often ask me what they looked like on the back of the crashed pieces. So, okay, let's reveal the secret. I also wanted to create something to break up the space in the show and which I could interact with during the performance that I was to do in the space as part of Performa09, so I made the wall out of frames. It was two rows of five 36x24" frames with one row of four and a half 36x24" frames screwed down the center, face to face. The structure was only attached by the frames screwed into the frames. As a result, I have introduced another structural approach to my language and I feel I can go forth from there.
Oh, and in terms of the process photos (the email screens, working in the studio, glue setting, etc, etc, etc), these are things that I think I would find interesting were I the audience. I'm there, and I think they are interesting, dynamic situations that can expand the dialog. Yes, it is a photo of all of the frames stacked in the studio, but what is that thing in the background?
Bobbi, I LOVE your last questions directed to Adam — I sort of jumped in the middle and answered them in relation to myself, but I want to direct them back to Adam. As a major fan I wholeheartedly second those inquiries. Dying to hear the response...
AM: To begin to answer I want to back up a little bit. For a long time, until very recently, my work had been made of systematic investigations of my own immediate world. Optics, emotion, repetitive white noise abstractions, environmental studies of the studio and the landscape all played a part. I was aware of a fluctuation between an inward view and an outward view but always, the entirety of these investigations were contained to the realm of self. I believe this has changed, this focus. I understand the importance of locating my view / voice within my own subjectivity but my concern now has transffered to a larger scope. There are so many things I want to address with my work, and it can be a bit daunting trying to cram them all in. This has caused the search for and development of flexible absorbent strategies.
Bobbi, I can relate directly to what you were saying before about the potential for a complicated reception to the sex in your poster negations, and while I do believe in maintaining a responsibility for the content of the work, I can also really identify with being weary to cosign with preexisting critique. There are more than one sides to each coin, and so many fucking coins! But I do think that the appropriation of preexisting critiques is a very interesting strategy. I also relate to Bobbi's idea that the marks you make on these posters identify the marks of your eye / mind, that the forms you make indicate / frame your interest / subject, are placements of meditative weight, stake territorial claim. This resonates with Brendan's idea about earning strategies through methodic demonstration, working slowly to enlarge territory. My current aim is to get as open as possible, to let as much as I can into what I'm concerned with. I want to see all sides, oppositions, I want to bring in content that clashes, I want to investigate how we regard, collectively or singularly, huge subjects like sex, like form, like light and dark, like life. I am interested in perception, cognition, objectivity, subjectivity. I am not now concerned with an absolute conclusiveness. Taking thematic hostages is an appropriation strategy. The idea is to cast a wide and yet specific enough net to catch multiple ideas with one shot, one object, one gesture and / or an overlay of multiple approaches. Bobbi, what you called shift is a very important concept that I am actively trying to build into my current work: the possibility of simultaneous multiple perceptions; multiple meanings, overlapping trains of thought, a clearly stated argument and equally its opposition. For someone who can read this into the work, what may result is a nearly physiological phenomena, a cognitive flickering between subjects, which in part I base on the event of Bridget Riley: the eye / mind reading the black and white lines of a painting into a range of grays, or myriads of color, still lines dancing. I am both interested in the creation and moldability of the reception of the work, and the impossibility of controlling the range of subjective, potentially opposed responses - the confusion that may occur. I have been playing with this in the Vanitas collages for the last couple of years, notably in The Closed and the Infinite (IIV), and the hybrid collage / sculpture Triumph of Pleasure over Reason, and again, in Object (all 2009).
I feel resistance to using the word optimism in relation to these strategies in my work. I do understand the strategic use of doublenegative, that negating something means selecting and thereby is an affirmation of that thing's identity, and though I can totally get hyped singing right along with you Brendan with "FUCK THE MAN TO DEATH IN THE HEAD!!" and also in the power of the removal of obstructions, I don't think that NOT NOT MEANS YES defines a central ideology within the aesthetic systems that I employ, nor do I want my cognitive systems rose colored. Sometimes I need shit more raw than that, I need the anger to remain. The most important need for me is to maintain a flexibility. I realize that in part this idea of "optimistic space" is being used interchangeably with the idea of the placeholder, a marked void to be filled, the unknown "x" in an algebraic equation; which is however nonevalutive, or at least conditionally evalutive. My problem with applying optimism to absence or the act of removal is that it dehistoricizes it, separates it from significant mournful events where loss is the primary attribute. It is for their flexibility that I was drawn to these condensed gestures / strategies in the first place. Not to drop a bomb this late in the game, but I think I use the strategy of Beauty in much the same way you use the strategy of Optimism, Brendan; as this flexible smokescreen, camouflaging my intentions, complicating my subject matter.
What do you both think about flexibility, in process and reception, in your work in general? And also through two works that I think are really interesting: Bobbi's Longing Longo (2007); Brendan's Looking For (2009).
BF: Respect. 100%. Yes. I'm not ready to say that I misspoke or misread, but I will say that I think that you clarified exactly right, Adam. I think I was hoping for something like that. And you know, I had forgotten about those two Looking For pieces until just the other day. I have been thinking about how to reopen that work, so I'm happy that you mentioned it. Among other things those were an attempt to circumnavigate the traditional gallery artist/objectcollector/purchase model in a way that didn't preclude that model, necessarily. Obviously, I'm fine with that model, and I'm also a big believer in commercial galleries as wonderful spaces for everyone to come and view art for free. The argument that museums —which charge an entry fee — are for the public, whereas galleries — which do not charge an entry fee — are for the bourgeoisie is really a drag to me. So there were two pieces in this series, the first one of which, Looking For (Storm&Stress), 2009 was a silk screen print on top of the same old 2008 BARR summer tour poster that I had used in a few earlier pieces. The silk screen was a simple text that ready "Looking for live recordings or video of the band Storm&Stress anywhere/anytime between 1996 and 2002 (or before or after). WILL TRADE THIS PRINT if interested, please contact email@example.com" and the second one, Looking For (Smog/Bill Callahan), 2009, was the same format, except that it was screened over the promotional poster that my American record label made to promote my 2006 Album, Summary, and the text said "Looking for live recordings (pref high quality audio) of Smog/Bill Callahan anywhere/anytime between 1990 and 2005 (esp. any recordings with Jim White on drums), WILL TRADE THIS PRINT if interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org" So the idea was that they were printed in an edition of ten each, and they were for sale, $400 each, priced appropriately for their size, etc. If sold, the sale would go through the gallery, as per/usual, who had four out of the edition of ten. But if by some chance someone saw them in the gallery and wanted to trade, they could actually just take down my email from the print and email me to set up a trade, as I had the other six from the edition, cutting out the gallery entirely. And this wasn't intended as some deeply subversive thing, which I don't think it was, it was intended as functional. I am completely obsessed with both of these bands and I really am looking for bootlegs of them, both of which were based in Chicago at various points, and the show was in Chicago, so it was, like, I was really hoping something could come of this. Also involved here, though, was that fact that I was subverting/taking on my rock/performer identity/persona and burying it under a desperate plea of fandom.
My own ads crossed out by ads for searches for other's wares. Those were the larger ideas involved, not to say anything of the implicit issues of design and all of the signifiers surrounding those artists I was looking for, but I could go on for too long with that stuff. It is interesting, though, I'm not quite sure if I am surprised or not that not only did these pieces never sell at all, but I never received any offers for trade, either. I was sort of expecting them to do well in one department or the other, but they "failed" in both departments. But I think I need to bring that dialog back. That was a very specific context, the show in Chicago, and I think they may function differently somewhere else. And perhaps the bottom line, I'm still looking for those recordings! I know they're out there.
BW: Yes! But I wanted to mention that I can also relate to Brendan's point of earned strategies, arriving there through possible questions and problems one sets up for themselves. Some of the work I am most pleased with has come out of those kind of perimeters in which minimal means and limitations are maximized. Consequently, your own language develops and as you say, Brendan, it is rightfully yours bearing in mind the volition leading up to those decisions. Your work balances dynamics of condensed implosion and also an explosive openness to the collisions you've described. You cited free jazz and I relate it to an almost Cubist approach or vibe. I really enjoy how it feeds off itself and self generates as Adam incited, mapping your strategies along the way, emerging and reemerging questions and answers. Problems and solutions. Fragments. Yours is similar Adam, by way of expansive subject matter and formal structuring layers prompting subjective reactions. I like what you said: "I want to see all sides, oppositions, I want to bring in content that clashes," and I like how your work gets at how finding ones position among many possible positions is an active process, one that touches on thinking as ongoing. Not set and still. Endlessly arriving....at.....? You also talk about "the impossibility of controlling the range of subjective, potentially opposed responses, the confusion that may occur." I think confusion is such a rich and undervalued territory. One that exists at a different pace, and is an active place to be. Rather than directing a prescribed or specific interpretationas you say your work elicits response as a process. One that is active and on going rather than reductive and static. To head toward flexibility, and I think this relates to what we've been talking about in terms of developing a "rightful(?)" intrinsic and ongoing language. Perimeters, or margins come to mind, how they may arise, self inflicted or otherwise encountered.
Working, maximizing minimal means. I think about doing very little. Barely there-ness. Transparency, at times. For example, the Youtube video was made (like others) from filming a video off my computer screen while I played it on Youtube. At the moment I decided I wanted to do something with that footage, I could not really think of another way to obtain it other than filming it directly. I thought it was merely a practical way, and a dumb one at that, to accomplish something that I could change down the road but then, after editing, I really liked the results both visually and conceptually. The texture of the video referred back to the process quite literally but I also got into the way it looked, the appearance of (my) looking at this thing made obvious by this layer of remove which interested me a lot. I thought about other work which also does this and I regarded it as occupying a ghosty space. Things like that are sometimes obviously apparent in the work or else it is something more transparent which generates its production. The video was made out of someone else's fan video, and I did not think of what I was doing as that different. Transparency in its structure, as a fan of the fan video. Although mine was a little more savage in its approach to desire, but both share a kind of pleasure in looking. Anyway, I like what looking might look like and I could go on about that. In the case of someone like Louise Lawler, I love how the off kilter angles in her photographs accomplish so much with such simplistic means.
But to answer your question, Longing Longo is really flexible and especially looking back on the process now, very very loose and wonky. I was in grad school. I did not have a script or anything like that. Luckily, John Stevens my Longo was great to work with and contributed a lot to the piece and its process. The main structural component was that I remain off camera and my directions/choreography merely heard. The poses were fairly strenuous for him to maintain at times but we joked around a lot as well, which is also part of the piece.
I think of that video mainly in relation to reenactment: an area of interest and an ongoing theme in my work. I find flexibility within the ghostly aspirations I associate with elusive qualities of reenactment. Also my posters have a considerable range of flexibility in terms of their potential meaning, relating back to what Brendan referred to as "open." This is especially true of the text based posters. To me they have multiple lives. Interpretation, re visitation, reinterpretation, misinterpretation. Specific. Vague. I think a lot about Ruscha and the kind of immersing arid expanse I feel when looking at his work, the way they can be read or misread. The huh? and then the wow, which he speaks of: "Good art should elicit a response of "Huh? Wow!" as opposed to "Wow! Huh?""
December 2009 —March 2010