Thursday, January 12, 2012

Go see Joe's show

Joseph Winterhalter, Installation View, BBAC, Detroit 2010
Joseph Winterhalter, Installation view, BBAC, Birmingham, Michigan, 2010.

My old friend Joe and two other fine artists have a show titled Forms of Authority up at Prairie
 (4035 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati OH). The reception is Jan. 14, 7-9 PM. Any of you Ohioans/Kentuckians in the range of this call and the gallery, go and raise a cup of art opening wine with Joe for me.



I told Joe in an email "They look so clean in the photo but I suspect inspection would reveal that clean leaves a lot of traces of its own messy formation." Which is the way of formation. One of the really cool things we saw at Bunratty Castle in Ireland were a couplet sets of antlers from Irish Elk mounted on the wall of the great room. The Irish Elk notably exemplifies the neutral purpose of evolution's slog; their antlers grew to a point where their heads could no longer support them, and the beasts died out recently enough in the evolutionary timeline that they got mounted up on castle walls and turned into really stunning things like mermaid chandeliers.

Perhaps an ignominious end to such a noble beast, going from having a head too big for God's plan to allow to being scraps in some German craftsman's atelier, something about which he could muse "That'll work for the mermaid!"

The Process is just that, a process. We want to attribute a goal, a  higher purpose because it impresses meaning to our triumph and suffering. It plasters bright exit arrows on our mendacity. We believe in our hearts, It'll all be worthwhile because in the end, we become this awesome mermaid in a castle!


Joe's work embodies this, using institutional construction materials as his elk horns, (re)working them so that time is refracted through them, that the fourth dimension is just like the other three, meticulously rendered on equal footing on the canvas, which becomes a fifth dimension of sorts, another angle added to the evolutionary process. I suppose the viewing of the canvas is a sixth dimension; the writing about the viewing a seventh, and so on. If we were both high or quantum physicists right now, it would all make sense.


The Sugar Frosted Nutsack rolls along with evolutionary recursion as the main character.  It's a story about a story that absorbs each retelling of the story into the story. Picking up and losing things along the way. 
Yesterday, I was working on a data process that mirrored it - get some more data, aggregate it, then get some more data and aggregate all that. All the pensive Japanese guitar music and glitchy techno I listened to while working on that report was about that.  I'm to talk to Efrim from Thee Silver Mt. Zion today; their music is very much about this, a song ravaged to become a new song, about society ravaging its way into becoming a new one, only to sing another song.

Thee Silver Mt. Zion, "1,000,000 Died to Make This Sound"


This post mirrors the Process. The story sitting right here in front of me waiting to be finished mirrors the Process. Everything does. The action begets the artifact which bears the trace of the action to give the artifact its dimension. That sounds like the kind of thing Joe or I would say to each other after that third vodka tonic back in the heady days of burgeoning alcohol problems and art talk. Except we would've brought the Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence into it and then played pool. Or, like Mr. Leyner in Nutsack says about his story whose telling becomes a story whose telling...
Everything about it becomes it.
So, yeah, go see Joe's show at Prairie if you can. Should be a good one.

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