This is a drawing of the box we’re gonna place our monitors inside for the Truck show (see post below). These boxes will serve as both exhibition crate and display strategy. The inspiration easily comes from three teachers I studied under, Mel Ziegler (the container as art), Dan Sutherland (the art’s crate as art) and Bill Lundberg (video as sculpture).
Now that I think about it, there is a long history of containers and art crates, including Marcel Duchamp, perhaps the most well known. Wouldn’t it be great/scary if someone assembled a concept diagram that kept track of where art ideas came from?
Bruc Fugue, 2006, set detail
The Stepping Up and Going Under Method, 2006, set detail
Our next exhibition opens this Friday (April 20, 2007) as part of the Truck show at the Urban Culture Project in Kansas City. Truck is actually two exhibitions — one in KC and one in St Louis — curated by Matthew Strauss (White Flag Projects, St Louis) and Barry Anderson (UCP, KC). Each city “trucks” in artworks by artists living in the opposite city.
We’ve been asked to show two video installations: Bruc Fugue (2006) and The Stepping Up and Going Under Method (2006). Currently we’re busy working on the installations for the finished videos. More details to come.
On the threshold of Sound Space in Laredo, the two large pod sculptures illuminated within diaphanous plastic are softly breathtaking. The couple in collaboration, Megan and Murray McMillan, staged a performance and installation in propinquity with a video made during their Spring 2006 residency at Can Serrat in Barcelona.
Read the rest of Dissociative Disorders & Dancing in Laredo by writer and critic Michelle Gonzalez Valdez here on her San Antonio-based collaborative art blog Emvergeoning.
Ramón Villarreal, one of the performers of the fugue writes here (in Spanish) about his experience inside the structure during the two-hour performance on his design blog, Ruta 209.
And finally, these are the installation images for Bruc Fugue at Sound in Laredo (runs through Jan 31, 2007). Six performers inside the two “island” structures read the newspaper and deliver a spoken word fugue––in spanish––every ten minutes.
The name Bruc Fugue comes from El Bruc, the town in Spain where we filmed the video, and the fugue spoken in the Laredo installation.
Once we arranged the trash, we were able start forming the plastic around it.
On our first day of installation in Laredo on Friday, we started to build a wood skeleton for our two “trash islands.” We then fastened large junk pieces on the skeleton including the hood of a Mack truck, two go-carts, several old air conditioners and countless (more than 20) vacuums. At one point, one of the islands was covered in vacuums, which was visually interesting but steered the project conceptually in the wrong direction, so we removed them in favor of less-recognized trash.
We had a great opening at Sound last night, and we’re flying out this afternoon. Here’s a detail of the piece. This week we’ll post images of the construction process and the final installation.
Thanks to everyone who came out to see the work, and in particular, a big thank you to our six performers: Melissa Barrìentos-Whitfield, Maritza Bautista, Cesar Casso Jr, Gil Rocha, Ramón Villarreal, and Rodolfo Zuniga.
We’re arrived in Laredo last night, rehearsed with an excellent cast of performers, and are well on our way in construction of the installation. The space here at Sound is ideal, as are the resources that are abundantly available: a full shop, a hardware store around the corner, and the most delicious breakfast tacos this side of the Rio Grande. Our hosts are fantastic as well — we showed up at the gallery early this morning to find all of our requested equipment lined up neatly, along with a cooler full of juice, soda, water, a coffee maker and a radio, and the plastic we had shipped was ready and waiting.
We are working with six performers who will be reciting, in Spanish, the fugue that accompanies the video. Last night the performers all assembled in the gallery, and we heard them speaking together for the first time, and I got chills. It’s always a magical moment when performers “activate” something that previously you’ve been only able to see in your head.
Today, we’re shaping the large trash items into a structure that we’ll cover in plastic. Tonight, we work with the performers a second time. It’s a tight time-frame, but everything is on schedule for tomorrow’s opening.
Our departure from St Louis yesterday would have been ridiculously funny if it hadn’t been so stressful — we were running late; Murray backed into a parked car as we pulled out of our garage; we forgot to pack the heat-gun and had to turn around and get it; the dog dramatically freaked out when we dropped him off at the sitter. But the kicker was that when we finally got to long-term parking at the airport, we rolled down our electric window to get the ticket, and it wouldn’t roll back up. Murray pushed the switch so hard trying to get it to work that the switch broke off. Of course it was raining. We contemplated leaving it in covered parking with the window down and hoping for the best, but then we realized that we had a case full of tools. We rigged the broken switch and it mercifully worked, and we were able to board the plane just in time.
If you’re in the area, please join us tomorrow from 7-10pm. All the info is here. And check out our recommendation on Glasstire.
We’ve getting ready to head out for our show that opens at Sound Art Space on Saturday. In addition to the video (the collages will be shown at another gallery, the Laredo Center for the Arts), we’re building an installation out of trash that we’ll cover in a clear plastic shell, contouring with an industrial heat gun. The funny thing is working with the plastics company representatives, who tend to be amused by our requests. Most of their clients are concerned with the technical characteristics of the material, but we’re more interested in color (which in the industrial plastics world is almost arbitrary).