FEBRUARY / March 2017
OPENING EVENT: FRIDAY MARCH 10th 7-10PM
Diane Endres Ballweg Gallery (3rd Floor)
Meaningless and Sure
We just had to do something on the high 'letter' wall where the gallery name is spelled out. We liked the idea of a piece that you can walk up to from a long way back, but that you only ever see from below. To avoid a flat, movie theater look, we wrapped the piece onto the side walls. We let the sides lean over you a bit, so that they interact with your view of the 'letter' wall as you walk.
On sunny days, a bright bar of sunlight rises up the left wall, so we put some billowy translucent paper there to be scanned each day by the sun.
Under the 'letter' wall is what we dubbed the 'cave.' It's a dimmer, closer space. Work at the back of the cave has to be pretty flat because of the foot traffic through the doors on either side. We figured what went there should meander across its surface. At the same time, that meandering also has to complement the 'letter' wall piece since you can take in both as you walk up the gallery.
That little section of short wall to the right of the restrooms hissed for something escaping like the bats and owls in Goya's Sleep of Reason. By contrast, the wall section opposite wanted work that would make it disappear.
(un)tacit brings together recent paintings by Matthew Choberka, Ian Hagarty, and Sam King. Each of these artists acknowledges the near-inevitable associative capacities of abstraction. Interwoven in their paintings are a host of intentions, impulses, and strategies, each like a point on a spectrum: internal/external, intuitive/rational, accidental/deliberate, brash/restrained, experienced/imagined, revealed/concealed, to name a few. As vectors of action overlap, the notion that painting could ever be reducible to “A vs. B” or “on a scale of one to five...” becomes patently untenable. For these artists, such an entanglement is in fact desirable, for it can yield rich, exuberant paradox.
"Tacit" typically refers to the unspoken: what is understood need not be expressed. In music, tacit means not played. Surely these paintings can’t be tacit in the latter sense of the word, and they offer no promise of implicit agreement. Yet they do not narrate. They embrace what is not understood, and what they convey is multivalent. Maybe they reflect the world; maybe they’re more of it.
According to legend, L.C. Smith and his brother Wilburt, of Smith Corona typewriters, originally owned a gun factory, but they got turned on to typewriters by a guy they brought in to improve their guns. The parts of a typewriter are surprisingly similar to those of a shotgun, so it was easy to start making typewriters, and they became incredibly successful at it and stopped making guns. There would be a “pen is mightier than the sword” lesson in there somewhere, except they really just cared about making more money.
Despite their chequered capitalist past, I really love typewriters. I take them apart—along with some adding machines and clocks and music boxes—and make new stuff. It’s fascinating to me to open up an old machine, see the insides, and learn how it works (girls didn’t get to take shop class when I was a kid). Some of the parts that you’d never see from the outside are so elegant, and I like the layers of dirt and grime and ink. To some it may be a sacrilege to “destroy” an antique, but to me it feels like I’m freeing the parts to get back into life and speak to the present.
I’m curious about the life of machines. They are often thought of as the opposite of humanity, and yet we create them. We adapt the shapes and functions of our instruments to our messy lives, and their workings reveal our social structures and the shoulders we stand upon, as well as our desire and confusion. Our lives are “processed” through machines of our own making—what if we could reshape machines to “unprocess” us?
Those are a few of the things I think about.
As for my history, I was born in Clayton, MO and lived the Midwest until I was almost nine, when my family moved Raleigh, NC (just a couple years after the final deadlines for desegregating the public schools). I fled after high school and studied and lived in the New York/New England area for a number of years before coming to Madison, where I have lived since 1990. I earned a BA in art and an MA and PhD in the psychology of creativity, with a concentration in women’s studies (all from radical, experimental schools you’ve probably never heard of). After several years as a painter/printmaker, I spent 16 years involved in the performing arts as an aerial dancer, choreographer, and neo-burlesque performance artist before focusing again on visual art, this time working in three and four dimensions.
The waves they make
As an emerging artist, Maeve Jackson is resistant to being associated with any single medium though she prefers working with the platform of video. Her recent works investigate the cultural codes that have been placed on females through out time. Over all, her work examines critical social issues through projects that pull from current & past media to tell stories, examine public opinion, and foster open exchange.
Call for Artists:
Central Library Art Shows: The next deadline for applications is February 5, 2017
Click here to apply