Monday, April 03, 2006

"Heroin Is A Heavy Hat" - 1998

"All Pumped Up" - 1998

Our Heroin(e) Stumbles - 1998
Mixed media; dimensions variable
Vicinity of 16th & Mission, San Francisco

After midnight on the night I struck my "Dhghmunculus" installation (see below) from The Lab, I reconfigured some of the materials from that installation into new sculptures. These new sculptures, primarily figurative, referenced heroin addiction and social "success," both within the context of development of a communal future. I installed 7 or 8 of these figures/groupings on sidewalks, alleyways & plazas in the close vicinity of the intersection of 16th & Mission, a place where I've seen several of my friends wrestle with their own addictions & aspirations.

"Dhghmunculus" - 1998
Mixed media; 7’ h x 36’ w x 60’ deep
The Lab, San Francisco CA
Photo credits: Marion Grey

A cross between a horror movie set, a laboratory, a storage shed & an art gallery.

Please see my “Sculptures” blog for detailed photos of many of the component sculptures from this installation.

"Alien Encounter" - 1998
Xrays; 24” h x 30” w each
Temple Gallery/Kortrijks JOVC, Kortrijks, Belgium
Curated by Jose Vandenbrouck

"New Man Is Learning To Swim" - 1996
Xrays, dried fish, wood, tarpaper; dimensions variable
Dominic Centrum, Plzeň, Czech Republic

The Czech title was “Nový Člověk Se Uči Plavat.” The term “Nový Člověk” (“New Man”) was being used by one or other of the Czech political parties contesting that year’s election; it seemed to have connotations similar to that of Britain’s New Left or USA’s Compassionate Conservativism, ie pointing towards a guilt-free yuppification of one’s sense of individual responsibility to the community, ie. capitalism is sexy; almost the Playboy Man image. When society changes rapidly around the citizen, well the citizen then must find a new persona that fits the new surround. Who better to inscribe the parameters of that new persona than a political party.

I showed an x-ray of the new (mutated) skeleton of this New Man & set it in a pitch-black cellar surrounded by dozens of dried, bleached fish carcasses from California’s Salton Sea, suspended from invisible fishing line, turning slowly & aimlessly in circles. The fish were brought over as carry-on luggage. The dampness of the cellar gallery caused the fish to start rotting after two weeks.

"We Have Proven That We Can Prove It" - 1996
Unwound paper dartboard; 20’ l x 20’ w
Mapovani Prostoru, 2nd International Symposium Hrad Klenova, Klenova, Czech Republic

"Transport" - 1996
Tree branches, handtruck; 14’ h
Mapovani Prostoru, 2nd International Symposium Hrad Klenova, Klenova, Czech Republic

"Mimesis" - 1996
Table, glasses, beer, canvas, varnish; 3’ h x 6’ l x 3’ w
Mapovani Prostoru, 2nd International Symposium Hrad Klenova, Klenova, Czech Republic

"Dve Pave" - 1996
Old mufflers; 15” h x 24" l
Mapovani Prostoru, Hrad Klenova, Czech Republic

"Marie of Saxony" - 1996
Mixed media; dimensions variable
Mapovani Prostoru, 2nd International Symposium Hrad Klenova, Klenova, Czech Republic

"Full Moon Fallen Among Tombstones & Toadstools" - 1996
Rivets, lighters, marble; dimensions variable
Kancelar Komise BKS, Narodni Galerii Veletrzni Palac, Prague, Czech Republic

After much negotiation, the secret organization BKS allowed me to make this installation inside their office in the National Gallery for Contemporary Art.

"System 1" - 1995
Shower stall, chair, loudspeaker, tubing, bottles,wood, collage; dimensions variable
30th Anniversary Exhibition, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco
Curated by Kate Eilertsen

“Even If Such An Object Outside Us Were Unimportant” - 1995
Mixed media, approx. 16’ high x 37’ x 64’
Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco
photo credit: Craig Goodman

Inspired by a photograph of burning furniture inside Nicolae Ceaucescue’s palace after he was deposed, this installation attempted to invoke a sense that the space had once been a site of power but was now abandoned. Exactly what had taken place there was, however, a mystery.

Texts composed from text appropriated from Das Kapital were painted in white semi-gloss paint on flat white walls. Only from certain angles were the words legible. It was impossible to see all the words at once no matter where one stood.

A long text composed from text appropriated from De Sade, Foucault, Hitler & Arendt was written with white chalk over the entire area of the floor, which had been painted with blackboard slating. As visitors arrived for the exhibition’s opening and walked on the floor, the chalk text began to be obliterated.

These wall & floor texts became the basis for the first third of my first novel, Anne Frank In Jerusalem.

"Trace Elements" - 1991
Mixed media; variable
Podvornice Student Cultural Center, Dubravka, Czechoslovakia

I used found objects to make “trail-markers” and hidden “cities” throughout a large (60+ acres) abandoned field/toxic waste dump on the edge of this suburb of Bratislava.

"Schopenhauer's Visitors" - 1991
Mixed media; variable
Day of Open Doors, Open House, Kostelec nad Černymi Lesy, Czechoslovakia

I was doing interior demolition of the small house several of us had bought to develop into an artists residence center. Even though there was now just a dirt floor & bare brick walls, I decided to participate in "Day of Open Doors" along with all the art galleries & museums in town. I made about 10 small installations using some of the many items I'd found while doing demolition. These are poor pictures of the three best pieces.

“Streben & Atmen” (w/Steffen Jacob) - 1990
Stone, wood, plastic, liquids; dimensions variable; this consisted of two objects, each approx. 7’ long x 3’ diameter
Ausfall 90, Zwinger Palace, Karl-Marx-Stadt, DDR

In this moment of political transition, we tried to be socially useful by “cleaning” two of the statues in this Baroque palace.

“Refugee” (detail) - 1990
mixed media, approx. half an acre
Galerie H, Kostelec nad Černymi Lesy, Czechoslovakia

The elements of this installation were spread throughout the rear garden of Galerie H, run by Zdenek & Jiri Hula. I performed in & with this installation on 8/12/90. For more photos & info see relevant posting on Brief Amaze 1990 blog.

“CruciFiction 3” - 1990
Wood, twine, cans, 10’ h x 9’ w
Holyland, Joshua Tree, CA, 1990

A bunch of us went down to Holyland, a sprawling desert junkyard / art ranch near Joshua Tree. We did plenty of acid, painted Lise's van, walked in the desert, watched a pig being roasted while my girlfriend made out with Ralph Eaton in the back seat of a rusted car. I even made some sculptures/installations. This is one of them.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

"The Infant Carlos III Dreams of the New World" - 1990
Mixed media; 2 acres
Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco

Sometimes there's some ambiguity about whether something is a sculpture or an installation, and in some cases, like this one, there's some question of where the distinction is between installation & performance. These questions aren't too important to me, so maybe the decisions I make about this issue are inconsistent. In any case there's no need to go into any explanations here.

The elements of this installation were spread throughout Justin Herman Plaza, one of the largest & most heavily-trafficked downtown public areas. These elements were repeatedly relocated & reconfigured during the course of a 16-hour performance by the same artist (me). This project was the result of a commissioning competition by Intersection for the Arts Projects/Off-Site Spaces, and included some collaboration with Raegan Kelly, who made several B&W super-8 film loops for this project.

"Field Equations" - 1983
Mixed media; approx. 7’ h x 45’ l x 15’ w
STudent Union Art Gallery, San Francisco State University
A collaboration with Clifford Hunt

Clifford Hunt & I put this up in two days, it showed for two days & then we took it down. Lots of paper walls, text, arrows, directions, peep-holes & small stuff in display cases.