Sunday, April 29, 2012

RIP David Weiss

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Mr. and Mrs. Pear and Their New Dog

David Weiss died yesterday of cancer at the age of 66. My love for both artists runs deep from their ingenious, rickety photographs (above) to their elaborate Rube Goldberg-esque installations (below).

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, The Way Things Go, 1987

I will never forget seeing Patrick Frey's documentary of the making of The Way Things Go (above) at the Matthew Marks Gallery about five years ago. At times it was frustrating to watch with all of the mistakes that routinely happened with a tire not quite rolling in the right direction but it certainly makes The Way Things Go seem all the more impressive as a 30 minute short film.

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Fashion Show from Sausage Series

David Weiss will surely be missed.

Greta Alfaro's "In Praise of the Beast"

In Praise of the Beast from greta alfaro on Vimeo.

Where to begin... a "snow cake" + two wild boars = remnants of a two year old's birthday party. The rolling and shaking that occurs at 10 minutes is particularly humorous. See more of Greta's artwork here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's spring. Must be time for a cake post.

This is long overdue! In January, the Art:21 Blog and Gastro-Vision published the year-end roundup of sweets. I was introduced to a few new artists (Victoria Yee Howe for one) and some old ones. I've also been collecting a few since then. It's hard to believe that two years ago this week I was making styrofoam and caulk cakes! I'm in a holding pattern until mid May on knowing what this summer's plans entail. Here's to hoping everything comes through!

Joel Penkman, Krispy Kreme Dozen

Victoria Yee Howe, Insatiable (An Edible Installation)


Shay Aaron, Chocolate Iced Doughnuts

Wayne Thiebaud, Cupcakes and Doughnuts, 2006

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Clouds: Part 4

Berndnaut Smilde's Nimbus II was all over the internet this spring. I can't stop thinking about this magical event of an artist creating his own cloud wishing I could apply it to my water samples (Could I make water? Dream on). I don't know how long it lasts but the fact that it exists as a lamda print and not an installation, tells me it is a fleeting situation, just like a real cloud passing quickly by in the atmosphere.

Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus II, 2012

Bryan Nelson writes: "The clouds are generated using a smoke machine, but Smilde must carefully monitor a room's humidity and atmosphere in order to get the smoke to hang so elegantly, and with such life-like form. Backlighting is used to bring out shadows from within the cloud, to give it that look of a looming and ominous rain cloud."

Clouds often cover up the things I long to see - the ocean, the blue sky, the city below me from the airplane above, etc. In some circumstances, I wish for the cloud on the horizon to be disguising the Thirteeners that are thousands of miles away from where I live now. I know the mountain range is on the other side of the soybean field but a cumulus just happens to be in the way. Yes, I can pretend. Perhaps Smilde's nimbus hides something about the room - the warehouse that looks like a chapel. What is the sort of thing that lies behind this cloud in a space like this? What is it distracting me from and why?

Another one of my favorite artists, Leandro Erlich, is also working with clouds as seen from this photograph from the Armory Show via

Leandro Erlich, La Vitrina Cloud Collection (London), 2011

I am not sure how these clouds are printed on glass but they are layered like Dexter's blood samples lined up in a row. They become specimen but the cool blue light and the variety of shapes still indicates they are still a magical object to behold.

Leandro Erlich, Sklylight, The Clouds Story, 2009

Clouds are not a new subject for Erlich but these take on a more comical, Vik Muniz like approach in their unlikely yet specific formations.

Finally, two other clouds that I've been wanting to post:

Kevin Van Aelst, Common Clouds, 2007

Nina Leen, Unknown Woman Eating Cotton Candy

I am always thinking about clouds.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

National Record Store Day

Lisa Milroy, Records, 1989

Christian Marclay, Guitar Neck, 1992

Christian Marclay, Footsteps, 1989

Robert Rauschenberg, Record design for Talking Heads' Speaking in Tongues (via)

Cat Lynch's Postcard Collective Interview & Letterbox Project

Another Postcard Collective interview is finally up! Cat's two contributions over the course of the last six months are some of the most fascinating items to reach my mailbox. Read more here.

Once upon a time back in November 2010, I contributed (belatedly) to Cat Lynch's Letterbox Project. Earlier this month, I received this in my mailbox announcing its completion.

See all of it here (including contributions by Laura Hruska, Kathleen Ryan, and Hannah Barnes).

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jacqueline Suskin's "The Collected"

A couple months ago I received an email from the poet Jacqueline Suskin. She happened upon my website after reading my essay in Learning to Love You More and found a strong connection between her publication The Collected and my series The Lost Photographs.  In her book, she writes poems for found photographs that were acquired in Florida flea markets, from friends, or in the trash. She ever so kindly sent me a copy and I read it immediately upon opening. "You Are Not My Doe" draws a direct visual connection to We crossed Lake Te Anua...

My favorite piece in Jacqueline's book is "A Brown Study Market" mainly because I would like to think that I do the same:

Sometimes the internet can do wonderful things like providing an opportunity to acquaint myself someone else's work that so clearly resonates with my own. Thank you, Jacqueline, for contacting me and for the beautiful book!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New Acquisitions

Lots of white books arrived this month. Three were damaged (not by the cat), returned, and shipped again. I ordered The Artist's Guide because the author will be a visiting artist next semester at Ball State plus I heard it is a worthwhile read by several people. I now own The Elements of Style (Illustrated) because I needed it and who wouldn't buy the illustrated version especially when this is inside?

Photographs Not Taken offered a tremendous surprise when I read Kelli's page:

I had to purchase the Cindy Sherman and Rineke Dijkstra monographs after seeing them at the Museum of Modern Art and SFMOMA bookstores. I didn't have a Sherman book and my Dijkstra catalog is quite miniscule so here's to rounding out the library.

This month, I was also the lucky recipient of this much awaited, self-published book by Maura Jasper. From the introduction: "...Items found by transportation is an inventory of items lost on Ball State University buses and recovered by transportation. This book is a compilation of emails written by Gary with an effort to reunite lost items with their owners..."

I am counting down the days when I will have some free time to read and conquer my interlibrary loan list!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cat Scrapbook

After scanning nearly 1/3 of the contemporary cat collection, I started to realize that is not the direction I want my project to take. Two weeks ago, I went back to the original scrapbook and photographed the entire thing (four hours later). This is going to be the basis for the wallpaper that I need to start working on tomorrow! The end of May is looming!

The copy stand.

Page 3.

A funny detail I hadn't noticed earlier.

In conclusion...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

World's Largest Birthday Cake in 1962

Ben Barrett gave me this postcard in class Tuesday night. Look - it's Paul Bunyan on top! On a side note, the current world's largest birthday cake is boring as can be (coming from someone who prefers elevation over the flatland).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Review of "Lust" Exhibition in Arts ATL


"Sexual obsession is also addressed by several artists, but by none more so than Jacinda Russell. These two altered images of Marilyn Monroe (“A Tale of Obsession: David C. Nolan and Marylin Monroe #15 and #10″) are part of a large, private collection of erotic photography owned by Nolan, who spent many years cataloging and captioning the thousands of images he hoarded and filed away. The back story behind this secret cache of erotica speaks volumes about the obsessive/compulsive psychology of desire and the need by some to contain and control it."

Christina Cotter

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Current Exhibitions

In addition to Lust at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, here are some other things that are in the works:

My submission for Io Palmer and Lisa Link's Serve and Project napkin show at The Kitchen Gallery Exhibition at Clermont Gallery, University of Cincinnati from 4-22 May.

One of two accepted submissions for Paperchaser 2012 at Gallery 308 in Muncie, Indiana (seen alongside Mollie Baumann's mixed media photograph). "Desert Sun" and "Little Great Lakes" are on view until 26 April. The reflections and hideous i-Phone photographic reproduction look a little like they are underwater. Appropriate or inappropriate?

I also shipped two artworks to Rockford, Illinois for the 2012 Rockford Midwestern Biennial at the Rockford Art Museum. Sooke Potholes... and Scott and Kim's Backyard... made the final cut.

The Objects of Containment proposal by Hannah Barnes, David Hannon, Jennifer Halvorson and I was accepted as an Atrium Gallery exhibition at Ball State University in November 2012 and will travel to the Academy of Art in Wroclaw, Poland next April.

I have a solo exhibition at Vincennes University that will be installed in August 2012. It will feature Strange Artifacts: A Found Object and Photographic Wunderkammer, The Library of Loss and two new pieces from the Autobiography series. Scary to think that a minimum of 80 artworks will be in one location!

Discounting the largest stack of rejection letters that I have ever received this year and the diminishing checking account from application fees, there are still 15 things in the works with many more to come. I'm down to the wire on the ten exhibition quota (generously bequeathed to me by the tenure and promotion committee) before 31 October. It can still happen... gray hairs and all. Five more to go.

A Beautiful Thing

My Voices of the Wilderness proposal is complete! I'll know in mid May if this factors into my summer plans. Fingers crossed!

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Lust" at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery

Two David C. Nolan and Marilyn Monroe photographs hidden in the installation view above (image via Jennifer Schwartz Gallery). More on the exhibition here.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

Stephanie Lanter, Peeps in Cheese Dish

Victoria Jenkins, Images from the Archives of the Institute of Esoteric Research, 2009

Sarah Palmer, Post-Post Etiquette

Sarah Hobbs, Untitled (Sensitivity), 2004

Colby Bird, Dust Breeds Contempt
Barnum and Bailey Showgirl, 1946 via.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Io Palmer's "Workspace"

Last Friday, a group of us from school traveled to Crawfordsville, Indiana to see Io Palmer's exhibition, Workspace at Wabash College. Io came to Ball State and gave a lecture about her work at the end of February and seeing this show was on my must-do list before it closed. I was enamored by her Art Stars dress that hovered over a vast collections of drawings of hair on napkins. They resembled tiles and ironically the grain of the wood floor worked very well with the intricate representations of various types of hair.

I have a love of artwork that shows a vast collection of objects especially when they look as detailed as the thousands of bobby pins she used to make this piece.

The photos below shows three details from the 2008 series Combs and Hairballs. Check out this link to see the group in its entirety.  It was so hard to pick a favorite as some of the combs held my attention more than the pile of synthetic hair yet some of the hairballs had such character, they were hard not to resist. We spent the longest time discussing the merits of two combs versus two, red or blond, small or large.

I was also fascinated by the decor in the women's bathroom.

Overall, I am so glad to see Io's work in Indiana especially at one of the four men's colleges left in the nation! More on her napkin project very soon.