Tom, this show by Charles Linder is open until the 29th. The pictures from the gallery’s website which I’ve included here allow us to see something, alas without the whole reveal. My experience of the show is that it’s a rebus. But, you might not agree, maybe you’ll think it’s all arbitrary. How will we find out? I’ve listed the separate works as I recall them (below). If that is non-sensical and if you don’t have time to go see it, I’ll have to go back with my camera. (Note: I won’t tell you the show’s title for reasons of my own.)
Here’s what I remember seeing, with the gallery’s images for minimal assistance:
— a chandelier-like thing the size of a VW bug, suspended from the gallery ceiling, composed of old, diverse wood chairs —some with seats, some without — roped together and lit sparsely with small, orange candle-shaped bulbs
— a functional, truck-size tire swing hanging from black-rubber enclosed chain, with a painted white interior holding a single loop of strip lighting (see installation shot)
— a life-scale digital print (“edition of 8”) of a shotgunned rusty car hood with hand -cut “bullet holes” handsomely sandwiched between two big sheets of glass leaning between the lip of a strong, white shelf and the wall
— around the corner of the print is the original item, the shot-up car hood
— around the corner from that is a loosely made blue painting composed of a collaged-on, blue-painted chicken leg and a rough image, perhaps made of boar hair, of a boar
— a low, mirrored platform supporting several bullet-ridden, lit-from-within silvered containers sits within the walls holding the car hoods and blue painting
— a painting by graham gillmore whose words recommend reading joyce’s ulysses without any prior training in literature (it’s found text, for what that’s worth)
— a fancy sports car (I think a porsche, I should know, I know!) wired to a life-size plastic pig covered in lit red light bulbs (pictures attached)
— several individual colorful awkward expressionistic paintings of chairs, one per awkward probably metal panel
— around the corner from above, a lone largely red painting with two bulbs protruding (yes, Tom, like two boobs on a torso)
— a tangle of deer antlers, zip-tied together, suspended from the gallery ceiling in diametrically opposite corner as the chair tangle — no light bulbs on this piece — casting a clear, tangled shadow
— a large photograph of a thin, blonde woman standing in the middle of an empty road which stretches to the horizon behind her, holding a bullet-ridden metal panel above her head
— a medium photograph of a bullet-ridden mustang (the car, not a horse) in flames
— a string of 20″ red letters descending from the gallery ceiling that spell LONGLIVELEO, letters which end just above the rim of a 24″ diameter zinc basin — what is in the basic I can’t say as I neglected to take a look
Hi Miriam. Thank you for these detailed description of the partially seen and unseen. Here’s my riff:
These photographs suggest an artist with a wonderful concern for texture and form and color — that much is certain! I like particularly the repeated use of holes and light through holes, with variations of color. Since I haven’t seen the whole show, I don’t know about your idea that the pieces in this gallery represent a kind of rebus, each physical form denoting something else, a message. What I see is an artist who is concerned with manufactured objects (cars, lamps, tires) and their pliancy — their porousness. We think of cars as solid, but we experience cars here as merely made of elements, riddled with oxygen and carbon and hydrogen, see-through-able. And the car hooked to the pig is treated not as a vehicle, or a status symbol, but as a conduit of red, porcine electricity. Which turns out to be even more impressive than a conventional use of its body. Reversals. Surprises (chair and antler accumulations, red “boobs” jutting out of a painting). We are looking at the familiar in fun ways.
In this light, I think the LONGLIVELEO is the important message (the hidden one pointed to by the rebus of physical forms?). Leo may be a friend, a lover, a family member. It is an exquisitely personal name. Is it a shortened version, a diminutive, of Leopold, Leonard? We don’t know. But it sounds intimate. Oh, Leo. My love, Leo. Leo, come here! Leo, don’t ever leave me. And this vertical chant — LONGLIVELEO — stands in opposition to the debris-field, the aesthetically, thematically united debris-field all around it. Long live Leo strikes me as a wish directly from the heart. A futile one of course (none of us will live long compared to the objects around us), but completely understandable and agreeable to all of us.
Let us note the porousness of all objects, including our own bodies. Let us, as one, shout our protest: Long live Leo! Let us put our two bits, our hearts, our dreams, our tenderest expressions, our memories themselves, into the zinc basin below. No need to take a look, Miriam: we already know what it contains. Everything and nothing. Life.