Filtering by Category: halsey

a little something

Added on by Jourdan.
This week I've been continuing some research for a project that I've been working on for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. I've been serving as a research assistant ("Special Projects Associate" to be specific) to the Halsey's director and curator Mark Sloan for a book proposal/traveling exhibition that's in the works. The project involves the work of Mr. Don ZanFagna, a multi-talented man in his 80's currently living in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

  CLICK HERE to learn more about Mr. ZanFagna

As part of my research, I've been reading up on "Organic Architecture." I've read cover to cover Javier Senosiain's Bio-Architecture, as well as heavily skimmed several others on the subject, and I've come across some ideas and quotes that are particularly relevant in my personal studio work (which shares some aesthetic & conceptual qualities with ZanFagna's). I can't seem to get the following quote, by Frank Lloyd Wright, out of my head. It's taking me somewhere I have been headed for some time... 
Every house is a mechanical forgery of the human body... the whole inside is a sort of stomach that attempts to digest objects, objets d'art perhaps, but objects nonetheless. Here is where the feigned affliction installs itself, always hungry for more objects or plethoric because of excess. It seems like the whole life of the common house is a form of indigestion, an unhealthy body that suffers slight illnesses, that demands constant repairs and remedies to survive. It is a marvel that we, its occupants, are not driven crazy in it and with it; perhaps it is a sort of insanity we have put into it.
 I'm thinking a lot about that quote and how Wright's ideas fit into my body of work/area of interest. I'm excited about the possibilities. Oh yea, and I pulled out some materials today. I've been sitting on my hands for the past few weeks, but I think it's time to start playing around - to see some ideas come to life. The above image is the result of today's toilings.

Situation Orientation

Added on by Jourdan.
What an incredible opportunity... to actually get to make this... I think I've probably said that way too many times... but I really mean it. Its so exciting for me to see something like this come to life... especially after all the planning and troubleshooting that goes into it!
Back in February I walked into the Halsey with a notepad, a measuring tape, and a mission... and walked out with a vision. I know it sounds cheesy, but that's truly how it works. I was drawn to this specific space in the gallery and saw this cave-like form. I knew it belonged there. I knew what I was going to make.

Though I knew almost immediately what form this piece would take, the covering material was something to which I was never fully committed. I had various plans... animal intestines being one of them. But not until (at the very last minute) I started experimenting with a roll of cling wrap, at the off-handed suggestion of an on-looking professor did I know exactly how the piece would be finished, and what it all really meant to me.

As I've said before, I tend to start with forms and let the concepts cultivate from there. At first I had great concerns about the transparency of the material... but then I realized that the transparency is what this piece is all about. I've been working with these biomorphic forms (abstract forms that refer to or evoke living organisms), fabricating them in a manner that I believe to be evocative of 3D computer graphics (the sterile grid-like pattern). This form is soft and inviting, but its not at all place to hide, a place to reside (think hibernating bears). The City Paper said of walking through it... "the experience felt both intimate and exposed." Exactly! It's this idea of a false reality, a false sense of security... the transparency (and fragility), both literally and figuratively, of the fabricated "environment." Have I lost you yet?

April 2010
armature made of mig-welded 1/8 inch steel rod
covered with appx. 1200 ft of consumer plastic saran wrap
18' x 10' x 6.5'

Tower of Blobel

Added on by Jourdan.
As soon as you walk through the doors of the Halsey, you are confronted with this piece, off-centered on the large white wall that welcomes guests into the gallery. Precarious as it is, this "Tower of Blobel" sits on a rickety cart-like pedestal on wheels, which, in my opinion, completes the piece, both aesthetically and conceptually. It's kind of funny how it happened...
I started constructing the piece atop of this cart (one of many that live in the CofC sculpture studio) because it was a piece that was built upon itself. It was also very fragile and easily dirtied, so it was important that I handle it as little as possible. I'd roll it around on the cart about the studio, over to the plaster station, back to my little corner, back and forth. Now, you'll notice the mess of plaster covering the cart... that wasn't there when I began. Constructing this "tower" proved to be a rather tedious, difficult, messy and horribly frustrating process. As many already know, in order to make each "blob" I filled condoms (yes, condoms) with wet plaster, tied them off like balloons, formed them into the desired shape, and held them in place until they hardened. Well... as the Trojan box warns, condoms aren't 100% effective... they DO break... hence the mess.

My plan was to build a tower of sorts, from the ground up... as high as I could go. But, due to the weakness of the latex, the fragility of the hardened plaster, the precariousness of the stacked blobs... I realized this was never going to happen. It was an unattainable goal. A true "tower of babel" type of experience. I felt on the smallest scale what those Babylonians must have felt on the most enormous scale... this feeling that despite all my efforts, I'm not in control. That there's a force far greater that deserves my respect, my honor, and my humility and without acknowledging that, all efforts are futile.

So, I submitted the piece on this cart for the sake of convenience, with the assumption that if it were selected it would then be moved to a proper white pedestal... but the curator, Mary Jane Jacob, liked the pedestal... thought the piece belonged atop of it. At first I was like, huh? But then I realized how right she was. The cart tells the story... it's evidence of the struggle... it adds to the instability... it completes the tower.... the tower of blobel...

March 2010
13 stacked plaster blobs
approximately 2.5' x 1' x 1'

Young Contemporaries 2010

Added on by Jourdan.
Now on view, until April 27th... the two sculptures in the above photo are mine. What an incredible opportunity to get to exhibit in the Halsey's new gallery... SUCH a beautiful space! The opening last Thursday was rather exciting... especially because... um....

WOW... whaaaat? It was incredibly overwhelming. Still is. It's exciting to see people respond positively to my work. To watch people inspecting it, contemplating it, discussing it, experiencing it... that's the best part, I think. It's what keeps me creating.

Stay tuned for more words and images on each piece...
until then, check out the Charleston City Paper's review of the show!

Adit Anew

Added on by Jourdan.
Some further adventures with carpet padding... wanted to take it a step further and create a space with the material. Ideally, I would have liked to have lined the walls (and ceiling, of course) of some kind of slightly cramped existing thoroughfare, but suitable spaces were limited. I chose instead to construct my own hallway, designed specifically for a spot in CofC's Simons Center for the Arts. It went at the top of a turning staircase... it was unexpected... unavoidable... exactly what I was going for.

March 2009

As you can see, it's rather large. I am forever indebted to all those who aided in the installation/de-installation of the piece... especially to my incredibly encouraging and ridiculously accommodating professor, Jarod Charzewski. We had the pleasure (??) of installing it once, for our class critique, and then a second time, for the Halsey Gallery's 2009 Young Contemporaries, the annual juried CofC student show.

Read about it here... on the Charleston City Paper's website.

I was thrilled that the piece was going to get to live for another month, the duration of the show, but was unfortunately informed just days after the opening that that wasn't going to be the case. Apparently carpet padding is a highly flammable material... and the placing of my piece was in "direct violation" of the fire code. Imagine that. It was promptly moved.

It was beyond repair. I shed a few tears. But oh well... I'm recovering. At least I got some prize money from the show!

There's a chance you may be seeing a resurrected version of Adit Anew in the near future... will keep you posted...

4ft x 8ft x 8ft tunnel constucted with 2x4's and covered with drywall