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Young Contemporaries 2011

Added on by Jourdan.
Congratulations to all the Young Contemporaries prize winners! My installation, Flesh In, Flesh Out, which I spoke about in the previous post (in the background of the above photo), took the title of "Best Sculpture." Pretty cool!

I had one other piece in the show, entitled Objectified (seen below).

4' x 2' x 2'
fiberglass insulation on pedestal

Flesh In, Flesh Out

Added on by Jourdan.
I recently completed an installation for the Halsey's annual juried student exhibition, Young Contemporaries. I proposed it as one thing, and it kind of turned into a thing of its own. It came to life, despite the fact that upon proposing it, there were many unknowns as to how it was actually going to come together. It was very much an experiment, materially as well as formally, but I'm quite pleased with the results.

 13' x 6' x 4'
made with polyethylene fabric coated with polyurethane, held together with hotglue

The piece is designed to be experienced from both sides. Viewers are invited to step inside, which is the most exciting part, if you ask me!

Many people have been asking me about the nature of the material that I used. It's actually been recycled from a sculpture I made a while back... look familiar?

CLICK HERE to see more photos of this piece

2011 Young Contemporaries

Added on by Jourdan.
at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
Opening Reception on March 31st, 5-7 pm
on view through April 26th

It's that time again! Every spring the Halsey Institute at the College of Charleston hosts the Young Contemporaries exhibition, the school's annual juried student show. The juror this year was Amy Mackie, the Director of Visual Arts at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans. She spent all day saturday digging through the 400+ submissions, and finished with a batch of 60 selected works. Two of my sculptures were chosen this year, one of which is a large site-based installation that is yet to be built. The other is a piece I did in the fall called "Objectified." It should be a really interesting show, as a lot of exciting/different work was selected this year.

For more info on how the Young Contemporaries show works...

finding a curator

Added on by Jourdan.
Every year the College of Charleston's Visual Art Club brings in an outside guest curator for Young Contemporaries, the college's annual student show at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. This year I have taken it upon myself to compile a group of interested candidates. I started with my friend Heather Hart, whom I met this summer at Franconia Sculpture Park. She is an accomplished artist working and living in NY and naturally has many ties to lots of NY artists, curators, writers, etc.
She was kind enough to compile a list of people she thought would be good candidates for the position. Once I gave her the go-ahead she sent them each a personal e-mail with the club's invitation for consideration attached. I immediately began hearing back from them, with lots of enthusiasm. I began to receive CVs and resumes as though I were an employer of a highly coveted position. It's kind of funny... these big shots in NYC sending me, a measly art student in Charleston, their impressive resumes. It's fun... I could get used to this.

So the Visual Arts Club (or the "review panel" as I've been calling us) meets tonight to pick the curator for the 2011 Young Contemporaries exhibition. Our choice will be made from among these interested candidates...

Petrushka Bazin
independent curator & artist
Trong Nguyen

senior east coast editor of ArtSlant & artist
Heather Hart
Katrina Newman-Scott
curator, art consultant, & producer
Marco Antonini
independent curator, gallery educator at the Guggenheim & lecturer at the MoMA
Camilo Alvarez
owner/director/curator/preparator of Samson Projects
Amy Mackie
curatorial associate at the New Museum
Larry Ossei-Mensa
self proclaimed "culturist"

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!

Situation Orientation... a work in progress

Added on by Jourdan.
When I proposed this installation, I submitted a complete scale model (images to come) with explicit instructions as to how the piece would be assembled in the gallery space. I built the armature in the CofC sculpture studio and cut it apart into three pieces so that it could fit through the gallery's 8' x 8' doorway... darn doorways, always complicating things! Upon submission, the armature was complete and cut apart... ready for install. Once in the space and reassembled I would then adhere the plastic covering on-site.

What you see here is the reassembled armature, in its space, ready to be wrapped!

After hours upon hours of wrapping... it's nearly complete!

coming soon!

Added on by Jourdan.
Get ready... next Thursday, April 1st, from 5-7 PM the 2010 Young Contemporaries exhibition opens at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. The Young Contemporaries is the College of Charleston's annual juried student exhibition, showcasing the hottest young talent the school has to offer. This year, the show has been curated by School of the Art Institute of Chicago sculpture faculty member (!!) and curator of international fame, Mary Jane Jacob.

CLICK HERE to read a preliminary write-up of the exhibition from the City Paper

Selected works were posted this afternoon, and I am lucky enough to have 2 works included in the show... one of which was a rather risky submission... a large-scale, site-specific installation. But it was chosen, hallelujah! Installation will begin this Wednesday, and I'll be working on-site for the week leading up to the opening.

Here's a sneak peak... a preliminary model... a sketch of sorts. I've since changed some things, such as the covering material. I'll post photos of final model in time...

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