Monday Morning Quarterback

Monday morning quarterback

n.
Informal

One who criticizes or passes
judgment from a position of hindsight.

We (Jeriah Hildwine and Stephanie Burke) present you with our "
judgment from a position of hindsight."

Monday Morning Quarterback:  May 31, 2010

Art on Armitage

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30
Days of Dinner
at Art on Armitage
An recurring "performance" in
which a pair of people eat dinner in a window display.  At the closing
reception, a photograph of each pair of diners was accompanied by a
written description of their dinner and conversation.

J:  Even
discounting the fact that they had a lot of awesome snacks at the
closing, and the fact that Steph was one of the diners, I liked this
piece.  Maybe it's the fact that I like dinner.  Reading the
descriptions and seeing the photographs of the performances in progress
was interesting.  There were also performers in situ for the closing
reception, so I got a sense of what the rest of them had been like,
although of course each one was unique. 

S: Having participated
in the piece, I already rather liked it. An interesting performance
concept, though I wish there was more variation in he participants.
Looking forward to the book (or whatever final manifestation the project
takes). Oh, and awesome friggin snacks. Who knew weird little spinach
squares from Costco could be so good.

Ebersmoore
Trew
Schriefer, Perceptions of Reverie

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J:  This body of
paintings really functioned as two separate bodies.  The larger works,
with their spare paint, lots of pencil line, and open stretches of blank
canvas are solidly paintings in the modernist tradition.  They're
really open, with a fresh, light feel, this despite the fact that where
there is paint, it is often inches thick, hanging in thick, goopy gobs. 
This contast, between clean white canvas, spare pencil line, and
gnarled, almost fecal coils of paint makes this, no shit, the best
abstract painting I've seen in quite some time.

The smaller
works, although also made essentially of paint on canvas, functioned
more like relief sculpture.  Nearly the entire surface is built up into a
convoluted mass, with only a few flat areas.  This, combined with the
shimmering, metallic sheen of some of the paint, subtly evoked a bronze
relief panel like the Florence "Gates of Paradise."  It takes some time,
and a close viewing, to gain this appreciation.  From a distance, they
read at first as busy, overworked paintings, but when viewed more
closely, as sculpture, they grow on you.

S: Initial thought,
"These would have been perfect to look at when I was stoned in high
school." Then, "God-fucking-damn-it, I hate it when art makes me thing
that." Grumble, stare, sip beer, walk around room for a second look.
Conclusion, "Wait, these are actually really good. Thoughtful
compositions, and fun-house entertaining to visually explore and
deconstruct." I am generally a hater on bright colored, goopy,
contemporary abstraction, but these won me over. If there was more like
this out there, I'd be less of a hater. 

Joanna Goss, Fix
Your Changes

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Some small paintings in gouache on paper, and a
shelf full of kaleidoscopes.

J:  Who doesn't like a
kaleidoscope?  They were fun and full of buttons.

S: I second
that. Kaleidoscopes are fun. I was a little curious about the vase of
flowers on the floor, too.

Lloyd Dobler
Lux

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J: 
I'm normally lukewarm towards contemporary abstract painting; it takes a
really exceptional example, like Schriefer's, to get around my bias.  I
don't know if Schriefer just ruined me for abstract painting for a
little while, or what.  Anyway, these works by Sebastian Vallejo didn't
really do much for me.  This is probably more about me than the work,
though.  So, no hate, but not really my kind of work.

S: Glitter
and day-glo. Not really my thing. Still, glad to have visited LD for the
first time in a while.

Monument 2
me: Tim Louis
Graham & Diego Leclery

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Video and photographic work on two
walls by Diego Leclery, and a full room installation by Tim Louis
Graham. Artist statement and additional work by Leclery available on
Monument 2's site.

S: Jeriah and I were in disagreement about
this show. Truthfully, I found Leclery's video on Monument 2's website
far more engaging than the work on the walls. The artist reacting to
Schneemann's Meat Joy ala Two Girls, One Cup Reaction Video style.
Awesome. I did think that perhaps Look Around You was attempting to
present me with one free startle. As for Graham's piece, this was the
primary point of disagreement between Jeriah and I. I thought the piece
was fun, especially considering the fact that the extension cords
weren't really secured that well, and that place usually gets packed. I
also enjoyed the implication that the only thing worth looking at or
noticing existed in the 4" between the floor and the light bulbs. I did
wish something was there, but alas, for my searching, I found nothing.
It also reminded me of my favorite room in the Art Institute, a point in
it's favor. Overall, it didn't blow the socks off my feet, but I
definitely enjoyed playing around in it.

J:  As Steph said, we
didn't really see eye-to-eye on this one.  I just didn't get it, or if
what I was getting was it, then I wanted more.  The hanging lights by
Tim Louis Graham felt like a beginning, like it had potential, but it
wasn't being realized.  I think it needed something more.  Change the
color of the lights?  Put mirrors on the floor below the lights?  Or
prisms?  Magnifying glasses focusing the light, trying in vain to burn
pieces of paper on the floor?  Something.  Anything.  As is, I just
didn't get what it was that Steph was seeing here.  The oblique artist's
statement didn't illuminate matters; if I had some context for this I
might have been able to appreciate it more.  As it stands, yeah, didn't
do much for me.

The video "The 4 1/2-Inch Insight" and printed
JPG images "Look Around You" by Diego Leclery were similarly a little
lost on me.  What Steph said about the online video being a response to
"Meat Joy" sounded really neat; I haven't seen it but it sounds cool. 
What these photos and video are about, I don't know.  The artist's
statement says,  "Me didn't want to describe the work in the show or how
Me think it works together because Me realized that ultimately Me work
is trying to take attention away from Me and put it on Me."  (The "Me"
here was written with a small campital M that looked more like an
upside-down lowercase W, and was used throughout the statement in place
of all first-person pronouns.)  Fair enough, but the result was that I
pretty much felt lost.

Pentagon
Pentagon Saves The
World

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J: Jesse Avina's video PFC Jerrick Farthing Patrols
Mosul, Iraq 4/10/08
, which I'd seen before, remained strong on
another viewing, and in fact has aged particularly well.  The absurdist
("Is that frosting?") rendering of the by now too-familiar convoy ambush
combat footage puts a darkly comic spin on a serious subject.  We're
still waiting for "Black Hawk Down:  The Musical."

I have to be a
little bit skeptical of myself in liking Mosul too much; as an
aficionado of war movies and contemporary military history, it is too
right up my alley for me to be objective about.  This is even more true
of my enthusiastic appreciation for Deborah Stratman's "O'er the Land." 
The video is an introspective dissection of Americana, from
Revolutionary War reenactors to recreational vehicle salesmen, from the
Border Patrol to the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot.  It's this last
segment that really draws me, personally, in, as Steph and I have
attended this shoot twice a year for the past three years.  I walked
into the screening room as someone was asking, "I wonder where this was
shot," and answered without hesitation, "That's the Jungle Walk at Knob
Creek."

S: Ok, what I remember: Giant paper-mache Captian Planet
looking dejected. Uh, ok. Deborah Stratman's "O'er the Land." I have a
complicated relationship with this peice. This was the first time I'd
seen it, but I'd been told about it many times during grad school at the
'Tute, specifically because I did (and still do) work at Knob Creek. I
get the point, even agree with some of it, but there were some points
where my reaction teetered on the edge of "Really, come on now." She and
I share many themes, which simultaneously attracts and repels me from
her. My ongoing relationship with Knob Creek complicated my viewing of
the piece, alot, and not in a terribly good way. As for Avina's video,
I've seen it before, loved it before, and still love it.

J:  I'd
forgotten about the Captain Planet piece ("Go Planet" by Jake Myers),
although in hindsight it's hard to imagine how.  You know what I
noticed?  Captain Planet didn't have a beard, but this guy had a
goatee.  Reading the artist's statement, see that the face was modeled
on the artist's father, John C. Meyers, "who would only allow his
children to watch television that had some kind of moral message." 
That's kinda neat.  I like that it was so big, too.

Jesse Avina
also had a photograph, "Elevator to the Moon," part of a series called
"I want my Future Back," referring to "promises of what the future would
hold and the expected dates of these lofty goals.  Yeah, I'm still
waiting for the Moller 400 to come out, too.  They've been promising me
that shit for like 20 years now, ever since I first saw it on a TV show
called Beyond 2000 back in the early 1990s.  I'm with you on this
one, Jesse, totally.

Daniel Baird had a couple of preserved
pieces of computer hardware, and Jim Zimpel had a film called "Untitled
(Western Movie at Drive-In)" which was footage from a ranch in Wyoming
projected on a scale model of a drive-in theater screen.  Both of these
pieces were cool as well; really, there wasn't a bad piece in this
show.  Avina's and Stratman's work is most closely tied to my personal
areas of interest, but everything in this show was really solid.

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