~VACANT POSSESSION: JIM JOE / ANDREW KASS . . OPENING PIX
VACANT POSSESSION: JIM JOE / ANDREW KASS – A DOWNTOWN POP-UP
51 MERCER ST, SOHO, NYC / JAN 28 – FEB 4, 2017 / 3-7 PM VIEWING HRS.
the show opened last SAT JAN 28, 2017 / 7-9 PM
PIX – FROM THE OPENING:
Vacant possession . . can mean many things. here it’s about taking over a (vacant) storefront.
but the possession – is anything but . . ‘vacant’.
yes, it is minimalist – it is mostly black & white / or: literally – electric light vs. black.
silent, profound, it’s meanings are stealth ‘invaders’. aka metaphors.
the landmarks inside are stark. it’s a huge mind-set – ‘set’ in reverse.
the black curtains, the theatrical drapes, are pulled aside yet obscured with bright, stark . . light.
what turns out to be NYC landmarks are small, and smaller – but the possession of the space – is ‘large’ – and larger. visually, conceptually, art-wise . . .
well, one could even say: like Alice In Wonderland – this relatively ‘small’ show by 2 indie artists – gets . . LARGE.
it is a vacant possession – with goals.
while the inverse:
the huge Trump apparatus – is a ‘vacant’ possession – of a ‘huge’ land by / ‘small’ . . minds.
the narrowness of the room – enhances the artificial aspect of . . ‘possession’.
this drapery / light install – is the work of . . ANDREW KASS.
mostly known as a photographer, of people, though I’ve seen other 3-D installations of his, he has a photographer’s understanding of light, and . . dark.
it was very much a kind-of optical . . illusion, like a fun house, like a magician.
you were inside. b-b-but you were always looking, back, and forth. the narrowness of the space worked to an extreme advantage.
vacant – NOT !!!!
b-b-b-black: there was such a somber feel, to the ‘fun’.
Don’t look back. caught between extreme & opposing . . poles.
b-b-b black, and white.
oppositional / singularity, of black & white . . direction / elasticity.
no gray areas, except for the space – YOU, the viewer inhabited.
which brings us to that – hanging, half draped-in construction material / glittering disco ball, also by ANDREW KASS.
here, it’s more of a . . ball and chain.
the next century, of our city’s urban growth / is not the city of 1980 night clubs.
glittering mirrored illusion, urban reality.
SPENCER & MERCER TULLIS.
Spencer at 26, is the older bro, he is a ‘realist’ sculptor.
Mercer 23, is a ‘realist’ painter. I caught his work recently at the NEIL JENNEY space, West Broadway Gallery, in Soho. – in a show titled: ‘ American Realism Today’.
in a way, this show, VACANT POSSESSION . . was very literally, REALIST . . too.
albeit, stylized, and theatrical.
also a matter of literally moving back and forth, Tristan is Carlo’s son.
from a rough & tumble street critic / a beautiful artist kid is born.
tell me about it, Kate & Theo. RIP Simon Cerigo. must have been that inner city water – they drank / growing up on the Lower East Side in the 80s & 90s, surrounded by the now, art history legends . . of urban grit.
not an ‘outsider’ to this crew, but maybe to the world-at-large, and then again, maybe not !! @theonewhoknows showed me some of his new murals.
this one was painted somewhere in South America, specifically Santo Christo, Rio de Janeiro.
also: of course . . QUILTS is my ‘middle name’ – so, after everybody totally ignoring my skills for so long, like from the 80s, hello !! except for when I write about myself, how astounding to see ‘Quilts’ – on the cutting edge, straight up, FRONT & CENTER.
plus: I was for over 20 years, an ‘undocumented’ immigrant aka ‘illegal alien’ from north of the border: Canada.
lol, a refugee from French Quebec . . escaping the French Quebecois . . anti-anglophone cultural wars.
and . . they were VICIOUS.
this country was made by . . outlaw ‘thought’ rebels. so wtf. #DumpTrump.
and, come on.
get real: unless you are a native first peoples & therefore indigenous – you ARE AN IMMIGRANT, from somewhere else, down the pipeline.
stop the false / fictional / delusional APPROPRIATION.
unless you are a Native American tribesperson – you are claiming: Vacant possession. (!!)
but, back . . to the show !!
walking the walk, right on that sharp edge of the . . underground.
talking the talk: in the other direction, of the space: JIM JOE.
3 sharply stylized paintings of . . NYC landmarks.
a very Alice ‘n wonderland, effect. the floor – helps !!
but, yeah: in these paintings, the city seems razor sharp, cold. and full of bad bad habits.
I was . . kind of surprised, knowing this crew, that there were no World Trade Center / doomed Twin Towers, maybe you can’t find them as souvenirs any more ?
I have a bunch.
but, maybe, this was: NOW.
another kind of vacant cultural . . ‘possession’ ?
a wondorous, intelligent . . collab.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH