~FLEMING BROS … ‘GAME ON’ / the installation shots

SEPT 14 – OCT 12, 2012
gallery hrs: FRI-SUN 1-6PM /or by appointment

OMG: talking bout . . . BROOKLYN and BUSHWICK !! . . . . . BREAKING NEWS !!!!!!!!
BILL and HILARY went to ROBERTA’S for pizza over the weekend !! . . ha. so there !!
see: the Gothamist


the first thing you notice right off, is that though the work looks super serious – it’s also got a real wicked fun streak !! running all the way through it.
case in point, this cardboard box – that was sent out as a huge jpeg file on the press release. turns out, in fact – to be quite small. yes, I cracked up right away.
scale is such a funny thing. esp with digital imagery.
as NORA EPHRON said so rightly: fact can be so much funnier than – fiction !!

see: the initial artlovers post based on the ‘GAME ON’ press release – with an updated photo on the NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY: “If you see something, say something” – ‘parcel’. no doubt, it all adds up to – something !! intention, or NOT !!

the piece is titled, ‘A Sea Shanty’, 2011.
cardboard box, accumulated postage. 6″ x 6″ x 6″.
“An empty box mailed back & forth between the artists during the year that they were living apart.”

the first time I saw this work was in their smallish studio – during the BUSHWICK OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND of SUMMER 2012.
so it was great to see it all laid out with room to breathe – and displayed in such a professional space.
it was also clear that the installation took a deliberate direction that utilized the space well, esp by displaying a few of the 3D or sculptural pieces – down the center. with the other work, displayed in alcoves that jut out of the walls.
down with the white box !! – while maintaining the best aspects of it – clarity !!

NEW YORK CITY: the ‘break-down the box’ mindset – had this framed set hanging – in an alcove – instead of being conventionally hung on the wall.

ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING – ‘Correspondence’, 2011.
set of 4 double-sided framed pairs of postcards and Polaroids. 11 x 17 in. each
“A series of postcards with prompts for an action accompanying by a Polaroid documenting that action.”

here’s the reverse.
apart from loving all things ‘souvenir’ – I also really relished – how the conceptual aspects of the work were hand-in-hand with the visuals. strong, smart, clean, to the point !!
original to the max.

the ‘GAME-ON’ referred to in the title – is the interplay that developed between these twins when they were separated for a year, one staying in Chicago, and the other heading out . . . for our lovely city !!

you start to realize, that one: it’s all about ‘socialization’ and ‘bio’ dynamics – in the truest sense . . . but of course, it’s also site specific !!

each project is different, yet each has a ‘deep heart’ and speaks to a ‘super personal bio bond’. the conceptualizations twist and turn – and ultimately belie their magazine glossy, ‘information graphics’ – hyper realism.
it’s a nice tension, a visual/conceptual tension – that’s at play here, too. GAME-ON.

CHICAGO’S reverse !!
it’s a nice contrast: NEW YORK CITY vs CHICAGO.
I bet a hand-writing expert could go to town, here . . big time, TOO. the writing samples look pretty close, except one twin presses down harder – on the page.

here’s a view of that project – looking out from the shallow alcove into the main space.

this ‘handcrafted’ piece . . . contrasted with the purely pictorial sets, and (nicely) broke up the exhibition space – towards the back.

ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING, ‘Conjoined Chairs’, 2011
wooden chairs, 36 x 24 x 24 in.
“On the same day, at the same time each artist went to a thrift shop in their respective neighborhoods and bought a wooden chair. Each chair was cut down the middle, swapped and then reassembled.”

well at least they were the same height – seat-wise !!
and both are wooden, could have been you know: modern faux leatherette vs. Victorian shabby chic !!

a lot of the ‘GAME-ON’ projects tried to see how psychic – the Bros were, long distance.
back in their studio, they had told me that when they were growing up, they used to come down for breakfast dressed in the same shirt, and then proceed to fight over who would get to wear it.
turns out, they are NOT so psychic – but the pictorials express a lock-step – that beats words.

their subway clip – looped in another ‘alcove’ area.
where they also sometimes spontaneously jumped into – ‘game-on’ mode !!
aka performance art.
the little bit of gossip that was circulating in the room, was that one bro was a better dancer than the other !!
so funnie !! apparently ALAN, at left – knows all the hip hop moves, and studied dance.
but hey, it takes two – to tango, you always need the straight guy too.
the eternal wisdom of all great entertaining duos – BOB HOPE & BING CROSBY – spring to mind, I don’t know why, I’m not that old !! maybe it’s their “ON THE ROAD” schtick – playing out here, too.
the big YIN YANG / BIO DYNAMIC – site specific-ized !!

it’s actually when you see them, side by side, that you realize just how in lock-step – they are !!

ALAN and MICHAEL FLEMING, natural-born artist/performers – at play !!
always – questioning – the bio bond.

. . . it was only when I dwelled recently on KELIE BOWMAN and her CINDERS/FLA futuristic fantastic take . . . on self-portrait photography, while highlighting specific locales – site specific is the functional word – albeit with masks and many hand-made elements, that I realized . . these guys are coming from the same place, just in a different ‘style’.
both spectrums speak to ‘pairings’ or social human bonding.
both: are both the ‘subjects’ – and the ‘photographers’, themselves . . . who take the pix.
check: staged or narrative photography.
both are making statements about the ‘physical’ environment, which they have chosen, to comment upon it, and draw our attention to it – by their photo ‘capture’.
both say: look at me, I’m swinging through the world habitat or city – in this great questioning act of creativity.
while KELIE and company are more about: primitive, handcrafted shamanistic poetry, the FLEMING BROS. are more ‘informational’ graphics & pictorial – more obvious about defining the rules of the game. but both are games of BIO ADAPTABILITY – heading into the unknown.