The Bennington Museum, Bennington, VT
5.10.14 - 7.27.14
This exhibition displays two major projects ensconced in a site-specific installation. The work hovers around Bennington and aims to give the viewer a more intimate experience of familiar (and perhaps ignored) environments. The title references humor and the ancient greek tradition of ascribing the body’s functions to four basic humors, similar to the four elements that were believed to make up the world.
Bushes of Bennington County presents a selection from an on-going photographic catalogue - a search for ideology embedded in the contemporary vernacular. Attention is paid to spatial and historical context, and to cultural conventions.
The bushes represented here are derivatives of humanity’s tendency to own and shape the landscape to our aesthetic desires. They are used as secondary façades, planted strategically to lend domesticity, or placed as required by building codes. Beyond a calculated taxonomy, the collection presents an opportunity for the bushes to speak for themselves. Each reveals a complex personality: ecstatic, pitiable, stoic, tremulous, enveloping, guarding, lone, grouped, wild, ancient, strong, flexible, trapped, wounded, resilient, etc.
If the photographs launch a searching gaze at Bennington, Embodied Realities documents my direct, corporeal interaction with that world. The short videos are born from my observations and enact desires, jokes, criticisms and other concepts through non-verbal performance.
To cross the boundary of a social norm is a palpable experience - one that can cause tension (and sometimes laughter). If these norms, artistic disciplines, physical laws and other conventions are thin films pulled taught across our world, then the actions taken in Realities are pins to poke holes in them.
In addition to the work shown inside the gallery, I performed a short performance of "Permanent Collection" on the front lawn of the museum.