So I made some artwork for SPACES. You can see it this Friday if you want. Well I would love for you to see it because I made it and I worked really hard on it.
Back in March Chris Lynn called me up and said that the proposal I submitted was met with skeptical approval and then over the course of a few hour coffee infused brainstorm sesh about what a Brandon Juhasz show at SPACES might look like I had a plan. Sort of, I guess. You see with art it never really goes as planned. At least not with fickle, ever changing, neurotic me…the artist. Mrs. Doubt….fire.
You know what they say. With great programming/venue comes great responsibility. And as the R&D artist I had to fulfill the research and development quotient. I had to fill dem shoes. The experimentation. Stepping out of ones very comfy and cozy zone to reach for and try new things is the cornerstone of this program. So I did, I think. What would normally be the end product trademark Brandon style framed medium-sized archival inkjet photograph is now a full installation of image objects. A photographic scene set up as I would in my studio-for-ants on a tabletop is made to scale to experience as a tangible simulacrum of the photographic experience.
I hope too with this experience to let the viewer re-photograph what I have presented to create yet another filtered layer of photography and experience. You can email me your pictures to Brandon.firstname.lastname@example.org for uploading to Paradisepairadice.tumblr.com. There visitors photos will be archived to see a group collection of interpretation.
The idea behind Paradise. Pair a Dice comes mostly from personal reflection and the notion of ideals. Using everyday iconography in unexpected ways I am exploring where I find myself in relationship to contemporary American culture in regards to expectations, desire and responsibilities of adulthood that I may or may not have realized would be when I was younger. I also am thinking about how we live today. Always straddling reality and fantasy, expectations and their often far off realities.
Being selected as an R&D artist is a great honor and one that comes with a big space to fill both literally and figuratively. I hope my show is as enjoyable and challenging to the visitors of SPACES as it was for me in making it.
Thanks SPACES for the wonderful opportunity and I hope to see y'all out on Friday.
Within the next few minutes, I'll be walking out of SPACES for the last time as its executive director. I leave SPACES to try something new—trying something new is a basic tenet of SPACES. The past five years have been a whirlwind of activity upon which I often don't pause to reflect.
Since 1978, the founders of SPACES, longtime directors like Susan Channing, and board and staff members built up a monument to life*. As nice as it would be to have a stoic, static monument, I'm glad SPACES is a living, breathing, changing organism that is continually asking, "What if...?"
What if we challenge Clevelanders to pull an 8-ton truck across the city? What if we ask people if capitalism works for them via a large light-up sign? What if we string colored ribbon across a snow-covered vacant lot during a Cleveland winter? What if we challenge traditional exhibition formats by offering an 8-week school instead that invited participants to classes on frosting graffiti, circuit bending and vandalism tourism?
Wendell Berry said, "The mind that is not baffled is not employed." SPACES baffles. SPACES reminds us that we are alive, thinking, smart, astute and aware without being pretentious or condescending.
I love the staff at SPACES—Martha, Marilyn, Kate and Michelle are fantastic and deserve five encores of applause and a hug from everyone they meet. They will carry SPACES well (since they do most of the heavy lifting, anyway). The board at SPACES has been fantastic at finding the balance between giving us enormous freedom while keeping us accountable and responsible. I will value the friends I have made through my association with SPACES, and I will hold close the artists and their projects that happened under my watch. I thank all the people who gave their time, talents and resources to make our bizarre ideas come to life. And I look forward to making a new friend—whoever the new executive director will be. They will be great and they will have a great organization to steer.
You should support whoever that is, and support SPACES. There aren't many organizations like it in the world, and we're lucky enough to have it in Cleveland.
I'll see you all at the next opening, but as a patron.
*If SPACES were a traditional monument, I like to think it would be a giant sculpture of a thumbs up or a high five that mere mortals could approach and slip it some skin.
Image: Steve Lambert, "Capitalism Works for Me! True/False," 2011. Photo courtesy of the artist.
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For this edition of "Kid Art Review" our guest reviewer is Evan who is a fan of the Beatles and a member of the Junâ€¦ https://t.co/C6nnUMnrFI