By the end of last Friday’s Another 9 Galleries Tour, I needed a beer. It’s clear that touring nine galleries in one day (which ended up being seven) bred way too much content. Before leaving home I spent hours reviewing the artists; learning about their process, their past works and trying to get a good idea of who they were as a person. I wanted to feel prepared to discuss what we were seeing by knowing who created it. It was my way of being ready for any potential non-interactive gallery staff. Luckily for us, most of the staff on hand was engaging, which made exploring the work even nicer. I want to spend time writing about each experience so I have broken this tour review into two sections. Today we cover the first three, and the next post, four.
Our first stop was Ten Haaf Projectsand Bryan Zanisnik’s installation, “Five Weeks in a Balloon” – in real life the details in this piece are overwhelming. The installation is built on things from Zanisnik’s past and from around Amsterdam, even from the apartment above the studio. The content feels like an exposé into hording, but relates consistently to travel in a historical sense and also to the artist’s more controversial run-in with Philip Roth – which seemed to be referenced every where you looked. I found myself wondering what that would have meant to me if I had not known anything about the artist’s issue with the writer. It was definitely more entertaining to have the inside story, which is about a legal interaction resulting from one of Zanisnik’s performance pieces in which he silently recited from some of Roth’s work. The legal action is silly and I tip my hat to you Zanisnik, for your thumbed nose inclusion of Roth in your work (and I follow suit in solidarity against the ridiculous).
As for “Five Weeks in a Balloon,” we discussed the work at length with the woman at the gallery, who showed us pictures of the performance aspect of the piece, which you can see at the great site, WeHeart.
Also not to be ignored also are the photos of previous installations. In these we see even more Roth references and have a lovely chance to meet Zanisnik’s parents, at least visually. Their inclusion in this exhibit as well as the knowledge that the artist has involved his family in his process made me long for home and my grandma’s collection of printed history.
At our next stop, Galerie Expositie, we opened the door to this:
Joe Scanlan’s new work, “Abstract Labor, or: The Happy Butcher” After reading all about Scanlan’s creation of an African American artist/personna Donelle Woolford, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this was not it. The framing of the gallery speaks directly to the framing process, a bane/necessity of most painters I know. The frame is the backbone of a painting, the support of a piece that Scanlan turns into it’s own form of art. And these frames were beautifully crafted. The joints were beautifully aligned and color, though sparse, made the quality of the woodwork shine. Iris was on hand at the gallery to talk to us about the artist, show us additional work and have a great discussion about Donelle. She was incredibly helpful. Here’s a shot of Celina enjoying the work:
After such spatial vastness, it was a drastic shift to enter Galerie Bart and their group stock show. Of the many artists on view there, I mostly resonated with the collage photography of Erik Klien Wolterink. At first I thought there was photoshop in play, but still enjoyed the composition choices of the work, and then, on closer inspection, I saw the truth. The images combined two photographs of two locations, two real images, layered over each other around a set of figures in action.
The shot above was taken at an angle to try to capture the edge of the figure, to prove to myself that I was really seeing meticulous collage. I feel like using this process in photography has become a lost art, but please, someone educate me in other artists doing this caliber of work with photographs, because Wolterink’s process produced very successful imagery.
Like I said earlier, there is too much information to process in one post. The next one will hit in a few days. In the meantime, it looks like the weather is turning finally here; I am looking forward to scheduling the next tour sometime in later April. I am looking for no more than six people to participate this time. I will make some more information online shortly. As always, inquiries welcome at Hi@PetraBenach.com.