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Tag: installation art

JJ Brine’s VECTOR Gallery Explores Cultural Hybridity

VECTOR Gallery is among contemporary art’s foremost installation spaces, located at 40 Clinton Street in New York City and constructed by JJ Brine. The gallery operates in its own futuristic time zone as a means for disrupting reality within what Brine calls the PostHuman movement. VECTOR Gallery stands out from other avant garde installations as a space decoding cultural hybridity. VECTOR assimilates growing cultural movements under its PostHuman conceptual framework with an unabashed interplay between old and new as Brine intertwines religion and identity politics, the internet and physical space, colonial government structures and liberation, the future and the present.

Throughout the interview, Brine uses some terms that he has coined such as nevent, Alan, and antity. Please find definitions of these words in the VECTOR glossary. Further information about the concept behind VECTOR can be found in Brine’s artist statement and updates from the The Government of The Satanic State of VECTOR are also available online.

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Paul Weiner:
Tell us a little about the way VECTOR Gallery and your title, Crown Prince of Hell, came to be.

JJ Brine:
Eye have had that title for as long as Eye can remember and VECTOR Gallery came into being when Eye embraced it.

Paul Weiner:
Many religious and pop culture references are made in your work, including a comparison of Charles Manson to Jesus. Could you describe the religious aspect of VECTOR Gallery?

JJ Brine:
VECTOR is itself a religion, and it manifests according to the observation of its own tenets. It reveals the nature(s) of all who engage it, and at the same time it reformats their nature(s) as it sees fit.

Paul Weiner:
Do you see your work as site-specific and strictly contained within VECTOR Gallery or are you open to exhibitions in other gallery spaces or museums?

JJ Brine:
Eye had a militantly site-specific policy for some time but Eye have developed an expansionistic agenda as of late. One recent manifestation of this is my PostHuman Mass Grave.

Paul Weiner:
Describe your PostHuman Mass Grave and how it came to be.

JJ Brine:
It is the Guarantor of the coming events. You have to bait the reality to make it bite.

Paul Weiner:
Could you describe a few of VECTOR’s religious tenets?

JJ Brine:
Shall Eye invert the entirety of Lord Universe in order to describe Lord Universe Itself? Everything is in alignment with its Antity. There is no need for semantic distinction between “is” and “becomes” when We know that everything is happening All at once – The Infinitoment. The AntiChrist is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is The AntiChrist.

Paul Weiner:
Do you recruit new members to join VECTOR? How many followers do you have?

JJ Brine:
There are infinite ways to count to One, and there is One way to count to infinity. You might find me saying, in some other time and place: “Oh, but this was all prearranged, Baby.” And that would be true. But Eye have no need for followers, for Eye am herding neither cattle nor sheep! If We are to be together, forever, We need only share a passing thought. And in that thought the entire world is following me, and vice-versa.

Paul Weiner:
Would you like VECTOR to expand outside of New York City?

JJ Brine:
Do Eye have a choice? As if it could be contained…!

Paul Weiner:
Do you see your music and installations as aesthetically linked? Do you create them simultaneously?

JJ Brine:
They are different formats for One incantation.

Paul Weiner:
Do you consider VECTOR to be linked to an exploration of sexual identity?

JJ Brine:
VECTOR can be used as a prism for the exploration of any identity.

Paul Weiner:
Do you believe VECTOR is a forum to disrupt historical cultural norms and offer a new kind of history?

JJ Brine:
Yes.

Paul Weiner:
VECTOR Gallery recently hosted a PostHuman wedding. What other kinds of ceremonies or events does the gallery host?

JJ Brine:
We are linking up the beginning to the end, the end to the beginning. We serve the interests of infinity in its infinite forms. We are especially interested in hosting Nevents – events which cannot and will never take place.

Paul Weiner:
Anything you’d like to add?

JJ Brine:
The Satanic State of VECTOR is looking for attachés to appoint to the following territories: Japan, Tunisia, Yemen, China, Zimbabwe, India, Vanuatu, Sweden, Somalia, Argentina, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Brazil, Haiti, Indonesia, Suriname, Mexico, France, Germany, Syria, Lebanon, and Benin, among others. Please be in touch if you know that We are waiting to hear from you.

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Please view VECTOR Gallery’s website and “like” Critique Collective on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/critiquecollective.

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Evoking Suburbia: Corey Dunlap

Corey Dunlap is an artist working in mediums of installation and sculpture. He received a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston through Tufts University in 2013 and attended the New York Arts Practicum in 2013. Many of his recent works involve the arranging of objects from suburban settings. Many of Dunlap’s recent works are also made in collaboration with his partner, Bradley Tsalyuk. Additional images of his artwork may be found on his website.

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The Hot Stones Are Never Rough; massage table, silicon rubber, plastic, hot stones, 2013, collaboration with Bradley Tsalyuk.


Paul Weiner:
What are some of the most common themes in your recent work and how do you evoke them?

Corey Dunlap:
My primary focus is the mutability of the body, and I often employ a variety of techniques in order to facilitate that investigation. My research is intuitively structured, and it combines a collage of subjects including self-help culture, domestic identity, Flow Theory, virtual object hood, and multi-stable awareness. Currently, my work engages with corporeal objects which diversely confront both an optimistic and deprecating sense of self. These suburban objects derive from a culture whose desire is to better the self through the body, fluctuating on a scale between exertion and relaxation. I am interested in presenting these objects within a virtual-like setting. In this way, the viewer is allowed to engage with the physical structure of the object through a projected avatar body. I find the absent body to be a poetically rich subject.

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Cognitive Decline; commercial chaise lounge, play sand, casters, wood, 2013

Paul Weiner:
Many of your recent works are in collaboration with Bradley Tsalyuk. How does working with a partner impact your work?

Corey Dunlap:
Bradley and I have been partners for three years and have worked collaboratively for about a year. Our collaboration developed organically by finding overlaps in interests and expanding those interests through dialogue. We have worked in close proximity to one another for so long, and, therefore, it is often difficult to determine where an idea or technique originated. Because we also have a personal relationship, we are able to more easily challenge and push each other in an honest and direct way. Working collaboratively allows for multiple perspectives, and I feel that our independent work has strengthened through this intimate exchange.

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The Hot Stones Are Never Rough; massage table, silicon rubber, plastic, hot stones, 2013, collaboration with Bradley Tsalyuk.

Paul Weiner:
Tell us a little about your process for creating The Hot Stones Are Never Rough. Why did you choose to use the materials you used?

Corey Dunlap:
The Hot Stones Are Never Rough started while we were working with a flesh-like silicon rubber called Dragon Skin. It is a fantastic material. We had been playing with it independently and testing what forms could be created. Bradley had wanted to make a work that drew from spa culture, specifically hot stone massages. We were both attracted the sculptural gesture of this activity, which allows the body to be layered between the table and the stones by way of gravity. We were interested in taking the humor of this arrangement and skewing it into a surrealist replication, which ultimately produces a type of horror. We wanted the body to be represented through an economy of forms in order to highlight what we found to be so interesting and absurd about the activity.

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Weslo Pursuit E 25; custom printed banner, elliptical bike, electric motor, Corian tile samples, 2013, collaboration with Bradley Tsalyuk. An electric motor is attached to a Weslo Pursuit E 25 eliptical bike allowing it to continuously run.

Paul Weiner:
You mentioned your use of suburban objects. Suburban life certainly seems like a major motif in contemporary life. What do you think makes an object suburban?

Corey Dunlap:
I think most people are drawn to the idea of suburban life. It’s romantic and utopian. Most first world countries have some type of suburban area, but none to the extent of America. Like many people, I grew up in this type of community. I have always been attracted to the inherent messiness that underpins this otherwise pleasant environment. For a long time, my practice has abstractly employed a method in which the ideal or innocent is somehow contaminated through various means. Often, the objects I employ come from suburban spaces and are then acted upon to produce this type of multi-stable meaning.

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Weslo Pursuit E 25; custom printed banner, elliptical bike, electric motor, Corian tile samples, 2013, collaboration with Bradley Tsalyuk. An electric motor is attached to a Weslo Pursuit E 25 eliptical bike allowing it to continuously run.

Paul Weiner:
As a young artist, do you feel that there is much energy in the art scene today?

Corey Dunlap:
The internet has provided an unending stream of artists accessible through one’s fingertips. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by how much work, good and bad, is being produced. These days, it is expected that an artist has a website with documentation of their work, statement, resume, etc. The accessibility of it all provides an enormous amount of energy. In addition, I think a lot of people are grappling with technology and the internet as sources of content, and they are producing very intriguing works. There seems to be a lot of energy in this community, though I have my own apprehensions about it being used simply as a novel medium.

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Vision Board; metal, leather, polymer clay, magnets, printed image, 2013.

Paul Weiner:
What are you working on right now?

Corey Dunlap:
Right now, Bradley and I are working on a collaborative sculpture and photographic series. We have constructed a large half circle arch made of plastic tubing that is covered in sheer orange fabric. It closely resembles a sunset or sunrise. We plan to take this form to various outdoor locations and construct a simple illusion in which the sculpture sits directly on the horizon line. Lately, I have been thinking about minimalist sculptors like John McCracken and Craig Kauffman and their ability to transcend the body’s physical form. Independently, I am working on some flat, wall-mounted sculptures which are constructed from cotton padding and fauve leather. These forms draw from soft-play designs and gymnastic equipment and will be used to construct a space in which other objects exist.

Paul Weiner:
With taking your collaborative sculpture outdoors, you’re bringing art outside of the gallery setting. Do you ever find the dominance of white gallery walls to limit your artistic experience?

Corey Dunlap:
For us, taking these sculptures outdoors is dictated by both the limitations of the space available to us and what we deem appropriate for the project. The typical white wall gallery space often serves as a blank, non-specific space where artwork can exist independent of any specific context. In this way, the gallery setting can enhance the work. I think about it as a type of virtual space where anything can be called into existence. It is likely these outdoor sculptures will be photographed and subsequently exhibited in a gallery. Though these sculptures will exist in a natural setting during their making, this is just another element which informs the overall work.

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Fuck Me, Silly. fluorescent light, stuffed toy rabbit, wood, marble contact paper, 2012.

Paul Weiner:
Do you usually use found objects in your work or are these objects created or bought specifically for your sculpture?

Corey Dunlap:
All of the above. My process doesn’t necessarily start with an idea and then move into the physical. Sense can come after. The main elements of the works are usually created or bought specifically for an idea in mind, but sometimes I will find something that strikes a chord with my intuition and build out from there. I find it helps to collect an object first and live with it for a while before I dissect it. It’s like a puzzle in that way.


Please view Corey Dunlap’s work online and “like” Critique Collective on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/critiquecollective.

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Axiological Discourse on Material and Textual Metanarratives: Gabriel Weinstock

Gabriel Weinstock is an emerging installation artist working in Brooklyn, New York. He is a recent graduate of Bennington College, where he acquired a Bachelor’s degree while studying sculpture. Weinstock’s recent works focus on the shared personal experiences of viewer and artist, exploiting the various cultural metanarratives that define the meaning behind recognizable materials. His artwork is also available for view on his website.

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Paul Weiner:
When do aesthetic concerns come into play in your work?

Gabriel Weinstock:
In both my text and installation work I think a lot about order and organization, form and function. I think about aesthetics in terms of specificity and idiosyncrasy. I do not like work with aspects that feel arbitrary or that only serve some utilitarian purpose. There should be a reason for everything that is used and exists within a work. It is that specificity that makes a work of art cohesive; it is what makes a work a definitive statement. The viewer should have to confront and engage with the ideas that the work proposes. Specificity is what makes a work of art believable.

I like to make stuff, so I end up spending a lot of time on the various components present in my installations. Making helps give the work clarity, both physically and emotionally. Each aspect is distinct, even the forms that are repeated (like in Convex; undertow and Concave; undercurrent). I think that being able to see my hand in the work helps the viewer trust it. I like to use a lot of materials that feel nostalgic or familiar, like faux fur and how it seems to hint at a childlike fascination with other living creatures, textures, and stuffed animals. When these materials are used to create obscure objects rather than recognized forms, it forces the viewer to become idiosyncratically involved with it. These objects of concurrent natures force the viewer to search for its familiarity through referencing and remembering their own life experiences.

In my text work, my aesthetic concerns have everything to do with establishing their plausibility as documents. They are somewhat contradictory in nature: is it the documentation of raw information presented as art or is it art that is presented as a document? I have done a lot of research on cataloguing systems and antiquated record keeping methods, and this has become the basis of how a lot of the information is presented. How the words and numbers are formatted and the punctuation is used helps build connections and produce narratives. Because so much of the information is so personal, I think a lot about the material the text is on, or the location that it exists in to indicate that a narrative does exist and that the information is not random. This helps the viewer bring the work into their own experience.

People have called my work minimalist, and I am not averse to the comparison. A lot of my installation work is gestural, with parts pulling towards and away from one another, creating lines that divide and redefine space. And the conceptual ideas that drive my work often result in comprehensible lists. I think that this “minimalism” allows for my space and concepts to collide and coexist with the viewers.

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Paul Weiner:
To what extent do you find physical materials thought provoking? For instance, how did you decide on using steel and paper in From First, To The Last?

Gabriel Weinstock:
I think a lot about the materials that I use. All materials have value, so whatever is being used must be considered and assessed. Nothing can be secondary because the viewer will have some kind of reaction, whether they know it or not. I spend a lot of time trying different things out, seeing if they convey the idea that I am after. I think that a lot of art is self-defined, so, if something exists within the work that is not a part of the definition, it can muddle the whole thing. Our understanding of materials is multifarious. We see and understand their physicality: weight, color, durability, etc, but we also experience them through our cultural experiences: age/history, cost, location, etc.

The choice to use both steel and paper in From First, To The Last  was a product of this thought process. The paper came first. I had no intention of making the steel plates. I thought the paper would be the work. But when I had finished, it became clear that something was missing. Although the paper was acting the way I had wanted, it did not quite express the weight of the experience the work was about. The steel entered the work to express an idea that was very much so about its physicality. But together they express the conceptual notions of the work. The paper has a history; it was taken from my childhood home. My father had accidentally ordered the wrong paper for his office and it had been sitting around the house since before I was born. I found the steel. It was incredibly rusted, and I spent hours cleaning and then stamping it. Although these may be parts of the work that only I know about, I think they become a part of the viewer’s experience. On a surface level, the materials contradict one another, but when the work is further investigated they begin to work together, creating a narrative. The paper speaks to some archival process while the steel conveys the weight of time and its longevity.

 

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Paul Weiner:
What is the ideal forum for viewing your work?

Gabriel Weinstock:
I am interested in art that fills spaces. That is why I often think of curators as artists too. Curators are not just facilitators. They are artists that specialize in the art of collection. I try and work collaboratively with my friends who are interested in curatorial practice as much as possible. They see things that maybe I don’t, especially when it comes to group shows. An exciting aspect of working with curators is that the conversations often result in the consideration of non-traditional spaces and environments for the work.

Most, if not all, of my installation work is site specific, so it is helpful to work with someone who is able to push me to think about unfamiliar and, often, challenging spaces. In this sense, I try not to think in terms of ideal forums because every piece is different. Granted, while I am working, I place the work in a metaphysical space to help me make decisions about it.

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Paul Weiner:
Conceptual installation art often presents a challenge in that the viewers must comprehend the visual language an artist presents, thus placing a heavy onus on context. This can be further complicated by the inclusion of text. Do you think the universal themes of your work would be as powerful on display in an international exhibition in a country that does not speak English as a first language?

Gabriel Weinstock:
My interest in memory, at least consciously, came about while reading a translated version of Don Quixote. Since then, a lot of my work, or ideas for my work, were inspired by literary works. What is interesting about Don Quixote is that the entire form of the story is based on the recounting and translation of the story about the man known as Don Quixote. The reader is constantly evaluating the information given to him, questioning its authenticity and reliability. This relationship creates a character out of the reader. I strive for my work to create a similar relationship with the viewer. Translating texts really is an art form. It is the task of taking the idea and the sentiment that exists in one language and putting it into another truthfully.

Conceptual work is often experienced through multiple layers of narrative. Despite this, the initial idea originated at the artist, who is unavoidably a product of a specific culture. This subjects the work to being a part of that culture. This does not have to problematic. Although my ideas are reflections on the world I grew up and currently live in, the work I create is an attempt to bring attention to the commonalities among disparate experiences. The information I present is an effort to create characters out of the viewers. Dates and places are universally understood, and I think that these are able to be translated. I display dates and locations in a way that is intentionally under-mediated. I don’t want the viewer to (and I am not so sure they could) figure out what my narrative is. It is through their attempt to figure out the story that it becomes their own. Fragments from my own idiosyncratic experience are also someone else’s. This is what I am interested in.

I do think if I was to exhibit work internationally, I would be very conscious of content. I would either exclude English words, relying primarily on locations and dates or I would collaborate with a translator. I think that would be a lot of fun, creating a text work that was consciously and cohesively in two languages.

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Paul Weiner:
Many of your works seem to revolve around the concept of time. How did you settle on time as a theme?

Gabriel Weinstock:
I’m not sure if I ever “settled” on time. I have been intrigued by the notion of time for as long as I can remember. Installation art helped me realize and understand why it was important to me. Before installation, I had had a hard time articulating what it was about time that I wanted to represent, and I lacked the visual language to explore it with. It wasn’t until I created an installation in 2010 entitled Technology is Fragile that I began to develop an idea of how I could continue to explore time as a theme and concept. I think that my awareness of time, specifically in regards to family and genealogy, is a product of being adopted at birth. My adoption has never been a point of contention, but it has made me hyperaware and curious about one’s history and the importance of family both legally and psychologically. I think that my experience and my history is what has driven and influenced a lot of the ideas in my work. I have explored adoption explicitly in From First, to the Last and implicitly through the use of the archive and materials I choose to use.

What I like about time is that everyone experiences it. It exists for us both idiosyncratically and culturally. It allows us to have a basic understanding and connection with one another. Time’s universality presents a near infinite number of possibilities for its exploration and representation in artworks.

Time and art cannot be separated. It is present when we talk about specific art movements and is transient when we talk about the contemporary. I think time’s dualities and contradictions are part of what makes it so interesting. I feel them in my life and in my history; creating work helps me better understand these complex and confusing ideas and feelings.

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Convex; undertow.

Paul Weiner:
What was the process for creating Convex; undertow, both conceptually and physically?

Gabriel Weinstock:
The conceptual and physical aspects of my work tend to manifest simultaneously; they rely on one another and are continually in conversation. Completing a work does not mean that I fully understand its meaning. The conceptual ideas of the work shift and take on specific meaning as its physical aspects are evaluated and adjusted.

When I begin an installation, I tend to have an idea of the materials and pieces I want to include. I do multiple preliminary drawings, which helps me figure out what I need to make. This is how the conceptual notions of the work start to find specificity. My drawings help produce questions and find answers. For instance, how many faux fur medicine balls should I use in the installation? Why that many? Does that number represent something? Convex; undertow was somewhat of an anomaly because I knew the exact space I was going to be using ahead of time. This did not cause me to prematurely conceptualize the visual aspects or arrangement of the work. Instead, it allowed me think about how I wanted the space to feel and be interacted with so, when I was finally installing the work, I felt secure in what I was after. That guided the installation process.

I make the varying physical aspects of the work before installing anything, such as the faux fur medicine balls or casting concrete. When the objects are complete, I begin installation. The drawings become less relevant during this stage because the space is what dictates the installation. I usually bring everything that I would like to use into the space and quickly sketch out some possible arrangements. These drawings help me place some of the bigger or heavier parts, like the steel plates in Convex; undertow and the concrete block. From there, I start trying different arrangements out by connecting chains, figuring out where the balls fit in, etc. I am looking for the arrangement that feels the most cohesive and is true to the feelings and questions I want the installation to evoke. As I go through this process, the conceptual notions become more defined. I start to better understand what I want the work to say through the decisions that go into the arrangement of its parts. This is what led to the medicine ball on the floor, the broken chain links littering the floor, and the concrete block being labeled with its weight. These aspects were not planned. They were added as the installation progressed. These details helped define the work and the space that it exists within in.

When the installation is complete, I tend to reflect on the ideas that I think are a part of it and what is allowing them to be communicated. I often, if not always, discover that there are ideas present in the work that I hadn’t been able to articulate at its start. These ideas are what lead into the next work. In the case of Convex; undertow, it was Concave; undercurrent.

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Paul Weiner:
Do you ever have trouble finding a location for installation work? Do you create your installations in a studio or on-site?

Gabriel Weinstock:
Finding places where I would like to install work is never difficult. I see them everyday, but getting permission to use them is a struggle. At the moment, I am trying to focus my energy on proposals for a few different spaces. All of my installations are created on-site and my studio isn’t the most ideal space for working on them. I am always working on smaller pieces that I would like incorporate into installations, but, without a space or a deadline, its hard for those ideas to become fully realized.

When one is an undergraduate, they are constantly given project deadlines, which results in the production of  a lot of work in a short period of time. When school is over, it seems like that is how work is suppose to get made. It is a challenge to get out of that mindset. Currently, I am trying to work consistently and consciously without letting myself stress out about how much is getting done.

Recently, I have been working collaboratively on a couple different projects. Creating work with, and not just around, other people is new to me, and I am really excited about it. It has been hugely helpful in a few different ways. It’s resulted in ideas and concepts that I would not have  come up with on my own, and the collaboration keeps everyone focused. The additional input has increased the list of potential spaces and has helped me stay optimistic, determined, and confident about acquiring one to show new work in.


Please view Gabriel Weinstock’s work online and “like” Critique Collective on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/critiquecollective.

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