Avoiding Mastery opens next Tuesday, 28 January at Whitespace Contemporary Art. If you are in Auckland come along and see it, for those of you not in Auckland I will post photos over the next week or so.
At its inception hope fills the body in the way that air fills a balloon.
From this point hope leaves the body. Slowly, imperceptibly at first.
Hope leaves the body slowly.
Long after the mind has made the cognition of failure the body still holds hope. The body reminds the mind to hope, the mind informs the body of failure.
Long after the mind has acknowledged disappointment the body still contains hope.
Hope and disappointment form a contracting loop between mind and body. slowly the cognitive gap between hope and disappointment shrinks to nothing. At this point hope can be said to have left the body.
All that remains is disappointment
Disappointment is carried in the body like a scar, or perhaps more like a souvenir. The place where hope once lived.
TOMORROW is the opening of Put Up Your Dukes! Part Two at Pearce Gallery. In anticipation here is part two of book 1. If you are in Auckland come along to the opening/ book launch at 5 – 7.30pm, Pearce Gallery 130 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell.
I am making a text wall work for Put Up Your Dukes! Part Two. It is a caption from The Modern Art of Flower Arranging by Elisabeth de Lestrieux, originally published 1982, (published in English 1986 Hamlyn). A rather fantastic book that I found at an op shop which has sat in my studio tempting me with its slightly faded photos and sincere enthusiasm, but has up til now evaded all attempts to be put to work as art. Maybe it is too good already. But still, I am going to try.
The two part Put Up Your Dukes! project uses the dubious construct of ‘nature’ as a foil for contesting our (Gabrielle Amodeo and my) inversely relational practices. I want this work to play to both the reconstruction of nature (wood vinyl and flower arranging) and to undermining the gravitas implicit in a large-scale text work. Gabrielle is making a immaculately drawn text work on paper, in addition to her immaculately made books from Part One of the project, so I want my text work to be large and somewhat crudely made. Which probably means that I have to hand cut it (as best I can, which is crudely). It would be much, much easier to get it vinyl cut, but I suspect that to really work it has to fall blindingly short of digital perfection.
The question is, do I go with the hand-drawn 3D shadow? Is the pink a step too far? Can I buy another pink pen once that one runs out? Is it too try-hard slacker? Or is it trying to be slacker cool but ending up embarrassingly contrived?
The quote has exactly 150 letters – that is a lot of pink-pen and blade knife.
As part of Put Up Your Dukes! Gabrielle and I made a series of three books extrapolating upon and extending the thinking behind the project. Resisting Societal Norms provides background to the work in this project but also maps much of the territory that I am deeply interested in researching further. As such it provides a research handbook; ideas posited and awaiting development (and contestation, complication and repudiation).
I will post this book in sections over the next days/weeks in the lead up to the second part of Put Up Your Dukes!, a book launch and exhibition of plan B’s and also ran ideas generated by, but not used in, from the Blue Oyster show. It will be held at Pearce Gallery, 130 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell, Auckland New Zealand, on Monday 7 October.
In the first pages of Born Losers Scott Sandage reminds us that our modern preoccupation with weighing up our lives, deeds and endeavours on the scales of success and failure is exactly that- a modern construct revealing the darker side of the American Dream.
I am currently reading (and hugely excited by) The Queer Art of Failure by Judith Halberstam, in the introduction to this text Halberstam touches on the same territory
 Halberstam, Judith The Queer Art of Failure, 2011, Duke University Press