Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jason Middlebrook at RoCA
Merit Badge2
Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA)
October 14, 2007 - May 18, 2008

correspondent, Williamsburg Artist Carrie Waldman

"My father was an Eagle Scout in Michigan. He once told me that the only Merit Badge he didn't get was due to the fact that he didn't live near an ocean. As I grew older I knew I had two possible paths to take, follow his lead and try to become an Eagle Scout, or ignore the Boy Scouts all together. ...I never became a Boy Scout, but I did follow in my father's footsteps by becoming an artist." -Jason Middlebrook

The Artists Reception Sunday, October 21, 2007 1pm - 4pm

The children, the bikes loaded into 3 cars, the trip up the palisades…is there a merit badge for family loyalty? Nepotism?

We routed our family Sunday activities to include an expedition to the Merit Badge 2 show at the Rockland County Center for the Arts. The 2 young boys in our troop immediately made like scouts and took off for the woods. The trail beckoned at the far end of a sculpture strewn field. And at the entrance to the woods hung a series of framed images on the trees. Images of trees, framed with bark branches. No, they were bark, pieces of bark from trees like those in the woods, framed with bark branches. Pieces of landscape framed by other pieces of landscape. “Woodscape” by William Stone. And off into the woods we followed.

The Merit Badge Show was organized by Jason Middlebrook, a prolific and energetic artist living in the Hudson Valley town of Craryville, NY. He curated the first Merit Badge Show on his own land in Craryville. The idea of earning merit badges strongly resembles the approach of many current artists. “Scouts must follow strict required tasks to learn about subjects that they normally wouldn't investigate”, says the catalogue (and then make a show about it, if you’re an artist). That said, this is not necessarily the approach of the artists included, who used the theme to their own ends. Jason included his father, David Middlebrook, in the show. David constructed a poetic emblem of environmental abuse in which the sky is falling, gaining him the Sculpture Badge.

According to LYNN STEIN / ROCA Exhibition Director, David Middlebrook is a California-based sculptor who specializes in site-specific work, private and public commissions, and smaller sculptural elements. He works with a broad range of stone, marble, ceramic and bronze mediums in dimensions ranging from 50 lbs. to 50 tons. Middlebrook creates art that connects people with their cultures. He has more than 35 commissioned pieces to his credit. She includes that David Middlebrook's work, The Sky Is Falling, explores the quagmire of environmental abuses and unexplained natural phenomena portrayed here as a poetic mystery of a childhood innocence, first observed by "Chicken Little."

My brother, William Stone (participating artist,) followed his own surrealist/poetic approach to earn the Forestry Badge, with his piece, “Woodscape” (described above.) Interesting. Here's his quote:

"The landscape is the landscape. What an incredible concept Merit Badges are. They seem more Grecian than military. To earn all of them, the goal, would constitute a start on a truly liberal arts education. Perhaps they were originally intended to guide a boy to a hobby. I only earned one. I picked the one that already was my hobby, a no-brainier."

Hyungsub Shin’s artificial synthesis hung from the trees like a floating upturned root system. Julian LaVerdeire’s yellow rope swing most intrigued the boys, who were not permitted to follow their inclinations and swing on it. Other pieces were missed entirely in the conflict between following the map and following the boys- I guess we don’t get our Pathfinding Badges for the day.

The works on display will be left to weather the winter outdoors. One imagines some of the pieces looking quite beautiful in the snow.

Now, there I am, an artist writing on my own brother's work, wondering why he gets more attention and noticing that my own work is orphaned in the Fine Art Adoption Network. (FAAN, a great concept for organization, see my own work in it above.) In the interest of rivalry I probably should say something more competitive, critical and monotone.

William Stone has shown his work both nationally and internationally, and has been included in recent solo exhibitions at sites such as the James Fuentes Gallery, NY; and the Art Moving Gallery, NYC. Stone's recent group exhibitions were shown at Deste Foundation Galleries, Athens, Greece; the Archivo Emily Harvey Foundation Galleries, Venice, Italy; and the Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, Texas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Allan Kaprow 18 Happenings in six parts [re-doing]
Saturday November 10th, 2007 at 4pm
Brooklyn New York, Deitch Studios
Performa 2007

Jessica Higgins
photos: Geoffrey Hendricks

Red, Green, Yellow re-do Poem

Hannah mentioned afterwards that Allan had finally given permission to redo these happenings before passing away. Geoff Hendricks recalled the 1958 original.

photo: Geoffrey Hendricks

The apple panel appears as shrine, precision and messiness recalling Allan’s reproduced structure of Mondrian, master of Shapiro graduate studies...

photo: Geoffrey Hendricks

Innovation and rebellion…. Structural
Obtuse voices of the 60’s

photo: Geoffrey Hendricks

It’s never the same as I keep referring to my Red, Green, Yellow ticket hand written with directions, seeing through to the other rooms as others refer to their own tickets, familiar and unfamiliar faces. We have our directions.

photo: Geoffrey Hendricks

Grid like motions, music and poetry a site loosely and concisely containing translucent squares, and windows on the ceiling

photo: Geoffrey Hendricks

Walking squares, 3 performers read

photo: Geoffrey Hendricks

Through translucent plastic 2 red scrolls, 2 green scrolls . . . writing ‘the any for hop’ ‘just a this’

photo: Geoffrey Hendricks

Painting on translucent canvas both sides simultaneously . . . room six Cartesian slide projections

photo: Geoffrey Hendricksphoto: Geoffrey Hendricksphoto: Geoffrey Hendricks

Geoff's voice transports us as Allan is reflected back to me

photo: Jessica Higgins

Jessica Higgins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_Higgins) is a New York intermedia artist.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Devon Dikeou's "The Niney Chronicals"
Correspondent: artist Erika Knerr
December 1st - Feb. 10th 2008

at artMovingProjects

166 North 12th Street Brooklyn NY 11211 (between bedford and Berry Sts., Williamsburg)

Devon Dikeou gives us a long awaited dose of the sharp wit and literary humor that only Devon herself can zing out. While I searched the space for familiar faces the opening was packed with Devon's fans from far and near.
Click on aMP's blog site for more info

Devon points to Niney's bottled bath water while engaged with a
Chelsea gallerist.

Artist and FAAN founder Adam Simon greets Devon with a card.

Artist Eva Mantel chats with aMP co-director Nancy Horowitz

Artist & writer Shelley Marlow with AOA correspondent, artist Sante Scardillo

Artist Mary Obering with inside scoop on identity of "you know who" with
artworld transfugee Amanda Obering



Copies were available at the opening. Artist Organized Art likes Zingmagazine because it only comes out when it wants to. It has no need to bow to any periodic release schedule. This issue is thoughtful, edgy as always, and elegant. No borders, no boundaries, no reviews. 28 curatorial projects flow seamlessly from one to the next, layed out with over 300 pages of quality print. This is the biggest and best issue I've seen Devon put out yet. In it she says "Rather than remaining isolated and apart, either through an unaware and uninformed (or aware and informed) malaise, there is a need to commingle arenas." This "curatorial crossing" and collaborative, book-like magazine comes out sporadically, and now is the moment.

Artist Organized Art
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As seen in Artforum

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