Painted Bride Art Center February 1 – March 15, 2008
I’m tempted to call Sean Stoops’ exhibition at Painted Bride a Max Lawrence solo effort with some Jeremy Boyle mixed in for good measure. Which is not really a horrible critique, as I enjoyed the show, especially the offerings by Maximillian Lawrence. I just might be a little annoyed if I was Pablo Colapinto’s video in the downstairs’ back corner or even a little angry if I was Kara Crombie’s video shoved off to the side of the Bride’s front gallery top floor in the middle of what other-wise appears to be a Max Lawrence installation.
This “lion” is also by Max Lawrence. I do not know the true name because I forgot to take notes (per usual). If you ghost both hands over the paint you will be able to manipulate the audio of this piece. Here, Carrie Collins demonstrates the wrong way to do this.
I don’t want to hassle Sean too much about the gestalt of his group exhibition (It may be my fault that I still know nothing about Justin Marshall) as A.V.O.W offers the perfect chance to wax poetic about how difficult it is to arrange for an art show of Amps, Volts, Ohms, and Watt’s electrical magnitude. Mostly I want to give Mr. Stoops props for organizing a show in which six out of eight (?) pieces have to be plugged in inside of a gallery that had painted over all of its outlets. As a curator who is trying to put together an exhibition on open source technology and artworks (Given Enough Eyeballs at the Esther M. Klein in March) I have a first hand knowledge of how difficult it can be to supply your artists with things like electricity, computers, tvs, projectors and all of the myriad of things that art is displayed on or in currently.
There is also the fear, with a show like A.V.O.W, that the art work won’t be turned on or working when the audience comes to see it. Three perfect examples of what could go wrong did go wrong while I was perusing the show; A piece of Jeremy Boyle’s automated drum-set detached itself, I couldn’t figure out how to work the Cd player to hear Huong Ngo’s audio piece, and I didn’t realize that you had to use both hands, creating a circuit, to hear the audio manipulations in Mr. Lawrence’s lion wall piece. As pal Nick Paparone exclaimed “That’s the problem with this type of show, too much can go wrong.”
Despite the SNAFU implications, A.V.O.W was time-well spent. It was great to see Max Lawrence’s Darlington Pair fully functional and (fingers crossed), it appears that in setting it up for a second time (It was mostly inoperable at Vox in December) all the bugs have been worked out. I think this is the first time I can safely say I’ve seen a complete work from Mr. Lawrence, though there is evidence from his mad-scientistesque work-bench installation, that Maximillian’s work is never done.
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