First Friday faves–all God’s children got shoes

Sarah McEneaney rocked the boat in her uniformly excellent exhibit at Locks Gallery (see Roberta’s Weekly Update), the first place I visited First Friday. And my next stop, the Collections show, curated by Luren Jenison, at Copy Gallery(see Brandon Joyce’s post here), was also a terrific surprise!!!

I saw several other exhibits, somewhat uneven, but with some gems. Here’s why:

William Lamson–Hunt and Gather, at Vox Populi (video of the video provided by Roberta)

I saw two art pieces involving the Philly fave practice of hanging shoes from an electric wire on the street. The piece I wanted to take home with me was William Lamson’s Hunt and Gather at the Vox Populi Video Lounge.

Lamson provides a video of himself (I presume) hunting down hanging shoes with a bow and arrow, and then (this would be the spoiler, so perhaps you should skip the rest of this sentence) exchanging his own shoes for the ones he shot down.

The process also involves bicycling around his Brooklyn neighborhood and climbing a ladder modified for bicycle transport. The ladder is on display at Vox, too. The process is presented as deadpan and serious, and the modified ladder matches.

But when the artist climbs the ladder, shoots his arrow and switches the shoes, the comedy comes out. I couldn’t help but think about the mock-heroic tone of Harold Lloyd!

The shoes hanging off a clothesline at Nightmare on Wood St.

The other shoe art (well, maybe not art so much as a salute to the local custom) was hung on a clothesline in the studios on Wood Street, aka the Compound Warehaus, located through the Wood Street entrance of the same building as Vox.

The rest of the show there, Nightmare on Wood St., was chockablock with art–48 pieces in all– mostly works on paper. The show was organized by the artists who use the space. I don’t even know how long the show will remain up. And after talking briefly to Miriam Singer, who said she worked on this one, I have to wonder how long they can keep up doing this, since it’s a side-line for all of those involved. She said it was a lot of work.

IMG_8565 Gerick Forston
Gerick Forston, 42; I take this image to be of 42 little guys vomiting. It charms by tranforming its scary contents into something comic, ridiculous, and lovable.

The work was horror-movie related, by in large, or at least Halloween related.

IMG_8563 Derrick Wesley McNew
Derrick Wesley McNew, Fuseli’s nightmare vomits glass, another vomit-theme drawing.

Derrick Wesley McNew took a comic turn, reimagining the nightmare in the Fuseli painting into a contemporary-looking comic figure.

There were a number of other great pieces, including a great Bill McRight piece (here’s a link to the picture on Jason’s flickr set) with Day of the Dead Mexican print styling. Here are a few more:

IMG_8564 Jason Andrew Turner
Jason Andrew Turner’s Freddy vs. Jason II best friends

This one also reminded me of the bff piece upstairs in the Collections show at Copy. But this one would be my choice.

Dirt Palace
Dirt Palace

Over at Space 1026, there’s a girl-group art collective from Providence, RI, Dirt Palace, strutting its collaborative art-making and installation chops. As in all the collaborative installations that sweep through Space 1026, this one had its highlights. The best in this exhibit, Secret Rooms of the Dirtpalace – Volume 3, was a quilt draped on a sofa that lives in the exhibition space at 1026. The quilt was covered with sparkly breasts–or maybe the little mounds of Dots candy on a scroll of paper. Either way, they looked like you could actually sit on them without pain–kind of those funny, fashionable shoe insole bumps—for the whole body.

Dirt Palace pizza box! Pretty funny.

In general, the show had some expected witchiness and female body celebration to it. Also on display besides some other quilts, some swell drawings and posters with flocking and sparkles that seemed like they were inspired by Oriental rugs, Indian miniatures, Aubrey Beardsley and gothic fantasies.

Dirt Palace.

I don’t know who made what at this show, so I’m crediting the collective.

And speaking of female body parts, the giant birth canal installation overcame my personal discomfor with its pristine quality and with its peepholes, one accessible, one not.

Dirt Palace, Andrea in the birth canal installation, taken through the one accessible peephole.

Andrea and I scooted in (through a hole made for a child-size person), and walked its length to the exit. The inaccessible peephole, up against the wall at the far end, was either unusable in this particular space or perhaps it was a little joke — i.e. are the neighbors looking in from the next building? I liked that idea.