Quick look at a great gone show

Tory Franklin’s Zooid Vamoose at FLUXspace closed yesterday.  I’m so glad I got to see it.  Not only did Franklin push her work — which combines animal imagery, heraldry, fashion and social commentary — to new levels with the embedding of led lights as a decorative touch but her installation was a nice commentary on social poses.

Tory Franklin, heraldic dragon creature in the entry way of FLUXspace.
Tory Franklin, heraldic dragon creature in the entry way of FLUXspace.

Libby and I first saw Franklin’s work when we juried the Bambi Biennial in 2008.  The artist is a printmaker whose wall-spanning cut outs are formidable  (the one above has multiple pieces and is pinned to the walls with little red-headed pins.

Tory Franklin, led's embedded in print on Tyvek.
Tory Franklin, led’s embedded in print on Tyvek.

The artist lit up some screenprints she made of stylized pretty birds and called them collectively Gone a courting (dress to impress, build a better nest). The birds have a lovely reductivist design sense to them and while they’d stand on their own without the lights I have to say the lights pleased me, with their gaudy illumination that is part Hollywood razzle dazzle and part mashup of new technology with old.

Tory Franklin, chandelier with fishing bobbers
Tory Franklin, chandelier with fishing bobbers

Speaking of mashups the best one in the show is the pretty feminine chandelier draped with beads — and red and white plastic fishing bobbers.  No matter how hoity toity we are, we live in a world anchored to the mundane and to the world of work.

Tory Franklin, interactive led piece with Tim Belknap acting as "hand model."
Tory Franklin, interactive led piece with Tim Belknap acting as “hand model.”

One of Franklin’s pieces is interactive with a column of buttons to push, each button lighting up a different part of the artwork.  Luckily, Tim Belknap walked by when I wanted to take a picture and he agreed to be the button pusher while I snapped a picture.  Afterwards he commented that he was now a”hand model.”

Belknap, by the way, will be in a kinetic art show at the Delaware Contemporary Art Center (DCCC) that runs Sept 18-Nov. 7.  He’ll be revisiting his dumpster piece (which was in an emerging artist show “The Day After” at Slought) updating the piece with a nautical theme.  He said he was filling the dumpster with water and would have some battleships fight in it to the last one “standing.”

I ran into Joe and Chris while up there and they gave me the press release for the upcoming task party with Oliver Herring Saturday, Sept. 26, 6-10 pm.  This is the third task party collaboration with Herring and FLUX is looking for volunteers and materials and for the first time, they are organizing a food contest for the event.  Bring a dish to share and to be judged — it has to be enough to serve ten people.  The contest winner receives a piece of art donated by Oliver Herring.  More information about REtask on the FLUXspace website.

And if you’re wondering how the gallery program up there in the upper reaches of Kensington is doing, here’s a bit of anecdotal information.  The day I visited — which was the last day of the show, one that was favorably reviewed in the Inquirer —  8 other people had been there before me (I arrived an hour after they opened at noon).  As I was leaving, three more visitors were arriving.  So even in the hinterlands, a good show will draw folks in.  And speaking of good shows, if you have an idea for one, they are entertaining submissions between now and Nov. 1. for shows in the gallery next year.  Submission information is on their website.