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Pierogi 2000 Opening

Peirogi 2000 opening on January 10, 2004 featuring Ward Shelley and Lee Boroson. Each artist addresses psychogeography on a very different scales and aesthetics.

Lee Boroson
Contrails and Clusters
January 2 – February 2, 2004
Peirogi 2000
Opening January 10, 2004

My interest is to isolate individual guidelines of perception. In this body of work, I examine how we define an object and how through the object we can understand its original context. What are the forces that act on a body? To what extent can a presence exist without the space around it?
(Boroson, 2003)

Lee Boroson is a sculptor who recognizes elegance in formal sculpture. It is interesting, however, to perceive the work of Boroson in a psychogeographic sense. In Contrails and Clusters Boroson calls attention to the ephemeral and the truly negative. Both have their respective psychogeographic roots.

The “contrails” are delicate and transparent objectifications of the act of moving through space. Showing a “path” in such a sculpturally elegant way and perceiving it with psychogeography in mind raises the bar of aesthetics in psy.geo mapping. Even though Boroson is striving to “isolate…guidelines of perception” the appropriateness of the sculpture to its reference is enhanced through its installation. Walking into the backroom of Pierogi, the viewer is confronted by linear forms of glass that slice through the space, albeit in a delicate way. This action enhances the perception and imagination of movement, but also has the viewer consider how we move through spaces, and what we leave behind.

“Clusters” has its psychogeographic roots in manipulating maps and reconsidering how we perceive what is shown. Boroson has taken snapshots of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and removed the negative space between each of the stars, creating clusters. This new “map” is a hypothetical map of how the universe either started, or is about to end. Boroson says about the piece, “When I was in school, we were taught how the universe might someday get so big that it would collapse on itself. That isn’t really talked about anymore.” The restructuring calls attention to this forgotten topic, yet I am pulled to the idea that Boroson has emphasized the fact that this map is a snapshot of a continually moving presence. The maps shown here have nearly as much potential for “accuracy” as the source maps he used. Regarding mapping as an acknowledgement of capturing an ever changing entity in such a dramatic sense lays possibility to regarding other maps in an evolutionary fashion.

Lee Boroson’s installations and images are consistent with his previous delicate and elegant work. What is striking, from a psychogeographic perspective, is this exhibit addresses the potential and ephemeral aspects of moving through space. Both works consider the objectification of the title and are aware of the removal from their context. The title and installations of the two pieces, however, make the viewer aware of the context from which these objects come. In this realization of the object and the original context, we become aware of psychogeography in the ephemeral and the delicacy in which these aspects can be expressed.

Ward Shelley
We Have Mice
January 2 – February 2, 2004
Peirogi 2000
Opening January 10, 2004

Ward Shelley’s We Have Mice performance installation at Pierogi redefines “habitable” space and “useful” space not only in galleries, but everywhere. Driven by the commercialization of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, Shelley is inhabiting the interior walls at Pierogi for the duration of the show. What is interesting about We Have Mice is that what Shelley is advertising is practically the opposite of what is happening. The show is supposed to be him living unseen, yet he invites us to be voyeurs of his world on the internet and in the gallery. Evidence of his life and thoughts are everywhere at Pierogi. In our voyeurism, we can watch him create and live as an artist in seclusion. He’ll even record his work for you in case you miss it and want to watch it later. This can be funny, crude, good or bad, but what is important here is that Shelley has exposed himself to the world by showing his process of making, one of the most vulnerable times for all of us artists.

A few inconsistencies, however, are somewhat confusing to me in this performance. Within the traditional gallery space of gallery 1 at Pierogi, an armchair with a light and books sits in the middle of the room. A video playing at the opening shows Shelley using this space at night, after everyone has left, as a reading area. Is this supposed to be his interpretation of what a mouse does when we are asleep? Or is this Shelley not performing as a mouse? This becomes more of a concern for me because it seems to be an inconsistency with the overall performance. If he is a mouse, then why even put anything in the main gallery room? If objects begin to appear in the main room, does he then transform into a pack rat? If a mouse is to live incognito, then should not that consistency be clearly displayed?

Shelley’s ability to remap an entire space and therefore redefine an entire space through his intervention allows for a reconsideration of the detail and usefulness of a space. He has inversed the focus of the viewer, making us peer into the walls at which we would normally stare. Viewers become participants in this engagement as shown when they bang on the walls to see if they can get a response from the artist. In this acknowledgement of the walls as the defining points for a space, Shelly has allowed everyone in the space to question the traditional space we are given. It would be interesting to see a map of his habitable space when the show is done, or to see how Shelley’s perception of Pierogi is different that the traditional user of the space.

Is Ward Shelly a mouse or a voyeur of the audience? Or, has Shelley simply radically altered how we consider a given space?

J Gabriel Lloyd

Posted by Gabe in exhibition :: installation | Permalink


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