The Life Instinct

I’m participating in the Bronx Museum’s AIM Program, and, as an assignment, we are supposed to come up with a fantasy group show to contextualize our work. Here’s mine, titled The Life Instinct after a section of Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s Maintenance Art Manifesto.

I’ve posted about almost all of these projects on this blog before, but here they are again, all together.

The great MLU washing the gallery stairs, I presume. From the Manifesto:

The Death Instinct: separation, individuality, Avant-Garde par excellence, to follow one’s own path to death–do your own thing, dynamic change.

The Life Instinct: unification, the eternal return, the perpetuation and MAINTENANCE of the species, survival systems and operations, equilibrium.

In Loving Memory, by Kristyna & Marek Milde, is an installation made of discarded outdoor chairs found in the garbage on the streets of New York. They were refurbished to a functional state and sanitized. While the chairs serve their purpose as patio furniture on the roof of the NURTUREart, the installation addresses the issue of fast-paced cycles of the consumerism and the impermanence and the interchangeability of things, where actual ownership often represents a short-lived affair before rejection. Each chair has a plaque attached to its back, commemorating their “worn out”, “obsolete”, and generally “uncool” qualities recalling un-monumental aspects of everyday life.

Sweep, Christina Kelly & Jeff Hutchison

The artists cultivated Broomcorn –  a species that once was central to a Brooklyn broom-making industry – on the banks of the Gowanus Canal. During storms, the stalks function like a sieve, catching debris and preventing it from washing into the canal. At the end of the season, the stalks were made into traditional-style brooms.

Kilmer Shrines, Anne Percoco

For this project, I built and maintained shrines to a network of storm drains in Piscataway, NJ. My process was one of paying consistent attention over time, of growth and accumulation through repeated visits. I invited viewers to visit the shrines, either independently or on guided walking tours.

“With Nomadographies Mattingly proposes a world returned to nomadic roots, following a peripatetic population constantly on the move. In as much as the protagonists in Mattingly’s photographs are related to pioneers of the American frontier, they are also products of a Cold War-era bunker mentality.” — via Artlog

See also: marymattingly.com

shedboatshed, Simon Starling

“Starling dismantled a shed and turned it into a boat; loaded with the remains of the shed, the boat was paddled down the Rhine to a museum in Basel, dismantled and re-made into a shed.” — Tate.org

On the Road

On the Road at Arlington Art Center just came down, but I wanted to share this PDF version of the catalog. The show, curated by Jeffry Cudlin, is a collection of work made in the world and/or in response to it, outside of a traditional studio or gallery. Artists include: Andrea Chung, Gregory Thielker, Mary Mattingly, Jess Perlitz, Michael Ruglio-Misurel, Graham Coreil-Allen, Tim Ivison and Nick Lucking, Ellie Lee, and yours truly.

I’m in the middle of a studio-based body of work for my upcoming show at A.I.R. Gallery, but after reading through the catalog, I can’t wait to escape the indoors for a some public projects this summer!

In the meantime, enjoy these screengrabs from the catalog, and view the full version for their respective back stories:

Image credits from top:  Gregory Thielker, Jess Perlitz, Andrea Chung, Mary MattinglyMichael Ruglio-Misurel