Chris Albert, mastermind of kork in Poughkeepsie, sent Two Coats of Paint the most amusing press release this week. “Basking in the glow of its newly recognized influence on the Accounting industry*, kork is mostly** pleased to welcome Marc Willhite’s installation ‘Tableaux’ which will be on view through February 27, 2009. The organizing principle of kork is to provide artists with the broadest possible opportunity to explore their visual impulses to the fullest degree, unhindered by curatorial oversight and with only one stipulation: the resulting work must fit within the footprint of the 24 inch x 36 inch bulletin board/gallery space.
Now, with Willhite’s project (the third to date), that singular condition has already gone out the window. Apparently unable to restrain himself to the proscribed parameters, the artist’s installation incorporates a floor to ceiling photocopy of a lace curtain, creating an environment on which the bulletin board floats – and even drifts. Through the duration of the exhibit, the position of the bulletin board will change, being placed at different points around the field of pixelated lace.
“Located inside the offices of Bailey Browne CPA & Associates, kork is a wholly sovereign conceptual entity; not unlike the nation of Lesotho, nestled quaintly within the borders of South Africa. Willhite’s incursion into non-kork real estate manages to fix one’s eye on the solidly bland-beige form of the kork space, the texture of which is equally bland compared with that of the lace working depicted in the surrounding photocopy. The mildness of the board is amplified to a nearly oppressive level. The artist’s response to the installation is apt, ‘I almost feel like it’s looking at me more than I’m looking at it!’
This mildness is an insinuation of steps not taken, of a life unbegun. Bulletin boards and lace curtains are custodians of our dusty memories. The initial pricks in a bulletin board’s cork are imbued with great intention, but more often than not, the surface will bloom with the overgrowth of those expired intentions. The lace curtain captures the benign history of a grandmother’s kitchen; remembrances caught on the wind. Here, writ gargantuan in black and white, that past now looms. Before it sits an empty bland agenda. The surface is passive; its form, assertive. It’s presence atop the ephemeral curtain is firm and undeniable. Free from clutter, free of looming tasks impaled on its face, the tan monolith is a dull mirror confronting the viewer. It’s unspoken query to the viewer may well be ‘So, what’s in your head?’
*It is unknown whether the presence of kork (Poughkeepsie, NY’s most provocative new art venue) in the offices of Bailey Browne CPA & Associates was actually considered as a factor which contributed to Careercast.com’s ranking of Accountant as one of the top ten best jobs in America today. Regardless, the creative minds behind the bulletin board gallery/project space will waste no time in spinning this moment of synchronicity to our advantage.
** kork enthusiastically the embraces the impulses of our artists, even when it is forced to question, then violate the laws of its own nature. Rules and laws exist for our own benefit. they protect us. Adherence to rules is a virtue. We are located in an accounting firm after all.”