Friday, May 30, 2008

state of the union

we closed the gallery space today for the next week and a half! we've got four nights of performance this weekend by an amazing modern dance troupe, Traduza, who need the space bare for their dancing (there's a great deal of floor work and they use the walls, incorporating all kinds of surfaces, its going to be beautiful) and then next week we've decided to leave the curtains up in the windows and leave the space clear so when can take our time setting up for the first friday ark walk. in june we have a show by peruvian artist louis salinas quispe along with sacred textiles of the q'ero tribe, which is a benefit show to seed a living trust for the q'ero tribe. i'm really glad that we're involved in this project for several reasons, which i'll get to later, but mostly i'm happy because i think that it is broadening interpretation of what a "visionary art gallery" (which is how we've advertised for the past four years).

while i think that the idea of a visionary art gallery is timely and well suited to our worldly, cultured, eugenian crowd, i think that artistically speaking we have to widen our scope of artists to include mystics from all kinds of cultures, and to be archaeologically sound in our designation, we need to try to exhibit visionary culture on a historic level. martina hoffmann and robert venosa, two very talented and intelligent artists that we've shown, though very culturally sensitive and genuinely well versed and knowledgable about their subject matter, that often involves native spiritual rights, are but two fairly westernized interpretations of those rituals. i think that the quispe show lends credibility to our designation as a vision art gallery by showing those same rights through the eyes of the indigenous culture. i've found the project intellectually stimulating because i've been forced to try to not view the art through my own lens of visual culture. i find the images challenging. some of them, forgive me for saying this, but they remind me of peruvian thomas kincaid. sort of bucolic gentle village scenes but set it the high andes, missing only an electric lamp in one of the windows, and a qvc commercial. but then i have to remind myself that louis salinas quispe is a shaman who lives in the mountains of peru, and surely doesn't have the same visual repetoir that i do, probably doesn't know who thomas kincaid is, or have a natural aversion to certain techniques, compositions, and colors that i do (the slight snobbery you contract somewhere around your third year through an art history degree). at first i found his color palette to be overwhelming, but i had to remind myself that someone whose childhood was spent in the jewel box of the rain forrest would have a completely different relationship with color.

i can't really speak too broadly about the future direction of fenario, because i'm only the boss lady when b's gone, and the decision doesn't rest in my hands. but what we have discussed is a desire to move in a more urban contemporary direction, and i do feel that it is likely that the term visionary will eventually erode (or at least be redefined) from our identity, if simply because its limiting. we're rebranding as well, which is exciting. we were trying to think of a background for the website the other night, someone mentioned black and grey argyle, and that's when i had it: houndstooth! its perfect. don't steal my idea. 
more tomorrow. 

No comments: