INTERNal Affairs is a new series by GCAC Curatorial Intern and CSUF Art History major Shauna Hultgrien.
Did you see that guy getting chased by a guitar-wielding musician? How about those three gentlemen who striped down to neon tights? Did the musical melodies of LYSOL pierce your eardrums and shake your entire being? No? Well then you must have missed September’s Art Walk! Shame on you for ignoring my last blog! I told you, Grand Central Art Center is a hotbed of experimental and exciting artistic collaboration, and it should not be missed! Those who attended can attest to that and are fully aware that words hardly convey the events of that evening. However, as your faithful reporter I will do my best to recreate the happenings of that thrilling Saturday as they occurred to me, GCAC’s dutiful intern.
September resumes the shows from August’s opening of Beatriz Cortez’s, The Time Machine and Eamonn Fox’s, Solo Residency for the Purposes of Furthering My Career; the artists rose to the challenge of keeping their pieces stimulating and engaging. Cortez obliged inquisitive minds by remaining in her exhibition space for the duration of the evening, offering insight and guided tours to any and all who were willing to venture on her artistic journey. Fox fulfilled his objective of involving the public in art by completely submerging them in three jaw-dropping performance pieces.
Fox welcomed back fellow artist Patrick Ballard, as well as Nathan Bockelman and Brian Getnick, in the evening’s first performance, Multiple Possessions. Ballard (the Cyclops conjuring, blue mouthed, Mozart of the synthesizer that performed during August’s Art Walk) joined Bockelman and Getnick in dropping their drawers and drawing a crowd. If you were lucky enough to have been present, you’ll remember me as the door monitor warning all that the show contained “adult content.” The three wandered about the stage area boasting sheer neon tights (complete with newspaper for censorship), looking confused and muted as though they were trapped in a bubble in which the audience could not understand them and they could not be heard. After the artist’s wandered the stage, they each took a place behind a microphone and began chanting one word each until they reached a unified, melodic tune. The tune stopped and the center performer picked up a guitar and proceeded to never play. After a brief silence, a glow of normalcy returned to the artists’ faces and with that, the performance concluded. As a uniformed audience member, (I didn’t discuss the project with the artists) I took the performance to be a commentary on the general public’s reception of art. Certain works may not fulfill the expectations of the creator nor the observer and while artists do create with meaning, there is not a wrong way to interpret art; it is as unique as the person experiencing it.
This idea seemed to travel through the halls of GCAC; as I stood in the foyer with my handy-dandy clicker counter, I could hear Beatriz Cortez asking what feelings her Time Machine evoked in those individuals emerging from the wooden box. She loved hearing the range of responses and when asked what it was supposed to mean, she simply responded with her view, but noted that it is something different for everyone. Meanwhile Fox was setting up his personal performance in the promenade.
Fox’s passion for actively involving the public in art led to a performance titled, Emoticons, which flung creativity and originality in the faces of the audience. A Santa Ana local who has certainly built up his frequent flyer miles here at GCAC shared with me his thoughts on Fox; he feels that Fox is indeed a true artist because true artists, “cut through the bulls*@t.” Eamonn Fox is certainly free of Buls*@t. He is sarcastic and ironic in all the right ways, while maintaining a consistent and blatant honesty in all that he does. Art is a creative expression of the thoughts and feelings of the creator, and Fox, with a band behind him and a microphone in hand, creatively expressed his thoughts and feelings to the entire promenade. The performance concluded with the guitarist chasing Fox into the gallery with his instrument drawn over his head like a battle-axe.
The final performance was once again in Fox’s gallery space and consisted of a live performance of the piercing sounds of the band LYSOL. It is difficult to place the band within a genre, but I would say it was a 50-50 blend of singing and screaming. Bravo to LYSOL for maintain energy and keeping their vocal chords intact. It was a wonderful opportunity for GCAC’s patrons, as well as myself, to fully appreciate the acoustics of our building; if you were ever curious as to how well sound carries through our corridors, the answer is very well. In fact, I would venture to say that in some parts of the building sound is even amplified. At this point in the evening I was that girl in the bowler’s cap in the lobby shouting greetings at newcomers as they entered, my need to greet and welcome could not be deterred by the overpowering sounds of a band who’s amps reach 11.
Alright art world of the Internet, have you learned your lesson? I sure hope so, October’s Art Walk will be THE LAST time to see both Cortez’s and Fox’s work here at GCAC. We will also have a brand new show, Cumulus in the main gallery. This work is a collaborative effort of Matthew Moore and Braden King and it is going to be quite a display. This means if you have yet to see our current main gallery exhibition, Nothing Else Left by Adriana Salazar, get down here now! Her show ends Sunday, September 22. So please, I beg of you, do not make the same mistake twice. Come refine that creative palate here at Grand Central Art Center and be a part of history in the making. I certainly will be here, clicker in hand, waiting for you. This is the GCAC intern, over and out.