Garry Neill Kennedy and Joanna Malinowska by Carrie Moyer - SHIT HAPPENS/âIn Search of the Miraculous, ContinuedâŠâ
CANADA April 29âJune 4, 2006
SHIT HAPPENS/âIn Search of the Miraculous, ContinuedâŠ,â the two-person exhibition of Garry Neill Kennedy and Joanna Malinowska, pairs two artists whose work resists the proverbial Easy Read. Both artists make art that responds intellectually and perceptually to the conditions of its site. Kennedy, a well-known figure in the Canadian art world, takes for his site the interior of the gallery. For the gallery Canada,* he produced an elegantly exuberant system-based wall painting, reminiscent of the work of Daniel Buren and Lawrence Wiener. Malinowska chose artmaking sites ranging from the exotic (a remote location on Baffin Island) to the everyday (the D Train as it passed over the Manhattan Bridge). Her contribution to the show consisted of a rough, honeycombed âhutâ made of soundproofing foam and 2Ă4s that camouflaged stacks of equipment and looped videos.
Using the tenets of system-based painting, Kennedy transforms the white cube into a space that dazzles with the graphic confidence of late-Modernist abstraction and the combustion of agitprop. Set in a blocky, stylized font called âSuperstar Shadow,â the phrase âSHIT HAPPENSâ is painted in gigantic letters that span the entire gallery from floor to ceiling. The phrase is indecipherable at first glance. Instead, flat, hard-edged shapes of red, beige and green draw our attention to the quirky architecture of the room. The commercial house paints in Kennedyâs palette are selected for their tasteful, complimentary hues as well as their evocative product names (âPersian Gulf,â âPersian Green,â âArabian Night,â and âArabesqueâ). Punctuating the wall painting in various locations, large squares composed of bold, patriotic stripes key us into the artistâs intention: these are the oversized replicas of the commemorative medal ribbons awarded to the U.S. military for duty in the Global War on Terror and Service in Iraq. Kennedy reinvigorates the connection between politics and abstraction by using the pleasant, domesticated Orientalism of home dĂ©cor to foreground the pumped up signs of a futile war.
Kennedyâs meticulous wall painting acts an astringent foil for Malinowskaâs flirtation with chance operations. Paying homage to the mythic performance artist Bas Jan Ader, âIn Search of the Miraculous, ContinuedâŠâ is comprised of four loosely related videos. All four works investigate the artistâs own relationship with the unexpected and commonplace, playing the thin edge between the random and the staged. âPart Iâ shows an âaccidentalâ encounter outside of Carnegie Hall between a glamorous woman and celebrated pianist, Piotr Anderszewski, who becomes an unsuspecting actor in Malinowskaâs drama. In âPart III (Preaching Avant Garde to a Commuter),â a woman resembling pianist Margaret Leng Tan âplaysâ John Cageâs 4â33â on a toy piano to a car packed with oblivious subway riders. âNunat Erucilkai â A Village Without Daylightâ closes in on the irregular pulse of an energy-saving light bulb being manually switched on and off. Looking like a parody of early abstract art film or a light experiment by Moholy-Nagy, the common, florescent coils mysteriously glow and fade into the darkness as a strange, disembodied voice retells an Inuit folktale in the Yupik Eskimo dialect. In âPart II,â one continuous shot bears down upon the incandescent landscape of the Canadian tundra. Center screen, a solar-powered boom box plays Glenn Gouldâs âGoldberg Variations.â The artistâs sly preoccupation with the conditions of art making is beautifully encapsulated here. In hopes that future travelers might stumble across this gorgeous piece of music, Malinowska has planted a flimsy piece of technology deep into an unforgiving landscape. Whether the boom box has already broken down or has miraculously recharged itself, broadcasting Glenn Gould into perpetuity, we will never know.Read the entire article hereSource:
TLD Featured Artist: Joanna Malinowska Arts Contributor Ashlie Cotton recently spoke with Polish Artist Joanna Malinowska.
TLD: When did you start âmakingâ art?
Joanna Malinowska: I moved to the United States after high school from Poland, originally intending to study Cultural Anthropology. Then I started getting more into art, as it felt more experimental in America than it had in Poland. This enabled me to continue taking different Liberal Arts courses, but also many art classes, especially in sculpture.
TLD: Which artist has inspired you the most?
JM: Well, for many years it was the mythical Bas Jan Ader. But it really depends. Last weekend, I spent a lot of time staring at Hieronymus Boschâs Garden of Earthly Delights , juts trying to figure out what is really going on in there. But I think Iâm generally more inspired by non-visual artists like, for example Olivier Messiaen, the composerâŠor by artists that unfortunately are never credited, but presented as primitive or indigenous art.
TLD: What are you reading these days?
JM: I have been reading several books lately. I just did a performance at the Sculpture Center that loosely referenced potlatch ceremonies of the Pacific Northwest, so I have been reading a lot about that. Also, Iâm reading âDonât Sleep, There Are Snakes,â by Daniel Everett, that I discovered through an article in The New Yorker. Everett traveled to the Amazon as a Christian missionary to work among the PirahĂŁ people and during the process has become a distinguished linguist and perhaps the only non- PirahĂŁ person who can speak their language. The PirahĂŁs are very different from a lot of the other tribes in the Amazon, maybe not as âcolorfulâ, without any elaborate material culture and spectacular ceremonies. But the thing is, they have a very unusual language, which according to Everett doesnât fit within Noam Chomskyâs theory of universal grammar. The language is on the one hand grammatically primitive, on the other hand very difficult, with many whistle sounds, many tonalities and variations. Complex sentences donâ t really exist. However, the tribe is also interesting because they also have a vagueâor rather NOâconcept of time. They live in the present moment. Like, if you told them about Jesus, they would want to know if you had met Jesus. Or, they build things only for specific task, and not for future use. When they were taught how to build canoes for long term use, they abandoned them and forgot the trade. They built a basket to carry something, but it never gets used againâeverything is for the moment.Read the entire article hereSource: