Works by Kenny Cole, Geoff Hargadon, Paula Lalala, and Brian Reeves
Curated by Kenny Cole
July 26 – September 20 in the Clifford and Corridor Galleries
Opening Reception: Friday, July 26 from 5:00-8:00PM with the Hungry March Band performing from 7:30-9:00 on the front lawn
What happens when a beloved community arts organization gets replaced, subsumed, or usurped by quasi-art entities whose goals, motivations, and methodologies are opaque, and suspect at best? Such is the question brought forth by artist/curator Kenny Cole in the upcoming four-artist exhibition, “GALLERY CLOSED”, opening July 26th.
The four artists presented as part of “GALLERY CLOSED” (Kenny Cole, Geoff Hargadon, Paula Lalala, and Brian Reeves) each view their work as entities, thus disrupting the convention that art venues present art as a creation by an individual. Their end goals vary, but as a grouping they upset the status quo and alert us to the potential for forces from inside and outside of the art world cocoon to engender discord or engineer control. The entities included in this exhibition all posture as power brokers, gesturing the viewer towards a social, political, or financial realm that promises something collectively understood as a state of achievement or end game.
Paula Lalala’s E.A.R. offers the rarefied atmosphere from venerated repositories of art, in a jar. Geoff Hargadon’s “Cash for Your Warhol” guarantees financial happiness with the simple transference of your most prized aesthetic asset. Brian Reeves’ “Slop Art Premium Expressions” is the answer to both sides of reductive art world dilemmas: can you afford to turn down certified artistic expression or can you afford not to receive the validation guaranteed by a certified representative? Kenny Cole’s “The Khashoggi Story” reflects upon the recent state sponsored gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and challenges the viewer to question and move beyond institutional boundaries, without necessarily promising a reward for their intrepidness.
In our current era of cultural warfare among the memetic tribes of the media realm, we scramble to find footing and distrust everyone and everything. The power brokers, who gleefully sow discord, rarely have to atone for their mischievous machinations, rather are applauded if a profit has been achieved. In this spirit, “GALLERY CLOSED” brings to bear that worst-case scenario upon an unsuspecting community.
PAULA LALALA Paula Lalala has created the art entity Enhanced Art Resources or E.A.R., through which she creates goods in the form of multiples, editions, and interactive objects and events. For “Gallery Closed” her “Rarefied Air” collection—air samples from art museums in labeled jars as a limited edition series—will be exhibited in a display cubicle. Videos of Paula capturing air are available. During the opening reception, she will capture and bottle air from the Clifford Gallery.
BRIAN REEVES The large exterior banner Brian Reeves created announcing the participants in “Gallery Closed” is meant to suggest that the Slop Art Brand of Premium Expressions is in large part responsible for the transformation of Waterfall Arts’ environment. Brian’s Slop Art approach supplants and redefines art presenters as industrial suppliers, commandeering supply, production, delivery, and consumption of “Premium Expressions”. Additionally, Brian will create an installation in a cubicle in the Clifford Gallery.
GEOFF HARGADON Geoff Hargadon’s “Cash for Your Warhol” signage has been placed around the world – Belfast and Waldo County included – for years, advertising his “art as social practice” experiment that began after the financial meltdown in 2008. It is an investigation into the relationship of hard times and the potential for art to insert itself into the collective psyche. For “Gallery Closed” Geoff will add more signage within the local community and environs and create an installation in a cubicle in the Clifford Gallery.
KENNY COLE Kenny Cole’s “The Khashoggi Story” is an interactive installation piece in his series of “pass through” walls, created to reenact the moment journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Turkish embassy never to be seen again. Visitors can pass through two successive walls that appear to close off access to the Clifford Gallery. Each wall has a large painting hinged like a door that can be opened to reveal a portal, which visitors can step through. Additionally, there are a series of framed gouache paintings on paper in the corridor gallery, which represent 25 Saudi dissidents; some of who still languish in Saudi prisons and for whom Jamal Khashoggi tried to speak out for.
Read more about these artists on our blog.