I didn’t really want to write any details about my and Nannette’s exhibition until all was said and done in case we didn’t pull it off in the way that we wanted. But now that a successful opening has come and gone, I am happy to tell our tale. I went to Budapest with only the goal to finish a video project Nannette and I began last summer, do a couple of drawings, and see a few museums…maybe hit the spring baths. In short, I was going to take a break over break–treat it like a mini residency. Instead, pretty much as soon as I arrived, we started hatching major plans. We planned to both make work for the entire week and put a show together in addition to the video (which quickly transpired into an installation). We had hints of possible venue spaces at the beginning of the week, but it wasn’t until Monday (or Tuesday?) that we secured the venue (for a Thursday night opening…). Nothing like cutting it close, right?
Nannette’s background is in photography and video, but she is a closet draw-er and makes these gorgeous ink drawings on crayon resist with faint, meticulous etching which she never shows to anyone. I was flattered that she showed them to me and excited she was considering exhibiting them. So she got down to work on a larger-scale series of those drawings and a photography project based on rivers. Meanwhile we were going to the office every day and working on the video together, and I was furiously drawing in the mornings and evenings- (into the mornings again). It turns out that the venue, Chinese Characters, has the perfect back space for video projection, and was the perfect width to create a reflecting pool for the video (which contributes enormously to the content of the piece). We we aided immensely by David, who did a lot of the heavy-lifting during the installation, including making the structure for the pool. Working collaboratively all week was wonderful, as even our 2D work influenced each other’s to a strong degree. We brainstormed titles for awhile and came up with fekete leves (where the sky used to be). Fekete leves literally means “black soup” in Hungarian (Magyar). When used as slang, it implies a sense of foreboding or bad things to come. Where the sky used to be is the name of the video project, upon which the rest of the show hinged.
Here are some snapshots from the show. Sorry about the quality of these images. I only had my aged point-and-shoot, but Nannette got some great install shots with her camera, so as soon as I get those images, I’ll update this post. Thanks to everyone who came out to the opening! For those who didn’t make it, the orb-looking images on black are C-prints by Nannette, and she also has the black ink drawings (installation) on resist with scratching. We each made one of the white “north” drawings and collaborated on the video and installation. Mine are the small gouache and ink drawings on blue paper.
Thank you to Nannette and David for putting me up (and putting up with me) all week, to Tim of Chinese Characters/Klub Vittula for providing the space, libations and an open mind, and to Fabian for DJ-ing and acting as impromptu photographer. Next I’ll post images of the six drawings I made while there and maybe a couple of shots from the opening.