The Trouble Begins at Eight

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Tent Services detail Peter Haakon Thompson

MFA thesis show at Katherine Nash Gallery 4.1.2010, featuring work by TJ Barnes, Juana Berrío, Jason Gaspar, Lindsay Montgomery, Jessica Teckemeyer, and Peter Haakon Thompson.

14 Comments

Artist: Juanita Berrio

One of the interesting works that I liked is a pile of pillows with interesting pillow cases. It seemed to me that almost each case is different from each other in that it has a different texture/design. Also, I liked the fact that a lot of different colors were chosen. This artwork is basically a pile of 3 x 13 pillows on the sides and 13 x 13 pillows at the front. The pillows are stuffed with probably wood pieces which make them pretty stiff. There are 6 little windows; 1 on the sides and 4 at the front. I have also observed that each window has a different level of height from the ground. There are 3 lamps inside this small pillow house that make a line of text on the wall visible. The text reads "Is it that you don't see us?" To my understanding of this work, the artist wanted to make it difficult to read this sentence. The easiest way to read it is to look through the window on the left side. Other windows except the highest window located on the right of the front side do not let the viewer see the text.

I have also noticed that the sentence "Or that you don't want to see us" resides to the right of the pillow block. I believe the artist's purpose was to prove that it is likely that the viewer will ignore something that does not look interesting just because it is written on a wall while a similar thing catches a lot of attention because there are windows - windows that we are all used to looking out because we are curious beings.

Sean Donovan:
"Fata morgana" is a experimental video by Lindsey Montgomery. I truly enjoyed this piece. It seemed like an experimental narrative. In the film, multiple puppets and figurines were shown on various mystical adventures.

Overall, I was most impressed by the captivating music and sound composition. There were engaging sonic textures which magically illustrated the visuals. As someone who traditionally dislikes puppetry, it was helpful to hear and see experimental expressions.

In addition, the camera angles were very cinematic. Although much of the film was stop-motion, or capturing puppets, the camera flow brought the inanimate object to life. Often times, the point of view and focusing was extremely effective. The photography of the film came across as very thought out. All in all, I was moved greatly by this piece.

Once again, we were asked to write a response to a piece currently in the gallery. The piece I've chosen is entitled "Planes of Existence" by Jessica Teckemeyer.

This is a three (sort of) part piece featuring a plastic Cerberus, a pool of water, and video projected onto the water. As the title states, this piece plays on the ideas of different planes of existence. The way I imagined it, given my nerdy background, is somewhat similar to the stories in the Golden Compass series. There are many different worlds, and places where they may connect.

There is the world with good ol' Cerby, drinking from his pool. there is a second world atop the pool, with an ethereal type water, changing from blues to pinks and so on. There is then another world, featuring the eye of someone peering into the pool back at Cerberus.

There is a second play on Cerby, though. Another take on this could feature time. (See Doctor Who episode: The Girl in the Fireplace) Perhaps the worlds do not follow the same time frame. Three seconds in the dog's world could be three hours in the world of the eye. It could be that as others view into this world, they are in fact seeing the reactions of just one dog in slow motion. First, it drinking contentedly. Second, it hearing a noise and looking up. Third, it growling at an intruder.

This theory then goes on to the idea of perspective. Looking into this slowed down world gives the "girl" the assumption that Cerby is a monster, when it is in fact a slowed down normal dog.

Theories aside, this piece works very well. The very blunt, precise lining of the dog statue complements the very smooth, flow-y rhythm of the projected water. The colors are much the same. The dog again features the very blunt, saturated colors while the pool has light, pastel colors. This is also used to denote the different planes of existence. Also, having actual water in the pool beneath the projection adds another layer of movement, though it may be just the occasional subtle ripple. It adds a random factor to the projection that gives it a more real effect.

Artist: Jason Gasper
Title: If You Want a Forest - Build One

The piece I chose to write about is Jason Gasper’s “If You Want a Forest – Build One” 2010. The image was stuck onto a table. The table itself was very luring to the image. The colors of the image in a fall setting forest were very realistic. The chosen are to be cropped onto the table was also very intriguing. There was a log on the ground on the bottom left mixed in with fall leaves. There was something about the color contrast of the leaves that led to the trees making the environment seem calm and peaceful. The chosen crop area also enhances the idea of you being insignificant as it shows a big and deep section of the forest. The entire trees are not shown; the tope of the trees are cut to show how enormous they are compared to the person looking at it.

There are also a lot of underlying themes of camouflage and secrecy within the image. Leaves on the ground cover logs and pieces of wood, only showing hints of the wood. On top of this, there is a small deer that is a bit off-centered and is difficult to see as it blends in so well with the deep forest. Also, the center is seemed to focus on two main trees; one that is perpendicular to the ground and the other one on the left that is diagonal, overlapping the perpendicular one. It creates an arc like shape with the deer position on one corner. Also, a path on the ground before the image reaches the trees is created. But at about a third way from the bottom, there are more logs and branched that are seen to show the barricading and prevention of entering deeper into the forest, separating the deer from you. This can be seen to relate to the title of “If You Want a Forest – Build One” where it could mean that that is the deer’s area of the forest and that mankind should find their own forest. We should build our own and not disrupt nature’s way of the forest.

Artist: Unknown (Lindsay Montgomery)

Title of Work: Is it that you can’t see us? Or that you don’t want to see us?

This artwork had a powerful meaning. Although the structure was built upon pillows I thought it was interesting see how it was stacked upon one another like a brick building. It’s built up to more than five- six feet about. I couldn’t really see above the work, you had to bend down in order to get the message. I’m assuming that this relates to how we perceive individuals who want to hide away from the world. Those who are invisible are either comfortable that way or maybe they want to come out of their shell and break through so that the world can be more aware of these so called invisible people. I don’t think this structured walls of pillows are targeted to one specific race. It’s targeted to all the people who want to be seen but doesn’t have the power to.

Artist: Juanita Berrio
Today at the Nash gallery one of the pieces that caught my eye was a Pillow Fort Barrier. The main reason this caught my eye was the giant stack of pillows. Also there was the phrase "Or that you don't want to see us?" painted on the wall which kind of confused me until I went up to the pillow fort and looked in the openings provided. When I looked through the openings I did see the phrase "Is it that you don't see us?". After that phrase and the other phrase were put together the piece takes on a whole new meaning and makes a lot more sense. This piece makes you think about those two questions and try to make you as a viewer come up with an answer. "Is it that you don't see us? Or is it that you don't want to see us?"

If You Want A Forest Build One
Artist: Jason Gaspar

By Alex Kuettel

This table was a really interesting piece. It was in the center of a projected video by the same artist. I don’t know if there was connection between his two pieces or if it was just easier to have his work all in one section. The blown up photograph appeared to be printed on the table but it was actually taped on to the table. I’m sure if the artist had more time/ resources he would’ve liked the image printed on the table but it was mounted nicely so you still got the effect of what it would be like printed. This photo stood out to me for a couple of reasons. The first reason being the environment of this picture is in the woods, which I find very peaceful. Another reason is the male deer in the background of this picture. You don’t often see bucks and to get a photo of one is pretty cool. Then I started to think of what this artist is trying to say with this photograph. The majestic buck is partially covered by downed trees. Actually there are a great number of downed trees. The photograph appears to have been shot in fall because there is a great deal of leafs on the ground. The downed trees and the open skyline present an image that feels like a sick and dying forest. This image with the buck in the background made me think about nature and how little forest there is now compared to century ago. I thought this picture presented that parallel very nicely.

Nash Art Gallery Visit

Jessica Teckemeyer: Planes of Existence 2010 (Mixed Media)

In the artwork of Jessica Teckemeyer, she has showed a structural piece of art and a video art image. There are two art works. One is some sort of a pond with a sculpture of a three-headed dog. The dog’s heads seem to represent an emotion that the dog is feeling. While you see one of the dogs head into the pond trying to get some water. When you look at this water you see a glow. The video that was projected into the water was a bit blurry but you could tell that they were swirls. This made the piece so appealing, and alluring. Like for me I couldn’t stop looking at the water. Also what made it so appealing were the translucent light colors. Right next to the piece was this sort of peephole that you could see was being transmitted to the tiny pond, but much clearer. This was very interesting, but it made me think why was it there. What was the purpose of it?

Pillow Fort
Artist: Juana Berrío
While strolling through the gallery on a hot spring day, I noticed a stack of pillows on the far wall. As I got closer, there was a wall of pillows with small openings in the middle. I give Juana Berrío a thumbs up.
I had never seen a wall of pillows so massive and I wished I could've had something like this when I was younger. Back when I was still a kid, I used to build forts with chairs, tables, blankets, and pillows with my brother. It was our very own version of dodgeball. If Juana would have helped me out back then, I would be unstoppable.
It's interesting how objects that we take for granted can be viewed as art. I loved how there was a a large variety of pillows and color. It made the "fort" seem very enjoyable and made me want to relive my younger years. I'm not sure if the piece is complete yet though because it would awesome to peek inside the fort and actually see something.

Juanita Berrio
I was kind of curious about this piece. Mainly because pretty much all I did when I was little as build forts. It is weird that they didn't post a title for the piece, but it is still the thing in the gallery that I most related to. It was like a barrier used in war but with pillow cases (not actual pillows) instead of burlap (or whatever it is they use). It was stacked about six feet high, about twelve feet wide, and about four or five feet from the wall, which had a message written on it: "Is it that you don't see us?" There was then another message written on the wall to the right of the fort that said "Or that you don't want to see us?"
I think this is a perfect piece for this gallery, entitled "The Trouble Begins at Eight." The "trouble" part comes from the fact that they created a barrier, as used in wars; the "begins at eight" part adds a playful touch to it, which would of course be the pillow cases part of the work. It implies that a normal children's bedtime could be at eight, but there is a war-like quality to their resistance.
The message behind the barrier is the kids message to their parents, who let them play around after their bedtime, mainly because they are just fed up with dealing with little punk kids.

Juanita Berrio
Pillow Fort

When I first saw the pillow fort I was kind of confused from afar, but upon closer look I really became amazed by it. It provoked a childhood memory from elementary school where we built igloos out of snow before school in the winter. I think it's every child's dream to have a fort that big to take themselves away to their own personal adventure land. The captions also enhanced this feeling for me as I remember my parents pretending that they didn't know where we were when we would hide at home to allow our imaginations to seem more concrete. I think that as I progress in my pursuit of learning the arts I realize that the true meaning of beauty is that hidden thing in us all: that child. Artists more and more and trying to capture their childhood emotions and imaginations to create something original and meaningful to themselves. Compositionally I think the pillow fort is the perfect size because even when adults see it, it is big enough to make them feel like kids again and that's the main goal of art. To provoke thoughts and feelings.

At the exhibit we went to on Thursday, I found Jason Gaspar's "Learning How to Fly so I can Capture the Sun and Find My Way Back Home" very interesting. One of the major things that I noticed about the piece was the fact that the same three birds seemed to be viewed for long periods of time. At the same time, this image was quite blurry, and it was difficult to make out what kinds of birds they were or what was in the background. While I was at first confused by this abstract image, I soon came up with a potential reason as to why this was done. I think the blurred image is used to focus less on the specifics of what exactly is doing the flying so that the audience can focus more on the act of flying itself. If I was able to view the details of each bird, for example, I would not be able to stop thinking about what the birds look like or why they are flying. With the distorted image, however, I focused more on the act of flying, which the title seems to indicate is the most important part of the video. The one thing I was most confused about was the part of the title about capturing the sun because I didn't see the sun in the video.

The art piece "Planes of Existence" by Jessica Techemeyer interested me the most. As I walked into the art gallery it caught my eye instantly. This art work is a large circle pool, not very deep, with water in it, and has a 3-headed dog, one head drinking out of the pool, and the other two looking in separate directions. Inside of the pool it was lit up with a glowing animated picture of waves. These waves were blues and greens and looked shiny. This really gave the real affect of water. The picture in the pool didn't stay as just animated waves. It eventually changed to a picture of some designs and then an eye. The eye blinked. That I thought was so cool! This art piece was in a dark room so the glowing water really struck out. Having a 3-headed dog was interesting because it's not ordinary or real life. It gave the imagination and fantasy feel of the art piece. The water also gave a magical feel.

The piece that stood out to me the most at this gallery was an untitled piece by Juanita Berrio. This piece was extremely unique, Juanita built a stack of pillows about 6 feet high and 10 feet wide. On the wall next to the piece it said "Or that you don't want to see us?", I was pretty confused at what the artist was saying until I saw in the pillow stack it said, "Is It that you don't see us?" To me, the message was portraying individuals that feel invisible to the world or that see themselves at outcasts, and the way they cope with is it is by hiding from the world. It gave me a picture of a kid who feels alone, angry and neglected, asking the world "do you not see me? or do you not want to see me?" so he builds his own little pillow fort like everyone used to do when they were younger just to get away from the world and be by yourself. I thought this piece was extremely unique and visually very stimulating but also had a really thought provoking message as well.