Sunday, November 27, 2011


i received my installation, post-industrial, in the mail the other day.  it returned from california where it was in a two-person exhibit entitled 'archaiologia' along with will ashford from northern california.  the show was about words and multiples and storytelling.  will prints on top of book pages and uses words as a context for his stark imagery.  i on the other hand, use multiples, and combine pieces like a hillbilly pack-rat to create context.  we both use repetitive imagery.  Amie, the gallery director at College of the Sequoias, sent along all kinds of literature from the show, including, articles, postcards, posters, images, guest ledgers, and anything else that had to do with the exhibit; a very thorough collection of materials.  it seems that the show was thought provoking and well-received by its audience of students and community members.  and from the images it looks like the 2 bodies of work contrasted well with each other, especially in terms of approach to printmaking.

this is the first time i've had an invited solo or small group show and did not attend.  i had every intention of attending and even installing the work myself when the show went up in october, but california is a long and expensive flight and stay.  and when it came time to book tickets and set aside time, it just wasn't reasonable.  so i boxed the work the best i could and shipped it out there with instructions for installation.  the 75 lbs. box, of course, arrived 4 days late and i'm certain Amie suffered the install.  i'm not known for writing the clearest directions and a short turn around time cannot be fun.  but she got it all done.  after we shipped off all the boxes, we only assumed the box arrived, but we didn't know if the piece got installed, until we saw a review of the show online and a big fat blurring perspective shot of post-industrial.  i was relieved that it arrived, was installed, and functioning.  

post-industrial installed at College of the Sequoias gallery

the piece was an approach to the idea of intangibility in communication in our society.  i used images depicting travel, human movement, distraction, cityscape, suburbs, and rural landscapes.  i used the rusted steel, the clay, and the video to provide different, but understandable textures to the images that they were exhibiting.  this is the first time i've attempted using video in a piece.  one of the comments in the guest book was 'the video distracted from the rest of the piece.'  which i imagine is true.  it is moving image in a world of static images.  your eyes will naturally move to that which is changing.  but i feel like the distraction of the video to the rest of the work was intentional, meant to draw attention to the fact that we ignore our surroundings most of the time.  the statement for post-industiral was a poem entitled: distant.  wanna hear it?  here it go...

that is the word/emotion you are experiencing
isn’t that a bit of what it feels like outside these days?

balancing your concept of self with the concept of society
texting instead of talking
processing instead of producing

experience has become intangible
or at least indefinable
perhaps a product of the television
or time spent in the bubble of our cars
traveling between cities, suburbs and small towns

post-industrial is not necessarily defined by a lack of industry
but rather as a shift in the way we, as individuals, interact with society.


in the end i feel like this piece came off a bit muddled in its message.  perhaps i needed to use words to help pull out some of the meanings. but as it was, it was quiet and a bit confused feeling.  which is, i guess, a bit of how i feel about living these days.  everything is such a pile of bullshit and truth that you can't tell the two apart and the more we talk to each other from behind a screen the less we actually talk.  


runmarky said...

Looks to me like an extremely interesting show. Both premises are thought provoking and well (from the little I could see) expressed. I happen to think it is important to not just be making attractive stuff. Maybe you felt your work didn't convey the seriousness of the message. Only a few people are going to really look/think about an installation. I think your installations are slightly whimsical, but also dark. The surface/color, draw the viewer in. Then the details and the whole together portray the ideas. Maybe the video was confusing or irritating to some viewers but if it works for you that's what matters. Installations should challenge and you did that in several ways.

Zach Medler said...

thank you for the thoughtful comment. whimsy with dark undertones is certainly an aesthetic i like to play with. and i think, on the whole, people liked the piece and interacted with it positively, however, i don't mind negative interaction. i imagine most people who were distracted by the video are also offended by people walking around w/ headphones in their ears.

Anonymous said...

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Zach Medler said...

thanks sheena...we're hoping to post at least 3 times a week...i'm glad you like the post :)

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