Wednesday, December 7, 2011


ahhhhhh...sun...where did you go?  it's been rain/mist/snow/icing for the last week it feels.  i haven't seen the sun in forever. but today a timid yellow light is peeking from above the clouds.  finally the grey is dispersing.  after everything has been soaked to the frozen bone and the dead leaves have been left rotting in the gutters and corners of our yards, the sun shows his face.

the grey finally leaving
last night i fired the kiln until late and we get to see the results soon.  hopefully all the grey in the world will allow the color to explode from the kiln.  like that timid light, which now is exploding into full-on sunshine.  it is the last kiln load of the year, mostly packed with student work, only a few of my pieces are in there. a few finished up custom orders and several snowflake pieces for the winter season.  the end of the christmas pottery scramble.  now i can get back to working on my next show.

in january i'll be installing county fair for the 3rd time.  this time it will be in elizabethtown, ky, outside of louisville.  each time i've show this installation it's been different.  radically different.  the piece has morphed from a stark look at the summer cultural event of the rural midwest, to a sidewalk-street-fair-in-a-box.  each time i've shown this work, i've added elements, taken them away, and altered the functions of others.  all in the name of audience experience.

@ DeRicci Gallery, october 2010
the first version of county fair that was installed at edgewood college in madison, wi in 2010 was a stark, spread-out collection of events and games.  some elements were displayed hanging in rows against white walls. some were collected onto a conglomerate of white pedestals.  all were spread throughout the space.

the second version was installed at curly tale fine art in chicago in the summer of 2011.  this time everything was collected into a 'box' that housed the entirety of the elements inside and outside.  the white was turned into a bright and colorful explosion of spray paint.  it was easy to miss elements as there was a lot going on in a 5' x 5' space.  not only did i re-approach the way the work was displayed, but also the way it was experienced.  i added cranks that allowed the audience to interact more directly with the elements.  and i boxed each piece to be 'crated', unpacked, and ready to display.  the more i develop this work the more i feel the importance of its travel-ability.  fairs used to arrive to small towns on trains and then unload and set up in a field.  now they use semis and the grocery store parking lot.  but still everything arrives, opens, and is ready to go.  then after a week, it is gone on to some other destination.  the gypsy attitude was missing from the first version.
@ curly tale fine art, summer 2011

now that i'm re-working county fair for its 3rd space, i really want to emphasize travel-ability as a function of the installation.  i hope that people will come and interact with the piece, but then realize that it will be gone in a few short weeks and be off to somewhere else, leaving behind wet popcorn melting in the mud and cotton candy cones and coke cups blowing in the fence row.  this version has a re-worked queen contest element, a new roller coaster, a new strength test game, an altered case and hopefully a few other surprises.  oh yeah, and video.

last year mindy and i began experimenting with video for this piece.  i love alexander calder's 'circus' videos.  the old drunk guy playing with all the strange moving elements of his creation.  so one snowed-in week last winter we designed simple sets, wrote simple story boards, and filmed little clips of all the individual elements of the show.  then i wrote, recorded and mixed all the soundtracks and we made a fun little 15 minute video of the show.  our video experience is very amateur, and we didn't try to make it look professional, filming it all on our iphones and with our snap-shot camera.  my hope is that it feels like the home videos i made with my brothers when i was a kid.  i'm not interested in professional quality video.  it's too clean, easy and produced.  like pop music.  so clean it's dull.

so if you're in the louisville area in mid-january and need a reminder of summer fun, come see the show.  details later as i continue to update and alter this installation...


runmarky said...

I'm been hoping to get a chance to experience one of your installations 'in person'. i live near Louisville so can easily get down to Etown. Where will County Fair be? What dates? Ann

Zach Medler said...

the show will be at Elizabethtown Technical and Community College....mid-january through february...i hope you can make it to the show........i also have my 'winter graffiti' installation up at Heine Bros coffee off of Westport Rd through februrary along w/ a few prints...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...