November 1, 2014 â€“ January 5, 2015
The Place You Will Wait for the Rest of Your Life Greg Pond, Amy Johnson, Archie Stapleton, Jesse Thompson and Crazy Horse
HIDDEN INTERIORS For The Place You Will Wait for the Rest of Your Life, a project made in collaboration with Amy Johnson, Archie Stapleton, Jesse Thompson and Crazy Horse, Greg Pond creates a part mechanical, part natural setting in which to consider the role of mythology in how individuals shape and perceive their surroundings. Transducers, essentially headphonesize speakers, are attached to the structure of the platform and steps in the entryway of the exhibition space. Their vibration makes an amplifier of the stairs, so the sound, a recording made by Pond and Thompson, reverberates
throughout the space. The sounds, taken from sources such as Moby Dick, particularly the passages related to dissecting the whale, are then processed into a distorted mix. Another set of transducers amplifies the sound into a nearby sculpture composed of stacked ceramic pots made by Stapleton, and rattlesnake noisemakers, which shake and vibrate with the oscillations. On a wall is a large photograph of Crazy Horse, a muse and collaborator whom Pond met while working on a documentary project about a Section 8 housing facility in Chattanooga, TN. Beside it hangs a photograph
of Crazy Horse’s apartment, a magazine collage created by Crazy Horse, and a paper flag made from Crazy Horse’s highlighted notes on a page from a scientific journal. A totem poll constructed out of steel is adorned with alternating layers of colorful cloth and rabbit pelts. Nearby, an abstract black and white video projection plays continuously. Two large sculptures fill the remainder of the space; one is an organic grid structure made from sticks, twine, and connector joints resembling an architectural model or a building shell, and the other is a squiggly pink mass of 3D-printed cutouts folded over a steel base. A recurring theme for Pond is the use of concealed or recontextualized sounds, images, and objects to reveal psychological facets of our environment. The original video, intentionally hidden by software programming and code translation, highlights patterns and movements that may otherwise go unnoticed. Overlaying the pixellated video are undulating, concentric circles resembling imagery used to induce hypnosis, an altered state of mind marked by a level of awareness different than the conscious state. “Pink Mountain,” the uncanny pink sculpture made by importing a 2d image into 3d modeling software, offers a colorful Rorschach test, provoking viewers to decode the original image before translation. This, too, taps into the psychological state of the viewer by exposing subconscious thoughts by what he or she sees. What’s revealed in an individual’s subconscious may also illuminate a collective worldview. As a point of interest, Pond cites the 13th century concept of firmament, a tangible understanding of the heavens and the sky often conceived as a physical dome. This mythological perspective, like others, explains nature, history and social customs in a concrete, visual way. This, in turn, informs
aspects of our built environments such as construction techniques in buildings and monuments. It may also shape the outcomes of our idle curiosity; how and why, for example, we conduct scientific research or create art. As our surroundings become increasingly machinated, how will mythologies shift to reflect new ideals? Crazy Horse explores such questions in what he refers to as his science, where he touches on the disappearing gap between human and machine. On one side of his flag, Crazy Horse highlights part of a scientific article where a man gets a computer implanted in his neck to treat an Immunodeficiency Disorder. In the collage, a woman sits camped out in front of her computer screen, holding a cell phone to her ear. In contrast, the background of the collage depicts a group of people donning white robes. They are from another time and place, and gather together in ceremony or study. In an ever-changing landscape with lingering archaic mythology, both Crazy Horse and Pond maintain a heuristic and ambulatory perspective in how they shape and perceive their surroundings through art. Looking in what’s hidden and dynamic might be an approach worth considering, as the alternative of a static, tangible utopia might be the place you will wait for the rest of your life. Rachel Bubis is the Seed Space Curator.
AMBIGUITY AND THE NEGOTIATIONS OF THE MIND In The Place You Will Wait for the Rest of Your Life, Greg Pond presents an installation as puzzle, with a title that reads like a clue from a personalized crossword. A cluster of highly disparate objects, tucked into the intimacy of a small garden-level gallery, produce the kind of semantic surprises associated with poetry. We are told in the gallery guide that the works on display were created by Pond, Amy Johnson, Archie Stapleton, Jesse Thompson and Crazy Horse, and brought together under the sign of the artist for the purposes of this installation. Indeed, as an ensemble, the
works reflect the collaboration of this trio on a recent documentary project. Amy Johnson provides photographs of Crazy Horse and of an assortment of objects in his home. Crazy Horse provides a found photo-collage affixed to a common box top and a loose sheet from an article that he has annotated, and Pond provides a selection of work in audio, video, and sculpture. Some of these things, like the totem, “When the Lion Meets the Dragon (Totem for Mumford),” constructed of layers of brightly colored textiles and rabbit pelts, “Pink Mountain,” a sculpture composed of a series
of 3D-printed planks, and the titular sculpture, â€œThe Place You Will Wait for the Rest of Your Life,â€? a delicately balanced scaffold formed with slats of conjoined wood and plastic, have been included in previous shows. Others, like the audio and video pieces, are unique to this installation, and show Pond reworking his archive of field recordings and source images. In the context of the installation, without text to stick these objects to a maker, a time and a place, authorship slips and the discrete things placed on display together slide into new positions of signification in relation to each other, as elements of an ensemble. Pondâ€™s curation, much like his overall artistic
practice, is an act of recombination that prompts the viewer to make sense of an unstuck, ambiguous informational landscape, to contemplate and participate in the loss and gain of meaning through processes of translation and transposition. We encounter his images, sounds, experiences not as he encountered them out in the world, but as they are apprehended and filtered through technology, and then as they are re-situated into new formal arrangements. His practice asks us to self-consciously engage the tendency of the mind to assimilate a diversity of data and sensory phenomenon into unified logical systems and to negotiate the resistance of
ambiguous signs to our efforts. The mind as a general motif repeats throughout the installation. In the photographs, Crazy Horse is captured in a moment of inward reflection, and the sealed window, with light seeping in through the seams of its drawn shade, and an assortment of mixed and miniature forms on its ledge all suggest the room as a model for the psychological interior. This metaphor of mind as an interior chamber filled with discordant registers of information is extended through the inclusion of the found photo-collage with its recessed keyhole window and densely populated world of things. “Pink Mountain,” a sculptural form composed of noodling pink lines, evokes the seat of the mind, the brain; its repeating core image is suggestive of a Rorschach inkblot. Concentric circles in the background of the video throb hypnotically, inviting the viewer to turn their own attention inwards, as recognizable forms occasionally flicker through a stream of visual noise in the foreground like fragile dream images. The hazy drone of garbled voices that
emits from “Flat Earth Unfolded,” a series of nesting ceramic bowls that function as speakers, engulfs the room and provides a sense that one is being located deep within the mind. And it is the processing of the mind that we witness both directly and indirectly. A page of colorful annotated text from Crazy Horse’s research on the potential role of electricity in the body’s healing mechanisms provides evidence of his processes of sense making, and the scrawling lines of “Pink Mountain” are populated by galloping horses to suggest Pond’s reconciliation of his exchanges with Crazy Horse. The filtering and distortions of the audio and video works through digital manipulation mirror the way the mind processes information. These works call latent images and sounds into the room that hover at the outer edges of perception like the bidding of the Freudian subconscious. Initially it is Pond’s subjective processing that is foregrounded in the installation through his act of reframing things that he and others
have made. Themes found in his previous work are drawn forward and re-shaded, such as the conjunction of the natural and the artificial, the mythology of the western frontier, and the twinkle of Utopia. We approach this processing from a distance, outside of it, like witnesses to someone else’s dreams. The audience does not get to know the sources for the audio or video, or why at particular moments in the past the man depicted in the photograph chose to arrange his body and his things just so. Only Pond and those directly involved in the construction of the images, objects and sounds before us have access to their inner dynamics. The viewer is held in a suspended position of not knowing, of processing what is possible to know from within the confines of their own mind and without access to the reality beyond
the images before them. This, it seems, is precisely the point. The installation we are told is directed at us; we are, after all, the ‘You’ of the title, The Place You Will Wait for the Rest of Your Life. Like the Rorschach marks that recur through the installation, the installation itself presents an environment of ambiguous signs, a world of code in which the things we experience are simultaneously reality, fiction, projection and memory. It tests how we cope with indeterminacy and states in between, chiding us gently to get used to it, because after all this is the stuff of life, and as Crazy Horse notes in the margins of his text, it is “very complex.” Jennie Carlisle is a curator based in Greensboro, NC.
ARTIST AND WRITERS GREG POND is a professor at the University of the South and a founding member of Fugitive Projects in Nashville. Pond also works as an independent writer, curator, and lecturer. Some of his recent projects have been hosted by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, the Jamaican Film Academy, the Frist and Cheekwood Museums in Nashville, The Elizabeth Foundation of New York, and the Hunter Museum. His work is represented by the Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville. JENNIE CARLISLE is the Production Curator for Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC, where she coordinates a site specific residency program at the museum that supports 50 international artists annually in the production of art projects that mine a collection of popular materials on site from a former thrift store and that engage directly with ideas of process and experimentation, collaboration, and public participation. She also directs public programs and produces exhibitions for the museum that are shaped as events and collaborative experiences. Jennie completed PhD course work in Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011. Her past curatorial projects include contributions to “More Love: Art, Politics and Sharing,” “Counter Lives: Portraiture in Contemporary Art” and “John Wesley’s Boeing in Context” at the Ackland Art Museum. RACHEL BUBIS is an independent arts writer, curator of Seed Space and gallery manager at E. T. Burk. Her writing has appeared in Nashville Arts Magazine, Nashville Scene, Native Magazine, Art Now Nashville, Art Art Zine, Nashville Wire and Examiner. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Rollins College.
Seed Space is a lab for site-specific installation, sculpture, and performancebased art in Nashville. We support our program in three specific ways. We bring in nationally recognized art critics to write our exhibition essays. We host regularly scheduled public talks. We facilitate meetings among artists, critics and curators. Through these means we aim to foster an exchange between a growing network of local and national artistic communities, which we believe is one of the best ways to support the careers of emerging artists. Located in the Wedgewood Houston neighborhood of Nashville, TN, Seed Space is the programmatic arm of NCAP, the Nashville Cultural Arts Project, and is made possible with grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
www.seedspace.org Director Adrienne Outlaw | firstname.lastname@example.org Curator Rachel Bubis | email@example.com Programs Manager Andri Alexandrou | firstname.lastname@example.org 1201 4th Ave South, Ste 131 Nashville, TN 37210