500X Fresh Meat: College Expo
Jurors: Cris Worley and Erick Swenson
500X Gallery, Dallas, TX
Oct. 15- Oct. 31, 2011
published by D Magazine Front Row
Fun adverts, two hip art world jurors, and the 500x openness to experimentation has created an exciting college art exhibit. Jurors Cris Worley—owner and director of Cris Worley Fine Arts in Dallas— and Erick Swenson—international art star— selected 43 from 900 pieces, presenting a strong exhibit of what turned out to be primarily Metro-plex talent. Occupying both floors and resisting the “more is better” tendency, the show has a sprawling, spacious quality. The majority of pieces display a figurative inclination and graphic strength conveying resolved consideration, yet there are also several surprises including some accomplished ceramics.
Not surprisingly one work resembles Fresh Meat: chopped logs filled with silicon representing muscle, fat and sinew. Amputee by Rachel Muldez [UD] is an anthropomorphized and didactic reminder of our planetary destruction yet remains disgustingly, darkly humorous, overcoming it’s preachiness through craftsmanship and humor.
Ergonomics of Futility
Ian F. Thomas and Shreepad Joglekar
coordinated by Ro2 Art and Ryder Richards
(ALERT: the reviewer participated in and coordinated this event, therefore he has special insights and vested interests.)
“Ergonomics of Futility” provided a platform for dissension in trust and a spectacle of absurdity based on the most serious of problems: economic disparity and corporate hierarchy. Thomas and Joglekar developed the one-night-only performance at a temporary venue in South Dallas. The event was reminiscent of Gilliam’s “Brazil” as the bizarre, systematic actions undertaken by the performers produced a cyclic system devoid of tangible benefit… except for the possibility of offsetting inflation one dollar at a time.
In this corporate parody ‘art’ was created in the most inefficient manner possible: by developing a business model with management and employees at work in an office setting. Active at ‘work stations’ four performers engaged in tasks such as endlessly transcribing Melville on a loop of paper, hand sawing through books, and singeing ever-devalued dollars, whereupon a ‘worker’ would apply gold leaf and, finally, pin each revalued bill to the wall as a finished ‘product’. The catch is that the ‘workers’ had to earn the dollar bill, which allowed them to continue their ‘job’ of destroying the bill. Executed with all seriousness, these futile actions rewarded mindless repetition and an abundance of sweat over the typically lauded virtues of intellectual aptitude.