Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Scrambled. I attended the opening for an art show called Exquisite Corpse tonight. It's part of the Jersey City Studio Arts tour this weekend, which is when you get to walk around downtown and poke your nose into various artists' warrens. (Often, seeing how they live is more interesting than the art.) Anyway, if you don't know what  exquisite corpse means, it's a game in which a group of people combine various unrelated words, phrases, sentences, or images to generate something new, something surreal, or at least something off the wall. The point is that the assemblage is more or less unconsciously produced, since it's a group effort, not the result of a single person thinking about how the pieces "should" fit together. This art show, which is staged in a large industrial space, borrows the concept visually -- each "piece" was actually two or three pieces combined: a "head", a "torso", and "legs", with each part sometimes being a realistic depiction of a human or animal body, and sometimes an abstract one.

All of the pieces came from different artists working in different mediums. Some of it was quite stunning, some of it truly seemed random, and all of it made me feel a bit... fragmented. Juxtaposed. Cobbled together. I like genuine randomness, but this was curated randomness by a single person... I guess you could call it faked randomness, if you wanted to be blunt about it. Not that such is necessarily a bad thing -- like I said, much of it was stunning and most of the individual pieces could certainly stand as works of art on their own. But it didn't quite work for me.

They had some amputated parts of stuffed animals in a big bowl there that visitors could recombine (thanks to the miracle of Velcro) in amusing ways, but I wasn't in the mood.

1 comment:

  1. Wonder whose job is was to cut up the stuffed animals. What a way to spend your day.


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