Ash Ferlito and Time Capsule 2014

Time capsule 2014

Last week we had a talk from Lex Brown, who came here at the invitation of UNLV’s current artist in residence, New Yorker Ash Ferlito. This week we’ll hear from Ash herself. Same day, same time — Wednesday, 6 – 8 p.m. — but this time the talk is going to end with a time capsule.

Who is contributing to this time capsule? Artists, about half of them from the classes she’s been teaching.

Originally, or so I’ve been told, the plan was to bury this time capsule in the garden, but the UNLV gardeners didn’t like that idea and therefore it will be kept in the Museum on extended loan for thirty years instead. Extended loans at the Barrick are rarely that long or that specific, so, out of curiosity, I asked her if she could tell me more about the project.

She wrote back from a coffee shop:

“I think about time a lot in my work, the future, the past and they way that things— objects, mementos, can take on a significance and act as a conduit to deliver meaning about identity and experience. I’m interested in phenomena like Jerusalem Syndrome and the power of place, things and the effect on the psychology of people. Often in my painting this interest is embedded or mitigated into a system, such as color organization, but Time Capsule 2014 addresses the ideas in a very direct way.

Traditionally a time capsule is a collection or cache of objects and information intended as a means of contact with future people, often intended for archaeologists; this project as an act of social sculpture is a metaphysical exercise proposed to bring greater understanding of our present time, our individual selves, our group identity as well as generate a conversation around the nature of our future. As a requisite for participation the contributors have agreed to convene in 30 years time, 2044, to open the capsule and review the contents. In the case of about half the contributors this is asking them to project into the future longer than they have been alive, which I find really interesting— 30 years seems just over the horizon in terms of clear understanding of what one can imagine his or her life to be. The commitment to meet again is key to the project, the pact, as well as the fact that we, as a group, will exist in this vessel concurrent with the events of our lives, is generating the magic of the act.

I love the ‘slow-burn’ as you’ve described the project. I imagine the alchemy of time and our individual energy effecting change in some way, both in terms of the physical nature of the contributions but also a sort of psychic change outside of the vessel. Within the great flux of life there will be this one small constant. There is a great scene in the movie “Harold and Maude” where Maude throws a souvenir stamped penny ‘Harold loves Maude’ that Harold has just made her into Elkhorn Slew, and exclaims, ‘So I’ll always know where it is.’

We will always know where it is– that is the meaning of the extended loan, it will be there, at the Barrick, cared for, with official paper work, with ceremony and a bronze plaque all adding to the significance of a moment when we were all present in one form or another.”


And she added: “It has caused as all to face the inevitable loss of loved ones and the uncertainty of our own lives.”


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The Installation of Derivative Presence

Installing Derivative Presence

Art for Art’s Sake has been taken down, boxed up, and sent back to Los Angeles. Look on the Barrick Facebook page and you’ll see a photograph of Billie Weisman herself in the back of a truck next to a crate of something huge.

I was somewhere around the middle of that last paragraph when Javier Sanchez and Yasmina Chavez arrived with boxes and tools to set up their new sound installation in the Xeric Garden. This is the description from the flyer –

Derivative Presence will run in two locations for the duration of the exhibit. Randomly searched and found youtube videos of people communicating directly to their audience will be exhibited inside TastySpace Gallery (May 23 – June 21) as an invasive spatial installation. The original sound corresponding to those videos will fill the Xeric Garden environment at the Marjorie Barrick Museum (May 5 – June 21) creating an isolating sound experience.”

They have settled their tools on a bench and the tree outside the office window is howling MATCHMAKER MATCHMAKER MAKE ME A MATCH in a disembodied child’s falsetto. In other news, the artist Lex Brown will “discuss her experience at Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument as well as her own artistic practice,” at the Barrick on Wednesday May 7th from six to eight. Private/Public is still running, of course, and the curator Emmanuel Ortega continues to offer free tours in English or Spanish every Thursday afternoon between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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Commentary: “Much of my time as a volunteer has been spent condition reporting …”

unnamed-1Condition report of a decorated shell, by Floris Lafontant

Barrick volunteer Floris Lafontant thinks about condition reports.

Much of my time as a volunteer has been spent condition reporting items in the Barrick Museum’s collection. A condition report is a practical and necessary thing in the museum world, but I’m often impressed with the simple act of creating a report. It is an almost transcendent experience. Handling art objects has a curious effect on time. In part, it’s the simultaneously slowed and hastened time of becoming engrossed in activity. It is also that, through careful examination of the piece, the life of the object unfolds. That the object survives is a testament to the artist. Each minor fracture and tear, each curious discoloration hints at how much or how little it was used as well as how much it was cared for and treasured.




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The 2014 Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition

Donna Beam Juried Show 2014

The school year is slowly achieving its entropy which means that the Donna Beam has been sprinting through shows at the rate of about one a week. First it was showing the MFAs, one by one. Next it will be showing the BFAs (May 2nd – May 30th), in a group. For now there’s the 2014 Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition (April 18th – April 26th). The show was judged and hung last week by the university’s current artist in residence, Henning Strassburger. Strassburger was born in Meissen, a town in the former DDR, in 1983. If the Berlin Wall hadn’t collapsed in 1989 then he might have learned to paint the porcelain that has made Meissen famous since the early seventeen hundreds, but as it is he got an MFA from the Art Academy of Dusseldorf and puts his paint on canvases instead.

There are other shows around the city too: Mark Brandvik at Vast Space Projects opened on Saturday, Anthony Freda is showing at Trifecta, there’s four days left to catch the 25th Annual Juried Show at the CAC, Blackbird is showing Kim Johnson-Hagen, Elizabeth Blau is about to open (May 1st) at Brett Wesley, Amanda Harris has Izaac Zevalking, the Winchester Gallery has Hillary Price, Michael Barrett is in the Clark County Government Center Rotunda, MCQ has a three-person show called found, and I’ve probably forgotten a few. Our own Art for Art’s Sake will be closing on the weekend. We’ll reopen on the 9th with Jerry Lewis’ Painted Pictures.

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