Today I ventured to the Deitch Projects on Grand Street, to check out the exhibition that has been put together by friends and family of Dash Snow. Dash Snow 1983-2009, A Community Memorial is on view until August 15Th. The exhibition is full of Polaroids along with a few sculptural elements in what was Dash’s classic D.I.Y. style. There is also a wall reserved in the small front room for people to post his/her own tributes to the deceased artist and features drawings, video, photographs and poetry. As I stated in a previous post, I was not a huge fan of Dash’s artwork and had a difficult time separating the reality of his lifestyle with the documentation and accoutrement of his photographs, but the gallery is filled with a poignancy that trickled underneath my skin. The art feels like a foreshadowing to his untimely death, and I felt myself wanting to make a small drawing as tribute. The video below was made as I became completely enticed by a magazine tear….blowing in the breeze put forth by the air conditioning vent.
1:35 minutes of a Tribute to Dash Snow
I then went to the larger Deitch space on Wooster Street to see Black Acid Co-op, the third collaborative project of Justin Lowe and Jonah Freeman. I hadn’t heard of the duo but was happy to sign a waiver upon entering the gallery. What I was presented with reminded me of Mike Nelson’s September 2007 exhibition A Psychic Vacuum sponsored by Creative Time and held in the old Essex Street Market, New York. Similarly, Black Acid Co-op, invites the viewer to experience a cacophony of dimly lit rooms, deliberately destroyed objects, and oddly enough, even a smell that is associated with the place it represents. I crawled through torn doorways in rooms that echoed a deserted cabin. Cigarette butts in a dilapidated kitchen followed by what even appears to be a trace element of shit in a toilet bowl made me realize why the release form was necessary. The environment is so “true” that I felt myself wondering if people had wandered off the street and actually used the “facilities”.
The rooms eventually open up into a space transformed into what can be loosely described as a more traditional museum/gallery and oddly enough I immediately felt myself relax. Before entering, I noticed a surveillance camera and took a photo, finding it funny to see the security measure amongst purposeful mess and in the successive room came face to face with TV screens broadcasting the live feed from the cameras. I spoke to a Deitch employee whose job it is to sit and watch the monitors and asked her to take my picture from the screen view as I was being watched. I then relayed the similarity I felt between this exhibit and Mike Nelson’s piece from a few years ago.
Katy: This exhibition reminds me of the exhibit a few years back in Chinatown. The rooms were filled with remnants and objects placed but felt discarded.
Deitch employee: Yeah, I heard of that exhibit but didn’t get to see it.
Katy: This show is similar but reminds me of Mike Nelson on crack.
Deitch employee: (giggles) Or meth….
It was then I realized the reference to drug paraphernalia and the odd connection between the chaotic displaced space and the work of Dash Snow paying homage in the other gallery. The eeriness grew, but I couldn’t help but find myself deliciously intrigued and willingly trudged onward. Certain ideas that have been on file in my mind are currently working there way to the forefront. Inspired by my own installation at 80 Washington Sq. East, visiting Black Acid Co-op allowed me to feel and experience several different emotions, which almost mirrored the plagued interior. I ended up going back to the studio and making a wall drawing and started two small painting giving myself the freedom imagine place again. I’m thinking about found objects in space and even though I won’t be recreating an abandoned cabin any time soon, its been great to think of “drawing” that is dimensional.