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Friday 12.18.09

« What a pair! | Main | 2009 survey update »

Brian Gillis at PCC Cascade Gallery


Brian Gillis' …On Wednesday at the PCC Cascade gallery is an enigma wrapped in a cloak of over-familiarity and inconclusive evidence. It consists of several pallet loads of 2x4's, a giant bulbous black form and as you turn the corner some shipping boxes and evidence of what could be a homeless person's place to sleep.


The mood is oppressively familiar (in a good provocative way) while little details like every 2x4 having its own barcode on the end gives a sense of hyper-fastidious accounting, as if everything is under control... though the dim lighting, sleeping bag and discarded clothing suggests otherwise. In fact, it's only the wall text of "Brian Gillis …On Wednesday" that suggests that this indeed an art exhibition and not a storage room left unlocked by some PCC janitor and used for purposes that were never intended. I appreciate the deadpan delivery though I hear it has been controversial on the campus…. all the better. The chaos laden raw materials of this show are the antithesis of the highly managed nature of Andea Zittel piece or a Marina Abromovic performance and the open-endedness is interesting, though at second glance seems similarly just as hyper-managing of the viewer's environment.


There is something quiet and disturbing about a show filled with 2x4's and Fed-Ex packages that are relentlessly tracked, existing in stark contrast to the evidence of human beings who have left the grid of legit civilization (shelter, wages, taxes). Overall, the exhibition provocatively speaks to the human spirit, the persuit of freedom and its ability to infiltrate a society where everything is owned by someone. It also says something of our failings in terms of attentiveness for our fellow man.

Perhaps the sleeping bag is a bit heavy handed but at Christmas time it is a hell of a lot more subtle than Dicken's A Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful Life.

Till January 7th 2010

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 18, 2009 at 15:43 | Comments (0)


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