Each January, Abecedarian Gallery promotes the work of student and emerging artists. This year, exhibiting in the main gallery is the work of two emerging artists, Andrea Crane and Danielle Vogel. In the Reading Room Denver newcomer Max Maddox is exhibiting.
Andrea Crane – Triggers
Andrea Crane is a mixed media artist using various techniques to create sculptural books. Her work is inspired by family events; she recreates memories of those methods with a variety of methods. Recent works have successfully paired plexiglass constructions with modestly scaled books. Gallery visitors may remember Andrea’s engaging piece, My Becoming, from the Artists’ Book Cornucopia II exhibit last year. Her use of clear material as backdrop effectively insinuates a “clear remembrance” of the past. Andrea is adept at using her own experience to trigger a viewer’s memory into recalling past events resulting in work that is both personable and unique.
A simple meatloaf sandwich sparks my hatred for mayonnaise. My mother insisted on making that disgusting sandwich with what felt like 10 pounds of that crap. This particular idea brings back memories of tossing endless sandwiches in the trash in the hope of sharing some of my friends’ lunch instead. If only my mother could only make a simple ham and cheese sandwich for me. It also became apparent in thinking about my childhood that my mom never made anything that looked vaguely similar to what the rest of the school kids had in their lunch boxes. Who the heck eats meatloaf sandwiches anyway?
The word meatloaf is what triggers this memory from my past. Triggers is a body of work that depicts both a trigger and a memory. Some pieces recite the particular memory while others are left to the imagination of the viewer. “What happens to those experiences that we can remember after a day but not after a year? Do they disappear entirely? Or are they lurking in the background, requiring only the right trigger * ”. Specific words, sounds, voices, smells or visuals, can trigger my mind to recall multiple memories. “Triggers” invites the viewer to see my memory process and think about how the mind works when it comes to keeping my memories alive.
*The Seven Sins of Memory, Schacter, Daniel L., Houghton Mifflin Company, N.Y, 2001
Andrea currently resides in Golden, Colorado with her husband David and dog Larry.
Danielle Vogel – The Amniotics of Seeing
Danielle earned her MFA in Writing & Poetics at Naropa University and is currently a PhD candidate at University of Denver. In this exhibit she will show her textile scroll-works and ceramic book artifacts, which explore the ceremonial gestation of a manuscript as it is written.
Through creating architectures for The Amniotics of Seeing, I’ve been investigating the book as an appendage of the body — and the body as an appendage for the book. This collection explores a manuscript, pre-completion. Each ceramic swallow-like nest, pod, and hive performs as a dwelling for excerpts from my manuscripts-in-progress. They are homage-chambers — places outside of my own body where my manuscripts can gestate as they await completion. I’ve been investigating archival and gestation practices found in nature in order to more fully understand my role as a writer. Studying nest and hive-building techniques, I’ve come to better understand how I compose narratives on small and large scales; how my tendencies and failures are revealed through the muscle and synapse fields of thread, paper, clay, and syllable. What helps the writer arrive within the world of the manuscript? Often these are private rituals that are maybe forgotten and not homaged in public spaces or after the manuscript is complete. Each contracting chamber within The Amniotics of Seeing is a meditation on the archive of memory stored in the muscle-body of a book as it is written —each a reflecting of my private rituals surrounding what helps a book become possible.
Danielle is the author of the chapbooks, lit, and the forthcoming, Incest Survivors’ After Effects Checklist. Her writing has most recently appeared in The Denver Quarterly, Tarpaulin Sky, Trickhouse, and Caketrain. A sister show to The Amniotics of Seeing, A Compendium of Intentional Inversions, will be exhibited at The University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Poetry off the Page Symposium in May 2012.
Max Maddox – Minta
in the Reading Room
After growing up in Colorado, Max lived on the east coast for several years before returning to his home state. Exhibiting for the first time in Denver, Max Maddox’s Minta: Specters of an Imagined Love is a site specific exhibition of collage and assemblage, Maddox arranges found objects and ephemera so as to seduce us into a relationship with him through a re-presentation of cultural media. His process is not unlike that of the bowerbird, a creature who collects related objects in its nest to attract a mate.
I was in Philadelphia eighteen months ago when I first conjured the idea of Minta, but the truth is I never met her and never learned her real name.
Before me, the Love Park fountain burst through the evening air, the flags of the avenue full as sails with the warmth of a Philadelphia summer. I had prepared the way for her arrival with gifts I had come across that day: a glimmer on the street, found at the tip of my shoe, or stolen from my aunt’s bathroom, my grandmother’s jewelry box; each artifact as though meant for the hand wherein I would give to her. Fine chocolates and white wine, little soaps and body powders wrapped in little bows, the finest relics of the street, a diamond accented with emeralds on a band of white gold. I arranged it all in a display at my side.
She never materialized, a fact that I shouldn’t have been surprised by, but I continued to think of her incessantly, looking tirelessly for some piece of ephemera meant for me or yet another gift meant for her; any morsel of evidence of the continuing truth of our apparently forbidden love. The gifts I have found, by which I have meant to invite her presence, have piled up, changed in character, become a collection.
Desperation has long set in for the suitor of this love story. I have kept my head to the ground, crushed my ribs over the edge of dumpsters, seeking some scrap of encouragement. Perhaps Minta means to prolong this game forever, or perhaps she plays its other half and hasn’t any more control over it than I. But by now she occupies the biggest part of my practice, and in all likelihood the process of losing her will someday take the place of my work altogether.