September 19 —
October 26, 2013
Conceptual art is a visual medium. This statement seems blindingly obvious if it weren’t for the massive armies of artists out there that bore me silly, or worse don’t even engage my curiosity enough to explore the feeble concept the artist attempts to communicate. John Baldessari profoundly and profanely shares my concern for the fissure between image and concept. His painting, EVERYTHING IS PURGED FROM THIS PAINTING BUT ART, NO IDEAS HAVE ENTERED THIS WORK, using humor, wit and an unexpected graphic poetry, sews the gash of bad art.
Alan Scarritt attacks the necessity of harmony between image and concept head on. The brain’s left hemisphere, which enables language, is activated in equal measure to the right hemisphere, which provides visual and spatial functions. The ephemeral verse that the work attains all stems from the collision and energy exchange between image and language. The aesthetic means- sculpture, photography, painting, sound, video- pulse between the tangible and the perceptual.
In his photographic diptych, FLOW, the word “flow” is drawn on a sheet of glass that is positioned in front of a spigot with water flowing from it. Two photos are taken: one with the word flow in focus and a dreamy abstraction of the spigot in the background. The second photo, obscures the word “flow,” focusing on the flowing water; the left and right strum a chord, the echoes of a Gregorian Chant.
Scarritt’s synthesis of right and left triggers a fission, rendering a perceptual awakening that is unlocked by rubbing your stomach and patting your head. Quantum Mechanics mathematically explain that given that electrons are neither a particle nor a wave, they are thereby both a particle (thus limited in space) and a wave (thus spread out in space), the seeming impossibility of matter being in two places at once. This is nature, and art is a mirror for nature; it can be dead and alive simultaneously, image and language constructed as one.