Suddenly, There: Discovery of the Find
Curated by Eileen Jeng and Tamas Veszi
By Taney Roniger
Garis & Hahn | November 26, 2013 – January 11, 2014
“In order to invent, one must think aside.” This observation, made by the French philosopher Etienne Souriau, might have served as the inspiration for this refreshingly exploratory group show. Thematically oriented around the “find”—a work that reveals itself in some unexpected manner during the creative process—the exhibition brings together a wide range of works that represent a departure from the single-minded focus commonly associated with creative intensity in favor of more peripheral awareness. In all the works on view, the kind of lateral thinking embraced by Souriau led to a discovery that could not have been otherwise attained, and the result is a provocative collection that sheds light on one of the lesser-known conditions of creativity.
Of the 29 works presented, which run the gamut from painting, drawing, and sculpture to photography, video, installation, and performance, many fall under the “process art” rubric, in which accidents and the unexpected typically play a central role. Others feature assemblages of found objects and discarded materials. Some of the more intriguing “finds” were created unintentionally, either while the artist was making another work or while he or she was engaged in some other activity. Tamas Veszi’s “Work in Progress 360” (2013) was in fact the inspiration for the show. It is a short video taken by the artist’s iPhone while he, unaware, was installing another piece for an exhibition. With jerky movements indicative of a hand-held device, Veszi’s scattered tools and moving feet are recorded as he busily goes about his task. Projected onto the gallery’s floor from above, the piece draws our attention to the overlooked and/or marginal, inviting consideration of the latter’s poetic potential. In a similar vein, Eve Bailey’s “Playtime” (2013) came about when the cast for one of the artist’s sculptures had to be disassembled for some technical reason. Seeing the fragments laid out on the floor, Bailey noted their unexpected dignity and decided to consider them works in themselves.
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Eve Bailey creates ergonomic and kinetic sculptures, based on the concept of balance and coordination, which embody her love for architecture and dance. Bailey has exhibited her work in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Cuba, Russia, and across the US. She was awarded funded residencies from the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE; Triangle Arts, Brooklyn, NY; I-Park Foundation, East Haddam, CT; and Sculpture Space, Utica, NY, among others. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from the École des Beaux Arts, Paris and a BFA in architectural metal work from Olivier de Serres School of Design, Paris. Bailey started incorporating performance in her sculptural work after receiving a fellowship from the San Francisco Art Institute.