Between the Tongue and the Taste
September 1-15, 2011
Curated by Michael Merck.
Triangle Arts Association is pleased to present the work of two of our Artists’ Workshop alumni, Eve Bailey and Albert Pedulla. The exhibition opens Thursday, September 1, 6-9pm at 111 Front Street Galleries, Suite 222.
How does an artist’s mark derive its power? Using a variety of media, Bailey and Pedulla examine the relationship between body and mind from opposite ends of the spectrum.
Bailey employs the body as a “perceiving mechanical structure” that serves to “express the elegance of a gesture,” a device reaching beyond the physical products conceived of and executed by the mind. The works she makes are preparations that seek to instigate an opportunity for the body to complete them. Series of 1/4 Scale Maquettes is a sculptural document of her process to create a form upon which the body can perform a series of movements.
In other works such as Shoulder Path, Drawing Bailey records a series of movements by marking her body with paint. The resulting work serves as a blueprint of an abstracted moment in which the body has moved through space.
Conversely, Pedulla focuses on the mind seeking to form an “epistemology of the artist’s mark”. In Extracted Wall Drawing #3 (Path) a representation of a walk he took is rendered and then dissected. Remnants of his thought process are portrayed in intricate threads literally pulling apart the initial route moment by moment.
In Double-Portrait (Meg #1, #2, #3) Pedulla takes the process a step further by using the body as a space upon which the mind can make a mark. In this instance Pedulla literally burns an image onto a human body by creating a stencil and exposing it in a tanning bed. This process which he refers to as a “tanagram” is framed in a manner that excludes almost any indication that the image exists upon a human body but eerily aligns the subject’s naval with the mouth of the image.
Despite these seemingly opposite approaches, both artists’ processes converge around an underlying similarity. Bailey’s Work Force and Pedulla’s Public Rectilinear Form (Modernist-Post) share a conceptual space in which both artists entertain a state of being that exists beyond mind or body. In Bailey’s piece, a precarious if not dangerous sculpture is constructed that she then climbs atop and walks upon. A palpable tension is felt as she confidently but slowly traverses the structure. This tension between the focused concentration upon the act and the simultaneous disregard of its potentially harmful outcome incites the viewer to contemplate the meditative state necessary to execute this performance. Similarly, Pedulla’s piece creates a space in which to consider the conflicting notions of intention and intuition. By capturing the off-the-cuff gestures of passers-by and framing them within the context of a Modernist monolith Pedulla subverts the tradition of the over intellectualized artist’s mark by glorifying the purely instinctive human tendancy to express oneself.
Considering these works together, it becomes apparent that there is a state of being that neither the body nor the mind can rationalize. Perhaps another state exists between the physicality of the body and the relentless activity of the mind; a space where the actual mark is made and from which it derives its power of expression.