Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Template at POPgallery, July 30th until August 20th

All your favorite artists and friends will be at the POPgallery on July 30th from 7 until 10pm. Template is a group exhibit including works by Jean Jullien, Masakazu Kitayama, Yogi Proctor, Jason Groves (Shynola), Experimental Jetset, Gary Benzel, Shin Okuda, Andy Mueller, Steven Harrington, Michael Leon, Katsuo Design, Todd St. John, Supermundane, Tofer, and Andrew Neuhues.

Custom birch hangers designed by Shin Okuda

Limited edition artist t-shirts by 2K

A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink.

The barman says, "Sorry, we only serve bar jokes here."

"In that case," he said, "I'm in the right place."

I wasn't there personally, but the bar joke originated in the Art Deco years in a pub called The Laughing Duck. Inside the pub was a strange architectural configuration wherein a low wall separated two areas, at the corner of which was a supporting pole that reached to the ceiling. This corner pole ended up awkwardly close to the bar itself. Legend goes that many a crowded night, the locals would simply sit-in-wait for the unsuspecting drinker – usually a new customer – who, upon ordering, would turn from the bar, drinks in hand, and smash straight into the metal bar. From one bar to another, so to speak. Sometimes shock would ensue, while others, drinks would fly, but the scene was always the same: a man walking into a bar, itself within a bar. Over time, the locals transferred the combination of architectural folly and its recurring accidents into various reiterated stories. Funny in-and-of-themselves, the stories turned into jokes. Somewhere along the way, the "man walks into a bar" joke serendipitously emerged.

"A man walks into a bar" is template for the stretching of language that the joke relies upon. With each new telling, the template of the joke itself is invisibly reinforced, while the definitions and combinations of "bar" and "man" are continually redefined. In this regard, the template is seen as both liberating and restricting. It can simultaneously be a container for free expression and a border that must be broken through. As such, a template is an edge for any test to pressure up against and through, which any terms can be redefined.

In this reading, a gallery is template for an exhibit, an exhibit is template for artworks, artworks are templates for a press release, a press release is template for a text (in which the flexibility of them all can be addressed). So forth, a text is template for a reader, a reader template for an audience, an audience template for a gallery opening.

– Yogi Proctor, Los Angeles, 2010.

No comments:

Post a Comment