@ UIS Visual Art Gallery, Springfield, IL. August 25-September 15, 2016

A Dream Within a Dream Lies the Real

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This exhibition, like most, is a site of construction.  In this site, like in most construction sites, it is best to not touch anything as you wander around.

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Prince was a surrealist.  He lived the unconscious, relentlessly discordant.  He projected it as well, in the film Under the Cherry Moon, through the story of Christopher Tracy: a working class, androgynous, slightly misogynist, Black-American pianist in Europe, who infiltrates a world of socialites.

He long included homonymic inserts into his titles and album information.  As a kid, this simple gesture was a lesson in the surreal before I knew what to call it.  It also forecasted the emoji shorthand that goes unquestioned today.  He conflated Eye & I, as a reference to the body, with the body suggesting a person, the person suggesting representation, and representation breeds narrative.  In forcing this link between image and language,  or image as language, he promoted the message of visuality as an optimal form of communication.  That images mean something.

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While in high school, my father constructed a prop of Prince’s telecaster out of plywood for a talent show in which he and two friends lip-sung and performed the song “Do it all Night” in 1980.  I recall marveling and playing with the fake guitar as a child.  There was something magical about it.  That the fake could contain just enough associative personality to facilitate a transformation.  The likeness of an object giving power to its copy.  An image of an object trumps the actuality of it.

The White Cloud guitar was first imprinted on my consciousness from the film Purple Rain.  It became Excalibur to the Kid’s Arthur.  He performs the film’s title song with it, and brings almost everyone to tears.  Then it showed up off screen, in Prince’s hands, on the live stage.  In following years, there were more colors.  It was aptly named after something amorphous, as it occupied the spaces multiple realities.

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With Prince, art and life seemed to be one in the same.   You never knew which was imitating the other.

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The show’s title are Christopher’s words. It was a crudely uttered request, in order to write down another crude representation of language.  Wrecka-stow spotlights a distinction between oral and written communication.  Of what is imposed and how it can be altered.  By visualizing a phonetic vernacular that is heard but not often seen, he further exposes an alternative sort of access to knowledge, calling current hierarchies of such into question.

The title is a question as much as it is a challenge.  Much can be done with such a simple instrument.  History recorded, constitutions written, pictures rendered.  One can be a constructor of worlds, enacting microscopic friction towards the formation of a compelling fiction.

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The toner pigment is a conceptual binder that melds together my varied interest in commercial image production.  Used here is toner waste, the byproduct of other made images.  An amalgam of the four-color collective.  Their  resulting appearance is purple(ish).  The boxes that carry color are brown.

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This show is a drawing show, because yes, I do have a pencil.  As do you.

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