Wednesday, January 10, 2007

OCAD - Staff After Hours

January 10 - February 12, 2007
Group Show
OCAD Professional Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

This exhibition was a great opportunity for me to show the OCAD community and my colleagues, what my chosen profession and passion really is. I did one piece for the show, which was first shown at LE Gallery's third anniversary show of October 2006. The piece was entitled Icarus' Vain Search for the Lost Moon Landing Videos. This title was a really more bizarre and playful work, incorporating my nerd first love, Star Wars' Death Star topped off with my mom's hair extension wig from the 1960s. A sleeping beauty inspired mirror with creepy purple dripping chicken foot hung on the wall under a cantilevered crane arm beckoning the viewer to peer into the tiny toy mirror, while it loosely held on the the rope/string that kept the Death Star aloft through a pulley at the end of that crane arm. On the floor, a candelabra turned upside down with a tentacles emerging from where candle sticks would have been housed, slithered towards the Death Star. On the base/platform of the upside down candelabra, a teetering and tenuously balanced scaffold emerged with a another smaller tentacle sprouting from a sliver leaf urn holding or grabbing for a silver leafed pig with wings. Pigs definitely were meant to fly in the face of Man losing the most convincing evidence that we held supporting the fact (or theory) that Man set foot on the Moon in 1969.

The title was inspired from a news item that had little play in the media, that the original Moon landing video was discovered missing in late summer of 2006. There was other footage shown on TV, but it was grainy and didn't have the resolution that the original magnetic tapes beamed to and recorded by a few dishes, like the famous Parkes dish in Australia. This was especially important to find because no copies had been made and the only technology that could view and make a copy of the tapes was due to shut down by 2007. To date (February, 2009) the tapes have still not been found.

I love this odd bastard child work, it had elements that just seemed so carefully insane. I felt like I had taken leave of myself, and it had started with a day dream I had working on the last of Liars Have Need to Have Good Memory (2005), where I imagined this candelabra that walked off by itself like some of the sculptures that appeared in the movie Beetle Juice (1988) by Tim Burton. Odd juxtapositions blossomed, like a 24k gold Death Star model hovering over the skeleton of a building (scaffold) moving with hermit crab like intentions by tentacles, which were becoming more realized and now purple, compared to my earlier less plastic and graphite covered small tentacles on the Laocoon In Hades work from Liars Have Need to Have Good Memory show in (2005). It just looked like it was going to topple over at any moment. Truth was is was very delicate and precarious, but I'm obsessed with making things stable, but creating the illusion of things about to fall over, to give them that more tenuous and precious tenacity of catching something in some shocking-caught-in-the-act Wee Gee like flash photograph before it all comes crashing to a pile of rubble.

Here is what I wrote about it prior to this show in November, 2006:

In this latest piece there is a role-play of characters and objects in a contemporary context. I reference classical mythology and contemporary popular culture (a new mythology to some) by introducing Icarus and icons from the Star Wars saga. Just as Icarus' story is a tragedy of classical and epic mythological proportions, so too is the Star Wars space opera.

Icarus: tried to escape from the kingdom of King Minos (Island of Crete) with his father Daedalus, after being imprisoned in a tower. During the escape, Icarus falls to his death into the ocean by flying too close to the sun with wings constructed from feathers and held together with beeswax, despite Daedalus’ warnings. He was doomed by his own hubris and his father’s past injustices.

The Death Star: those who would be caught by its gaze would be doomed, whether it was a planet or fighter ships. Its power was great, but like any great villainous icon it had its weakness, just as the Gorgons (Medusa) had their own. The Death Star, with a serpentine sculpted wig in this work, bears an ironic if not satirical resemblance to one of the Gorgons. It also alludes to a moon, just as it was confused for in the movie of Star Wars.

These two elements together play out the recent drama of NASA losing significant original moon landing videos. Although on the surface this event seems absurd, the lost videos are representative of a significant and tragic loss, which questions and challenges our very recent past glorified odyssey of landing a man on the moon. This event, without our contemporary need for concrete or photographic truth, now seems more like myth than fact, and it lends further creed to those who believe and tell the stories that the moon landings never even took place, but were staged by NASA and televised from movie sets.