From Operas to Activism: Creative Capital Convenes

by Paddy Johnson on August 2, 2013 Reviews

Jesse Sugarman, still from Lido, The Pride is Back


Jesse Sugarmann
“For the last four years my primary medium has been the car accident” artist Jesse Sugarmann told audiences last year. This year, he’s expanded with that practice; he now leases a Pontiac car dealership in Pontiac. It’s called Pontiac Pontiac.

Outside of the storefront, he shows car assemblages activated by moving cars. These are minimalist sculptures made from a discontinued Pontiac model of car that he then drives cars into.

Sugarmann is interested in the body’s relationship to these cars, so he made videos of individual assembly line workers miming their movements on the assembly line in front of the dealership. The result is an incredibly accurate retelling of hours of labor. When he asks victims of car crashes to do the same though, the result is markedly different. Victims have very little muscle memory and the re-enactment is different every time.

The meaning of all this activity is a little ambiguous, but one gets the sense that an interest in celebrating imperfection is at least part of what drives this work. The imperfect car, the imperfect memory, the imperfect sculpture; each feels a little more complete through Sugarman’s process of working.

Jim Skuldt
Jim Skuldt is converting a standard 20-foot-long shipping container into a luxury hotel room, art gallery, and office, all in order to transport himself around the world. He calls the container Seamor. In order to execute Seamor, Skuldt told audiences he’d spent the last year getting an international shipper’s certification (or something like that), so he can better meet these goals. The only difficulty it seems, is finding people to receive the work. Who will dock Seamor?


Michelle Ellsworth
I gave Ellsworth’s Burger Foundation website a Best Link Ever post Friday because it smartly identifies the startling lack of significant discourse within the field of burger production and consumption. She gets a nod here, too, for her Creative Capital proposal “Clytigation: State of Exception”, a performance piece, phone app, and free-association circus. The piece brings together Aeschylus, the Internet, drones, dolls, dance, and video.

Elaine Tin Nyo
Elaine Tin Nyo began her presentation with images from a bake sale she held in 1999. A metaphor for the gallery system, she had artists donate cookies through their dealers, then sold the treats on the streets of Soho. She even hired an art historian to help sell the cookies.

Her new project, “This Little Piggy”, follows Tin Nyo’s long interest in pigs, and explores our love-hate relationship with them. Tin Nyo promises to adopt five piglets in ham-producing parts of the world, and follow them until they’re in our belly. Of the work she presented, perhaps the most entertaining was the hidden-camera footage where she fooled a woman at a food fair into believing she was eating live pig. More of that please!

It’s probably worth mentioning that Creative Capital sponsored a lot of food-based projects this year. They include Tin Nyo, Miriam Simun, Norbert Shieh, Fallen Fruit, Juan William Chavez, Shrimp Boat Projects, and Emily Johnson.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: