Friday, April 24, 2009

Behle, Corley, Goetz, Hoeing, Type are OPAQUE

A bunch of artists who have worked with Poetry Scores in one capacity or another are in the show at Thomas Jefferson School that opens this evening, Friday, April 24, from 6-8 p.m., in a gallery space at the near South County prep school, 4100 S. Lindbergh Blvd. just south of I-44.

Kind of a schlep for city dwellers, but the list of artist showing out there is top-flight: Michael Behle, Heather Corley, Robert Goetz, Jason Hoeing, and Tim "Type" Jordan.

All highly accomplished artists. Other than Corley, who has agreed to this year's Poetry Scores Art Invitational, and Hoeing, who makes these marvelous micropaintings, all have contributed in one or more ways to past projects of ours.

As has Greg Edmondson, who teaches at TJ, and whose students curated the show (this helps to explain their access to some of the best artists in town). Here is the announcement language for the show, themed OPAQUE, crafted by the students.

Articulation. Connection. Correspondence. Declaration.

From the dawn of civilized man, these words have defined humanity. Be it the primitive alphabets of Mesopotamia or the new age cyber talk that characterizes today’s modern generation, language has always been the essential quality that separates us from the world’s unimaginably large collection of wildlife. Without this most crucial ability, there could be no love or friendship, in fact, no relationships at all—the same bonds that make us human. However, the very device that unites humanity can also, with only the slightest of miscommunications, tear us apart.

Such is the quandary of human interaction. What some of us take as adulation, others view as insult. Every word or phrase that we convey carries a distinct and unique connotation for each individual eye it touches or ear it penetrates, often creating unforeseen incongruities amongst the parties involved. Our correspondence, so often an attempt to unite, becomes a divisive force between humans, as we lead on, confuse, and often times hurt those very people we are trying to grow nearer to. In this fashion, lovers hurl insults at one another in times of passion, while friends speak too freely, tearing down the confidence of those they hold dear, never fully understanding the power that each remark carries with it. Thus, allies become enemies, confidants grow into outsiders, and peaceful marriages mutate into wars, both on a global scale and in the home. Each piece of art in this show strives to demonstrate both the importance of human interaction as well as the frustration and heartache that so often accompany it.

As humans, we may advise, divulge, disseminate, proclaim, and spread. But no matter what, communication will always be OPAQUE.
This just goes to show that even the smartest high school students in the world resort to the "from the dawn of time" lead sentence. When I used to teach freshman composition at Washington University - the worst job I ever had, worse than delivering pizzas or washing dishes at the Chinese restuarant - I spend the entire semester trying (and failing) to kill the "from the dawn of time" lead sentence habit.

Still, these kids picked some great artists, some of my personal favorites as well. I will have to get Greg and/or Corley to take me out and show me the work some other time, however - and I even have a rare Friday night out in the works.

I made a new friend on the plane home from Seattle on Sunday. He has been in town all week training with Wachovia, with tonight his last night here. I promised to show him the town tonight, to repay in some small way Seattle's many kindnesses to me when I was out there, and out of a field of options that included this show and the Cory Spinks/Deandre Lattimore fight, he chose homemeade barbeque and live music.


Images are of Heather Corley's piece in the show, "A Year of Disappointment," and a detail from it.

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