Four artists have been gathered together to present a loosely aligned take on Waterfall Arts 2019 theme of Altered Environments. Artist/curator, Kenny Cole has created this grouping as his gesture towards altering the perception of the environment of the hosting venue, Waterfall Arts, in Belfast, Maine, from that of a beloved community arts organization into an entity that has been replaced, subsumed or usurped by quasi-art entities whose goals, motivations and methodologies are opaque and suspect at best. In our current era of cultural warfare among the memetic tribes of the media realm, we scramble to find footing and distrust everyone and everything. The power brokers, who gleefully sow discord, rarely have to atone for their mischievous machinations, rather are applauded if a profit has been achieved. In this spirit “Gallery Closed” brings to bear that worse case scenario upon an unsuspecting community.
Paula Lalala has created the art entity Enhanced Art Resources or E.A.R., through which she has created goods in the form of multiples, editions, and interactive objects and events. For “Gallery Closed” I have chosen her “Rarefied Air” collection to be exhibited in the Clifford Gallery in a display cubicle. “Rarefied Air” is simply air samples from art museums and galleries in labeled jars as a limited edition series. Videos of her capturing air are available and she will perform during the opening night celebration of the exhibition “capturing” and bottling Clifford Gallery air.
Brian Reeves large exterior banner announcing the participants in “Gallery Closed” is meant to suggest that Slop Art Brand of Premium Expressions is in large part responsible for the transformations of Waterfall Art’s environment. Brian’s Slop Art approaches, supplants and redefines an art presenter as an industrial supplier, commandeering; supply, production, delivery and consumption of “Premium Expressions”. Additionally Brian will create an installation of his Certified Masterworks in a cubicle in the Clifford Gallery.
Geoff Hargadon’s “Cash for Your Warhol” signage has for years, been surreptitiously placed around the world and around Waldo County and Belfast here in Maine, advertising his “art as social practice” experiment that began after the financial melt down in 2008. It is an investigation into the relationship of hard times and the potential for art to insert itself into the collective psyche. For Gallery Closed he will add more signage within the local community environs and create an installation in a cubicle in the Clifford Gallery.
Kenny Cole’s “The Khashoggi Story” is an interactive installation piece in his series of “pass through” walls, created to reenact the moment journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Turkish embassy never to be seen again. Visitors can pass through two successive walls that appear to close off access to the Clifford Gallery. Each wall has a large painting hinged like a door that can be opened to reveal a portal, which visitors can step through. Additionally there are a series of framed gouache paintings on paper in the corridor gallery, which represent 25 Saudi dissidents; some of who still languish in Saudi prisons and for whom Jamal Khashoggi tried to speak out for.