Miracles, SixProjects@Suburban (June, 2005) Space Gallery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania







Pittsburgh is inhabited almost entirely by Scots and Irish, who live in paltry log houses. There are in the town four attourneys, two doctors, and not a priest of any persuasion. The place, I believe, will never be considerable - US Congressman Arthur Less, December 17, 1784
I was in a highly inventable mood. I despised my job and my tax refund hadn't arrived when JB and SV invited me to join, Miracles in April 2005. This was a program being developed for Space Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. At it's center was a reconstructed Miracles, the cultural space that resembled a blind pig in someone's Squirrel Hill living room. 
Initially I was unclear about what my roll in the program would be as I didn't make like an artist. SV and JB didn't want me to participate as a curator either. They didn't want me to bring in artists to participate, I wasn't needed to design the show, or contribute an essay. Instead I was being asked to provide work in the column reserved for COMMENTS/OTHERS. They saw my relationship with my own space as the body of work they wanted to draw from. They wanted to calculate the resistance of that experience in relation to Miracles, the intentional space. From that they wanted to devise a metric for social agency in relation to these spaces.
I took this to be a pragmatic problem. I was attempting to compel personal observational fragments into an aesthetic experience. The structure of this work would be a sculpture that could rationalize its own fiction. The interior resembled the serviceable white space of the Suburban while the exterior remained an exposed armature. At first I described it like the Suburban. Then I stopped myself and I tried again. This time I described it as best I could. I described it to SV as needing to have the verisimilitude of a movie set.
In April I passed along post-its, some little yellow sketches that I made while talking to MG on the telephone. I had to clarify some things with her, are there 2 doors? I don't remember the window being in there, isn't that strange? These were scanned and emailed to SV or JB for the preparators to use during construction. There was an earlier set of notes from at least September, 2003. I had already put together an outline of programs and actions that I wanted to work with. On the 30th I added a subheading for the project called, Five Programs in Suburban.
This project was conceived of weeks ago it should happen at Monique Meloche’s Space. The idea being, build a scale replica of Suburban Gallery and then to hang a different show therein over the course of 5 weeks.
Just to be clear, it was MM's Fulton St. location that I'm referring too. She had this long 2 level room with a deep descending staircase that anchored the installation area to the smaller street level landing. It was a simple purposeful layout that was excellent for framing contemporary artwork. I wanted to use it to house another person's gallery.
If Human experience is disconnected and fragmentary as John Dewey reflected. If it is full of beginnings that are never concluded or experiences that are manipulated towards uncertain ends. Then the exceptional experiences that succeed in gracefully consummating an end from a beginning, these are the experiences we hold as aesthetic. They are enjoyed for their own sake as complete and self contained. They are objective and unconstrained by the mediocrity of history. An artist’s medium can be thought of as an ephemeral substance, a device if you will. Their properties are mundane and ordinary only until they are imbued with whatever transformative qualities the artist chooses to bestow upon them. This is the case with a traditional medium like paint for example, whose deep inertia can only be subdued by the calculated actions of the artist. Whether those actions are intentional and obvious in the cases of Millet and Pollack, or they are inobvious, obscure and enigmatic in the instances of Arp or Beauys, it’s the necessity of the mediums transformation that is their true tender. In the previous century, these qualities of transformation acquired new presence and perceptual depth with the interventions of Modernity. Desire ever the attendant of chaos whose whims are neither moral nor rational became the harbinger of Dada. Timeless and ahistoric, Dada begat the pure stuff of dream and transformation called Surrealism which neither objects nor acquiesces. Then after a long period a seemingly limitless horizon of language was set beside the static relief of potential that we invoke as Postmodernism. Apr├Ęs desire action must follow, ill suited in its flesh. Six Projects at Suburban is my desire made manifest. It is an exploration of curatorial narrative as medium. It embraces processes that the audience rarely sees. Those that act as conjecture and speculation by the artists own hand then in turn are manipulated and reconstructed by the curator to meet their specific tropes, dogmas or needs of physical constraint. By utilizing the methodical formalism of the artists CV’s and their proposals, Six Projects at Suburban simultaneously procures them as processes and elevates them to a perceptual state of contextual mutability. In the broadest sense they become an ephemeral substance transformed within a complex installation of appropriated white cubes. Isolated in space but uniformly framed, these proposals for as yet unmade works act as fantasies within a construct of desire. A pragmatic insistence of aesthetic is maintained as experience becomes a circular rationality. One Gallery exists within another Gallery. Artwork about art work describing Artwork engages desire to consummate action. Action in turn forces the writers hand to compel the Gallery Director to allow the construction of another gallery within theirs. It’s all so very simple.

After the opening we went to Gooski's and saw Wizard Fight. The kind of perfect band to see when it's hot and you're not at home. I don't remember what we drank but we had fun. It got late too easy and suddenly we were back at SV's. PvZ and I smoked on the steps after everyone went inside.
Where the Bjork videos are?
Wood Street, it's new media stuff and of course there's Warhol at the Warhol. The Mattress Factory's closed.
I think they're in install.
They're just not open this weekend.
Maybe they're asleep...

Miracles was developed and executed by Sharmila Venkatasubban and Jeremy Boyle at Space Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. Vincent Como, Meg Duguid, Joel Vandercamp, Philip von Zweck, John Wanzel, Scott Wolniak each contributed time and work to SixProjects@Suburban. Thank you.  



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