Sunday, October 01, 2006

DIY Biennale—in a Garage

Last night was the finale for Justin Hoover’s Garage Biennale 2006 (general view above). This was a series of six events, one-night stands, held at monthly intervals in a large open garage. An adjacent indoor area provided refuge from the San Francisco chill. Arriving late, I had barely gotten my bearings when I was surprised to see Hoover himself launch into a performance. As he explained later, this was a lightness exercise in the manner of Qisong (Chi Kung). He balanced on the rim of a large terracotta urn with the intent of changing positions, eyes closed. An excess of nervous energy kept pushing him off-kilter and finally into a dismount. Unnerving! Here is Hoover in action:

The art angle is that the urn was draped with white canvas (the gessoed type). A little pile of charcoal powder had been placed in the center. By dipping his bare feet in the charcoal as he moved, he created marks. The canvas will be snapped to remove excess powder and then hung as a drawing. Here is how it looked right after the performance:

The first work I noticed upon arrival was a video by Catherine Czacki displayed on small screen. It shows a miniature glass or clear plastic pyramid, hanging by a thread at its apex, as it is raised and lowered over an open palm. As the pyramid moves up, the thread seems to disappear (image below). Angled architecture and blue sky are in the background. Very simple but captivating.

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