Friday, July 3, 2009

The Living and The Dead and some thoughts.

This past Wednesday the sun was shining, the ice cream trucks were singing and there was a freaking huge crowd swarming Gavin Brown Enterprises, for the opening of The Living and the Dead, of which Jerry's Untitled (To Amelia) is being exhibited.

Circulating the crowd, room after room, I found Jerry's piece sitting in a corner with Jerry, his family and friends, immersed in chat--about life, about art.

A really important element of showing art (presenting it to the public) revolves around the feeling of the gallery and the people who run it. To some, it's about showing what's "hip and now." To some it's about expansion into unknown territory. To others, remaining as a classic example of purveyors of a specific period. Regardless, every gallery has common goals. They need to--in the most basic terms---survive. However, along with these common goals, every gallery differs based on it's core.

I feel at home at Dam, Stuhltrager because I am passionate about artists as individuals and as creators. I believe in fresh, thoughtful and provoking work because the community we keep here has a sense of family through art--its conception, creation and showing. We value each other, we know the work, and we know the process of how it all came to be.

Because of this I've always felt that our gallery is a special place where a family of writers, curators and artists work together--be it in the storefront on Marcy Avenue for the past 13 years, or over the sea in our many international ventures.

Standing under the canopy, situated outside Gavin Brown Enterprises on Wednesday evening, crowded with picnic tables, hot dogs and hamburgers, I was reminded of a feeling I hadn't experienced since childhood--the excitement of a block party. And yet, since then, thoughts have been registering on what makes a community. And how that community exists, be it in a way that is superficial or "authentic," and really who is to say what these defining principles are?

Seeing Jerry stand by his piece with his father, mother and passing by friends, while we discussed, questioned and hypothesized about Summer Session --I knew he and his work would fit in just fine here at Dam, Stuhltrager-- to encourage the important dialogue that needs to become public --that of the gallery, it's workers and the artist-- even if it's just for the summer.


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