• H A I N T

    This epic multichannel installation premiered in January 2019 at the Visual Arts Center at UT Austin. Filmed over the course of three years in Croatia, Detroit and Texas, the three video channels are projected onto a trio of large cinemascopic screens and unfold in counterpoint with one another. The piece creates a haunting meditation on how we process history, both as individuals and as a culture. Drawing from motifs in my personal cosmology, H A I N T delves into the associative powers of perception, cycles of history and ruination and the spiritual energy that objects, landscape and architecture carry with them. Using Eastern European folk songs, voiceover, opera, black metal drones and ambient sound, H A I N T combines images of post-war structures, monuments and ruins that create a poetic investigation of war, memory and storytelling. The three channels have interedited imagery and soundtracks but address place and temporality in a very different manner. As a whole, they all have the emotional impact of dark cinematic non-linear abstraction that transports the viewer into a world where connection and convergence are autonomously symbiotic and magical.

    In addition to the three-channel video, the exhibition included sculptural elements, from a Wunderkammer to a bronze assemblage, and a collection of staged production photographs that intersect with the multifaceted narratives within the video. I intentionally create tableaus during the productions using the same props, locations and actors as in the film but allowing the medium of photography to expand the dimensions of the work instead of repeating the same visual information through freeze frames. The following images show the installation as well as staged photographs from all three segments of the video.

    2014-2019
  • Ultima Thule

    A collaborative exhibition at the ICOSA Collective that I created with Kate Csillagi, ULTIMA THULE explored the region of the realm beyond the known world using sculpture, drawing and photographs. Thinking about alternative planes of reality and sensual explorations into lucid thinking, we used motifs of spiritual cartography, pageantry, textiles and mercurial materials to dissolve predictable margins of observation and scientific rule.

    For collaborations, we created an inverted tree sprouting horsehair and teeth, along with ten framed multilayered pieces of acrylic paint drawings on acetate over my black and white photographs. The series Oscillations was inspired by the Five group created by Hilma af Klimt, where she and her artist lady cohorts channeled psychic messages through drawing experiments. My personal research led me into discovering uncanny connections between Omni Magazine, Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, and the juxtapositions between polarized ideologies such as science/science fiction, true hyperbole/opinionated facts and reward/labor. The resulting pieces Kudos, Codex Curtain, 1979 :::2019 and Murex are shown here with detail.

    2019
  • LST VSSLZ

    I constructed this installation for the 64-artist show I curated about death and transformation called Good Mourning Tis of Thee at DEMO Gallery in Austin, TX. Anchored by an abstracted skeletal lightbox transparency on a bed of Virginia Pine boughs in a large skewed aluminum boat, the work presents a series of burials, ranging from the historical and intentional to the unintentional. A skirt of military tarps surround the boat in a dimly lit basement, displaying a panoply of objects that range from Egyptian artifacts to present day refugee belongings. Visitors circumnavigate a variety of dark passages from the reverent to the ceremonial to the circumstantially tragic. In the wake of recent natural disasters, this piece feels especially poignant as such vessels become both a source of hope and despair. The objects used in this installation are all from my personal collection of animistic pieces with personal or cultural history or that I constructed out of materials from my cosmology.

    2017
  • these, our precious scars

    ICOSA hosted a collaborative exhibition of sculpture, photography and installation created by sculptor Erin Cunningham and I in the spring of 2018, the final show in our original gallery space that was bought by developers. Taking inspiration from the Japanese philosophies behind wabi-sabi and kintsugi, we joined forces and mediums to investigate imperfection, longevity, hope and revealing seams in an homage to the topical situations of development and displacement. We used processes of melting metal, casting, tearing and gilding that explored ideas of alchemy and layers of inherited narrative to express failure, impermanence, industrialization and the misrepresentation of brokenness. From rising Phoenix birds, to remnants of the auto industry and interactive vulnerability, the show proved to be a healing journey into the spirit of our times and a fitting testimony to the positive power of change and creating magic out of destitution. My series Altertagsgeschicte from this show tore photographs specifically according to historical pain and change, then glued and gilded them. A booklet accompanied this series of images that was a takeaway for attendants on the opening night.

    2018
  • In the Absence of Ideal Conditions

    In the Absence of Ideal Conditions, a collaborative exhibition of sculptures, video and installation between multi-disciplinary artists Elaine I-Ling Shen and Alyssa Taylor Wendt is part of the ICOSA Collective’s ongoing series of two-person shows. Using rudimentary materials and working intuitively together for the first time, their exploration into process, matter and time reveals themes of creation, existence, divination, deterioration and the notion of eternal recurrence. Much of their joint work concerns the difficulty in distinguishing between states of decline and evolution, along with the tension created by that ambiguity.

    This exhibition developed as a celebration/meditation/experiment about collaboration, process, and material. Created in a compressed span of four weeks filled with unexpected challenges, every decision and action between us, big or small, led us to this point. In the studio, we joked that ORB became our “idea generator”. Humor has a way of revealing truth as ORB’s material and conceptual DNA runs through all of the pieces in the show.

    The resulting works address and ponder ideas of absence, rebirth and beginnings. At a time of existential crisis in our country, our ideas naturally lilted towards a macroscopic view of being. Basic raw mediums turned into form that in turn, asked more questions about us as not only artists, but as humans. The act of making became an exercise in listening, flexibility and fortitude that shaped our practice and spirits, as we worked long hours even in arctic warehouse temperatures.

    In the absence of ideal conditions, you forge connections, you persist, you create.

    2017
  • Understory

    Understory was an exhibition at MASS Gallery in Fall 2016. Curated by Jules Buck Jones, this multidisciplinary show used artists that employ narrative in their work, including myself, Hollis Hammonds, Lee Baxter Davis and Trenton Doyle Hancock. I showed video and production stills from the latest Croatia film, HAINT: Salvation and a giant 18-foot kinetic mobile sculpture, entitled YGGDRASIL: III IIIII III (Detroit edition) and represented in the following images.

    YGGDRASIL: III IIIII III (Detroit edition) took as its inspiration the rebuilding of a old home I bought in an auction in Detroit. With a partner, we lovingly dismantled and rebuilt this Victorian home and I used many of the pieces of our experience in this sculpture. The balance here represents the rebirth of a historical object and the potential dissolution of a relationship. Items include: 15 mild and stainless steel bars; monofilament; fishing leaders and hooks; mason line; Human Hair; 2 Paint Can Lids; Cuckoo Clock Weights; Rusted globe arrow detritus; Potatoes; Square 1890’s nails; Surveyor Pendulum; Personalized knife Sharpener; Victorian metal ornamental trim; Mirrored Plexiglass knife; Old Trap; Plastic miniature pelvis; 3 scalloped 1890’s shingles with lead paint; Gilded wishbone; black and white garden Polaroid; Miniature hand scythe; False Teeth; Bolt and Washer from decommissioned Detroit historical street light post; Sterling cherry; Wooden souvenir ax; “33” Dance Contest number; Burnt baluster; 1890’s hinge; Tiny Crutch; Ancient Lock and Key; Detroit ball peen hammer; Small handless clock face; Pulley; Borrowed rusted chain.

    2016
  • Compartments of Desire

    My first solo exhibition at Women & Their Work Gallery in Austin used sculpture, photographs, performance and installation to present a large body of work that explores power, gender, healing, sexuality and transgression through organic materials and interactive experiences. I used my signature theatrical cosmology, dark humor, fetish objects and assemblage armor to create this world.

    With the UrGear series, I transformed vintage sports equipment into shamanistic armor and weapons. After asking a selection of creative subjects from the greater Austin community to tell me about the hardest battles they have ever fought, I chose a combination of the UrGear for them to model. The resulting portrait sessions documented them performing with my sculptures and felt empowering, as they found places of peace and nobility. The transformations were noted in the bronze plaques on a large three-tiered trophy stand of sexual totems called The Spectral Arcane.

    Addressing subthemes of desire, privacy and secrets, I made a silicone skin rug runner with veins called Swept Under that had a small rubber band ball of angst and secrets about me inside. Vanitas is an installation (with a performance on opening night) that used the idea of process and failure to show the vulnerable side of exhibiting. Lastly, Saint Grab, a quartet of black beeswax hands, came out from the wall in gestures of playful aggression. In the entryway, every visitor became an equal object of desire upon entering the show.

    A book based on the UrGear and my subjects is in the works for 2017.

    2014-2015
  • Pharoah Hoods

    An ongoing series of large mural photographs, the Pharoah prints were originally created as guardians for a commissioned installation in Norway. I created garments, including a hood and a poncho that mimicked my own veined skin, and presented them as part of a documented performance. Balanced between repulsion and desire, the pieces are meant to pull reference points from the viewer (shroud, burka, sphinx, saints,marble statuary) but lead them into an indefinable realm of new understanding.

    2012-2014
  • Art Nomads

    Following a residency at the Lademoen Kunstnerwerkstede in Trondheim, Norway in 2009, I was commissioned to return and build a site-specific temporary installation in a cathedral as part of this group exhibition. Commissioned by the Norwegian Arts Council, Movum Vitae was an installation of giant mobile comprised of objects from my artistic cosmology and hung kinetically in the apse of a cathedral. Reminiscent of the Norse Tree of Life, the sculpture displayed the fragility of balance between ideas and the burden of art as an end-product. The installation contained other pieces, such as The Ceremonist, a totemic staff with sound that served as evidence of a presence and action. Nostalgia Markers exhibited as a walking tour consisting of eight miniature monuments made from Cypress knees, latex and bronze plaques. Imbued with various thoughts or questions from my memories of the residency, they were staked into the ground and participants could follow a routed map to specific meaningful locales and thereby experience a taste of the inceptive process of an artist by walking in the literal footsteps of specific pieces of nostalgia. They were left there until they were stolen, discarded or defeated by natural elements.

    2012
  • magnus retwined

    Sponsored by Co-Lab Projects and LowLives, I conducted an interactive performance at the Fusebox Hub in Austin, Texas. I tied an unsuspecting audience together in a string web, while manning a turntable with short-lived soundtracks from my own 45 records. The participants developed empathy for my pathetic, slapstick struggles as the web grew, eventually getting used to being bound by string. Two Olympic competition style judges “rated” my maneuvers with a scale number system that seemed to both intimidate and inspire my character. In the end, I cut the crowd free, ending the connection, and only then did they miss the phantom community of one another. The following are live stills from the evening.

    2012