June 20, 2012
Cardboard Essay by Jim Heitzeberg
June 2012 at Corridor 2122, Fresno, California
Cardboard is ubiquitous in our society. It is one of the foundations of our current economy allowing for the efficient packaging and transportation of goods. It touches our lives everyday and it scarcely registers with us. We have become so used to its presences that we just don’t pay any attention to it.
Attention is one of the tools we use to gather information about our world. It is a primal function one that has allowed us over the course of human history to pay attention to those thing that are life giving or life threathing. We focus our attention at will when we are motivated to do so. One motivator for shifting our attention is a change of context of something in our enviroment. A couple of things happen when we place our attention on something. The first is that as we see the thing we are paying attentiion to in more detail the second is that we begin seeing it in places that we had not noticed it before.
By shifting the context of cardboard from our daily environment at large to the gallery we are forced to focus more of our attention on cardboard than we normally would. We consider what we know about the attributes and uses of cardboard and apply that to the art before us. The artist must recognize the same uses and attributes as the viewer and play on them to bring meaning to the art work.
There is the work of several artists represented in the show an each focused on the subject of cardboard from a slightly different angle. One piece plays with the ideas of modern technology and our expectation of instant results. There are pieces that play with the definitions of what they are made to represent. Understanding how we respond to the painted image cardboard is elevated as it becomes the subject of paintings and asks for our attention in the same way a more traditional subject would. Cultures have always produced images of what was important to their mythology from easily accessed materials i.e. wood, clay, fiber. By rendering familiar religious and cultural imagery in cardboard, one of today’s most plentiful materials, these ideas and the frameworks from which choices are made and meaning is derived are examined.
Have fun with the show. Watch how your mind refocuses your attention and using what you know about cardboard ask questions about what a given piece is pointing to and what questions it is asking. We are all part of the same cultural experience so the answers are not hidden.
Works in progress
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March 7, 2012
Pattern at Corridor 2122, Fresno, CA
December 2011 – January 2012
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August 31, 2011
The exhibition, Air Travel, was assembled by Fresno artist and educator Julia Bradshaw. She does not like flying. Her artist-book ‘Flying’, on view at Corridor 2122, is in the Getty Research Institute collection.
Corridor 2122 in Fresno, California presents artwork by eight artists on the theme of air travel. Opening on Thursday, September 1, 2011 from 5pm until 8pm and on view weekends from noon to 4pm throughout the month of September, the exhibition brings together local and internationally-renowned artists whose work probe different responses to air travel. Artworks take you back to a time when flying was rare, glamorous and adventuresome; a time when air-travel represented freedom. Other artworks are triggered by today’s flying experience; a time inspired by data and schedules, anxiety and fear, surveillance, boredom and the mundane.
More from Julia:
The green hue in Fresno-based artist Stephen Dent‘s paintings is indicative of the green phosphor monitor of a night-vision camera. Depicting surveillance images of military airport landscapes, Dent’s images create tension and induce anxiety. His images depict routine airport operations, but the green phosphorous hue is suggestive of the more watchful eye of a military maneuver. Stephen Dent teaches at Willow International Community College.
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September 1, 2009
My first exploration of night vision images came in 2003, when I created a small group of small paintings inspired by the televised video of the invasion of Iraq. Since then, I have kept my eyes open for these strange green images, collecting them from time to time and filing them away.
Eventually, I came across this image of a KC-135 refueling plane. The nostalgia of my childhood, spent on and around air force bases, crept up on me. I have been in this type of plane before, I have seen it on the flight line and heard it overhead. I know the importance of its role in operations, and I have played with the children of its crews. I also know that it has a civilian twin, the Boeing 707, a commercial passenger plane, which I have also been on, and traveled in as a child.
I began the process of creating small studies from this photographic image. So that I might better see the image, I experimented by digitally manipulating the image. I began to search for other images of the same aircraft, so that I might know the details that are not visible in this image. I began to collect statistics on the aircraft. With my research I would start down one vein and then become obsessed with a seemingly irrelevant tangent. More and more information was being filed int0 the computer and more and more images were being collected. My childhood fascinations were coming back, I was buying plastic model kits on ebay.
I have long been interested in the art object’s relationship to process. The viewing process vs. the making process. What the viewer sees in the object vs. what the maker knows about the object.
I decided that all of the memories, objects, images, statistics and tangents were all parts of a singular archive associated with the process of making the painting. I also decided that I wanted to exhibit everything together.
For installation images click Here.