Opening Reception: Thursday, May 28, 6-8pm
New York, NY, May 1, 2009 - David Nolan Gallery is pleased to announce Slough, a group exhibition curated by gallery artist Steve DiBenedetto.
The impetus behind this exhibition is the flexibility of the word slough, which has various interpretations. Pronounced slew, slough can describe a bog-like, swampy, dark, primordial and somewhat mysterious realm. The alternate and less used, but maybe also appropriate interpretation, is a state of moral degradation or spiritual dejection that one cannot extract oneself from. Pronounced sluff, slough refers to that which has been cast aside or shed off, like a skin. It can also describe the manner in which material tends to accumulate at the edges of a performed task, such as the accumulation of dust on the rim of a fan, snow on the edge of a shovel, or trash in the breakdown lane of a highway.
Either way, these notions, in a very general sense, will be used as the stimulus to explore ideas about marginal territory, accumulation, holes and residue. Some works will have a more obvious connection to these conditions, (i.e., Larry Poons, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, and Tony Feher), while other works might be a little more unexpectedly related, (i.e., Jessica Craig Martin, Philip Taaffe, and Hanneline Rogeberg).
A certain dynamic at work will be the inclusion of things that may not even be apparent as art at first, coexisting with virtual masterpieces of traditional forms. The works, which represent a highly diverse range of mediums, from established 20th century masters to cutting edge contemporary artists, will associate with various states of deterioration and repair, forging unusual and unforeseen connections between old and new work.
While not an exact follow-up to DiBenedetto's last curatorial effort, Loaf (2000), which involved sculpture exclusively, Slough does bring back some of the same artists.
Proposed artists include: Vito Acconci, Joe Bradley, Werner Büttner, Dan Colen, Carroll Dunham, Keith Edmier, Tony Feher, Lucio Fontana, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Eugène Leroy, Markus Lüpertz, Jon Kessler, Fabian Marcaccio, Jessica Craig Martin, Matthew McCaslin, Pat McElnea, Jonathan Meese, John Miller, Malcolm Morley, Larry Poons, Hanneline Rogeberg, Dieter Roth, Alexander Ross, Bill Schwarz, Mike Scott, Michelle Segre, Frank Stella, Philip Taaffe, and Andy Warhol, among others.
slough (rhymes with now) is also the city in england where the original office was set chosen for its industrial wasteland banality.
and scranton (rhymes with... dick van patten) is the location for american office.
Potentially confusing. Which pronounciation is Steve DiB using most often?
Slough is slew or sluff or slough rhymes with now. I don't see how that's any more confusing than Dick Van Patten rhyming with Scranton.
i believe he was intentionally shooting for a low level of confusion. im not sure i registered his pronunciation, but i think he uses "sluff." in my head its "slow." much of the communication has been in writing which removes (or rather defers) the burden of how to say it.
Upon closer reading I guess it is spelled out that confusion, or interpretation, is the intention.
"The impetus behind this exhibition is the flexibility of the word slough, which has various interpretations. Pronounced slew,..."
By the way, congrats Bill, sorry to miss it. If I were coming however, I would enter by saying--I'm here for the slew-guh exhibit.
All my friends know the slough rider
The slough rider is a little higher
The slough rider drives a little slougher
Slough rider, is a real goer
Bill, your piece looks the best of the images on the slide show. "Organized abjection" (as opposed to just spreading messy stuff around.) With a real world source (actual hillbillies) filtered through the "still" of commercial cyberculture (eBay). Smart!
thanks tom! theres a second piece too. the slide show image was scanned (a teency askew) and sent in as a jpeg email attachment.
I thought that might have been a scan--it works. The other piece is good, too. I remember it--but had forgotten selma, so thanks for that trip down digital memory lane.
Alexander Wilson's Slough Blurb:
Slough. The utterance, whether pronounced as Sluff or Slew is summoned from a deep place, then slurred on the way out. Meanings, too, may slur and skew, and slide into a miry slough (slew), but we must slough (sluff) off the imprecision of this sodden bog we slog through and dredge from words the best that’s to be found in them. (We will not here even consider the British town that rhymes with cow.)
Though separately derived, the S-L-O-U-G-H words are united in their counterintuitive relationship of spelling to pronunciation, and often cause a moment’s disconnect between eye and tongue when encountered on the page. In meaning they may also seem at odds, for the Slough of slop and bog, of unnavigable backwaters, has metastasized into a metaphor of hopelessness, but in that other Slough which means the shedding of the skin Hope itself may yet be exposed.
The Sloughing Snake is a primeval symbol of the self-regenerative capacity of Life, born of some Force that driven forth from its ineffable Source emanates from Within and passes outward until at its rough Limit it dissipates in shards of Slough, even as the original impetus reappears from underneath in fresh new skin, and so on, and so on… The Thing That Continually Emerges From Itself, persisting through time in successive rinds that blend in the eye and in the mind like separate frames of film parlayed into a unity of manifestation.
That is what happened in the Beginning, and continues to happen, to the Universe as a whole and in its individual entities, like us. Most of household dust is human skin sloughed off. It is perhaps just as well that we don’t drop our entire skin all at once like the snake; else we’d have to endure our childhood sloughs, stuffed, gathering dust on mother’s mantle. But one piece or particulate, the principle remains the same, and we must confess to Sloughing as much as any serpent. There is no shame therein, and it’s time to do away with cosmetic euphemisms like “exfoliation.” In fact, by focusing on Slough in a properly contemplative manner we may fashion a conception that integrates a metaphorical understanding of Creation with a literal description of our own ongoing, though ever abrading, condition in the world. This strain of thought amounts to a sort of postmodern Hermeticism with the goal of creating a living image of Time and Being, under the implicit assumption that such a thing must prove salving to the soul, if not salvific.
Such an appreciation of Slough participates in the new millennium’s greening of consciousness, replacing the mechanistic with the living; the Big Bang becomes the Big Birth, and Hope inheres in Life’s reSOURCEful tenacity, even in the face of its own obtuseness, as where we experience it, here at the very Sloughing edge of deity, the ever moving, ever shredding, ever living Limit of what Is.
Likewise, and to fulfill the promise of the pun, this mode of thought comes to the rescue of the other Slough, saving the swamp from Bunyan’s slander, revealing the supposedly fetid fen’s true identity as that of the vivacious wetland, a focal point of deposition and reconstitution now recognized as the essence of healthy recycling and growth rather than the entropic cesspool of cessation; a Slough not of Despond, but Respond.
So we have a choice. We stand amid the dust of our own flesh; if our necessary dissolution pains us, we may shed tears that falling on our castoff Slough will mix into a sludgy Slough that we can hardly struggle through. But if we chose to shrug our dust off and focus on the newborn skin risen from within, then we may find Hope, the hope that we will finally learn that there is only one true Word, which we may learn to speak, even should it clog our mouths with a slew of meanings.
blogged by design boom
extended through july 24th!