Johannes Vanderbeek, Ruins
Bed Bush Ruins quietly includes, wood, metal, fabric, paint, paper and wax. And although there are stories to be told for each, I ask you to allow me to skip over the sarcophagus, the cosmos on leaves, and even the faces and little animals sculpted in fluffed pillow fluff so I that I can get right to talking about the wall.
This wall is both brick and wood and maybe even marble. Actually, no, it is ground and carved Time, Life, and National Geographic magazines. They are old, you can tell, and they are on the gallery wall like a tunnel through a mountain that trains burst through. It is the metaphor for intercourse in movies. It is a cartoon danger spot. Right now it is boarded up.
Johannes Vanderbeek, Bed Bush Ruins
His wall is made of most joyous illusions. The materiality allows for certain paradoxes of mutual exclusivity: two-dimensional, three-dimensional, monochromatic, and chromatic all seem to be the most appropriate adjectives at the same time. And like the wood, brick, marble conundrum, both old and new seem just as descriptive. What Vanderbeek achieves by exposing, nay, creating striations with antiquated images and chronicles, is memorialization with the most youthful zest. This is overwhelming. There are places where the wall looks patched, keystoned. No one mends with boyish fervor! Would you reinforce an old man’s jeans with fabric that has alien heads or small cheerleaders’ pompoms?
And yet, we must allow Johannes this special tailor license because he has found the perfect story to tell while throwing rocks onto the train tracks, about making and objects and material and telling stories by the train tracks that aren’t used anymore but you aren’t sure.
is a New York based artist, author, and librarian. At the age of twenty-three, Julia’s novel, Sexy Librarian
, was published by Ellen Lupton/Slush Editions. The book is now in the collection of the MoMA Library, the Brooklyn Museum Library, Harvard University Library, the New York Public Library and others. Julia is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the NYAEA Artist Welfare Fund Prize, and was nominated for the 2009 Brendan Gill Prize. Julia has recently exhibited/presented in NYC at Art in General, Printed Matter, and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. In 2010 she helped develop the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s first digital archive and she remains interested in the relationship between information literacy, literature, and art.
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