September 24, 2007

Checking in on motel art

"Bridge Motel," Fremont, WA. One night only.
"50,000 Beds," throughout Connecticut. Through Sept. 23.

The projects in the "Bridge Motel" let's-have-a-show-before-the-developers-knock-down-the-building extravaganza were primarily oriented toward performance and installation, but painter Laura Corsiglia participated with a series called Slippage Drawings. "Slippage Drawing is both born and made. Looking to contain and see out, Slippage Drawing pulls in with lines made of pencil made of eyes made of chairs made of color or ink. Paper is a surface among surfaces. Small animals or large, crayfish of all sizes, nostrils, a bridge from the real world of drawing to the real world of clouds and you know bridges draw both ways. Slippage Drawing is an invitation to life." Check out pre-wrecking-ball installation snaps on flickr.

In the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Regina Hackett chatted with event organizers Pan and Min, and profiled the artists. They had anticipated 300 guests, but the turnout was about 1200. In the post mortem, Hackett describes the scene. "People who came early could squeeze themselves into the motel rooms, which had been turned into temporary galleries and performance spaces. After 9, however, the clog of bodies was stunning. I'll bet that never in the history of that small land parcel have so many bodies shown up at once, somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 free spirits mingling with the occasional bad-mouth drunk. Aside from a few shoving matches in the parking lot and a minor injury after a fight, the mood was festive."

On the East Coast, Chris Doyle organized 50,000 Beds, an ambitious multi-venue project in which forty-five different artists made short videos, each set in a different hotel, motel, or inn across Connecticut. The videos were shown at Artspace, New Haven; The Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield; and Real Art Ways, Hartford. Predictably, most of the participating artists weren't painters, but David Ellis' clever animated painting in the Aldrich installation stood out in sea of noisy, time-based mediocrity. The shows closed on Sept. 23, but Ellis's website is worth a visit.

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