Art Collision & Repair Shop™ described by art writer Lauren Tresp:
Regardless of the projects we are working on, the following are feelings familiar to all of us: frustration with our progress, creative block, dissatisfaction with our final product, etc. What if you could turn the whole thing over to someone else? Could you wholly surrender a potentially doomed endeavor to the hands of another for intervention? These are some of the questions that formed the root of the Art Collision & Repair Shop, a process- and collaboration-driven art project created by Santa Fe- and Brooklyn-based artist Susan Begy and co-curated for exhibition in Santa Fe with art historian and critic Kathryn M Davis. Following this initial line of inquiry, and inspired by Begy’s personal experience growing up around an auto mechanic shop, an expansive project emerged that opened up lines of inquiry including the dynamics of team collaborations, conceptions of authorship, the role of curatorial direction, and the aesthetics of community-specific large-scale installation.
Taking the format of the mechanic shop as a model, local artists brought in and surrendered “stalled” or frustrating works, and “art mechanic” teams—also comprised of local creatives—were each given a piece along with the task of intervening in, resuscitating, or otherwise resolving the artwork to the point of completion. By using this model, the role of the curators was reimagined. Rather than selecting artists’ works for exhibition, the curatorial role here was in combining the elements and guiding the alchemy along.
The project explored not only issues of intervention and surrender, but most significantly the collaborative creative process. With open-ended freedom (and plenty of space to fill at the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe), each team proceeded down unique paths. Some preserved most of the donated piece and built upon it, for example, in Team MC-D’s reworking of Matthew Chase-Daniel’s donated piece, the woven object remained intact and served as a jumping off point for the team’s additions and pendulum-like installation of exposure | distance. Other teams deconstructed the originating artwork and reconstructed something else entirely, as in Team Conspiracy Theory’s Project Sandhill, in which painter Charles Greeley’s contribution all but disappeared amidst the frenetic collection of documents, photos, maps, and detritus collected in search of a fictive conspiracy at work in New Mexico.
Internally, some teams worked more independently and then merged their contributions, others worked closely together throughout the process. The resulting installations reflect widely different aesthetics and conceptual concerns, from Team Liminal’s meditative, lyrical Untitled, to Team Reverse Waste-Stream Renovators’ eclectic, irreverent Decommissioned Turbocharged Transformation and Glorious Resoulification of the North American Free-Trade Agreement Altarpiece of Reflection. Despite this, the exhibition space was filled with an overarching feeling of exploratory and playful energy.
The individual projects and resulting exhibition ultimately blurred the lines of authorship, giving the endeavor an aura of place rooted in the Santa Fe community. The specific locality of the elements—teams, artist-donors, curators, venue, audience—invokes curiosity: how would the same endeavor take shape elsewhere? Is there a specific spirit or aesthetic at work in Santa Fe, New Mexico? Would the spirit and aesthetic of the project look and feel different in Houston, Chicago, Portland, etc.? There is a way to find out: perhaps the Art Collision and Repair Shop will open additional locations!
Lauren Tresp is an art writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has written about visual arts for local and national publications. She holds a Master of Arts in Humanities from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and History from UCLA. Tresp is also a certified yoga instructor with lifelong interests in history, philosophy, and experimenting in the kitchen.
The Story of Art Collision & Repair Shop™ by Curious Alien Studio
Actors: Audrey Richardson, Ryan VanCompernolle, Susan Begy, Cheri Ibes, Brian Nees, Tori Simmons, Cole Simmons, Willy Richardson, Cary Cluett, AJ Shelton, Kathryn M Davis, Alexis Bove. Videography: Kim Richardson & Bill Stengel of Elements Media. Music: I Want To Be Happy by Ken Gordon.
"Art Collision & Repair Shop Waiting Area", installation, 2014, TV, video, photographs, counter, packages, signs. 16' x 12' x 12'..
1 Team Liminal, "Untitled", 2014, video, mylar, steel rod and cable, painted canvas. 8' x 5' x 10'.
1 Before & After. Left: original work by Susanna Carlisle, Bruce Hamilton. Left: team work by Sydney Cooper, Hannah Hughes, Dylan McLaughlin.
2 Team Runty Puppy, "ICU", 2014, light, IV drip, water, plexiglas, monofilament. 10' x 10' x 16'.
2 Before & After. Left: original work by Jennifer Joseph. Right: team work by Kristin Bortles, Cary Cluett.
3 Team Robo Dolly, "Sycophanatic", 2014, video, doll, roomba, acrylic dome, wood. 16' x 16' x 9'.
3 Before & After. Left: original work by Bunny Tobias. Right: team work by Ethan Bach, Sandra Halpin, Shirley Klinghoffer.
4 Team Reverse Waste Stream Renovators, "Decommissioned Turbocharged Transformation and Glorious Resoulification of the North American Free-Trade Agreement Altarpiece of Reflection", mixed. 12' x 10'.
4 Before & After. From left: original work by Susan Begy, Bob Haozous, Rita Bard, Judy Tuwaletstiwa. Far right: team work by Don Kennell, Nina Mastrangelo, Willy Bo Richardson, Michael Schippling.
5 Team MC-D Players, "exposure over distance", 2014, salt cedar, stain, paint, wire, bungee cord, googly eyes, recorded poetry, fans, seating (detail). 12' x 12' x 12'.
5 Before & After. Left: original work by Matthew Chase-Daniel. Right: team work by Susan Begy, Cheri Ibes, Christopher J Johnson.
6 Team Firemap, "Firemap: Plot of Occurrence", 2014, magnets, glass, plexiglass, paper, steel. 16' x 10' x 12'.
6 Before & After. Left: original work by Eve Andrée Laramée. Right: team work by Jamie Hamilton, Stacey Neff, Jerry Wellman.
7 Team hotmix, "hotmix", 2014, legos, soap, aluminum, rope, wood (detail). 12' x 10' x 18'.
7 Before & After. Left: original work by Joel Hobbie. Right: team work by Paula Castillo, Caity Kennedy, Matt King.
8 Team Conspiracy Theory, "Project Sandhill", 2014, mixed media (detail). 16' x 10'.
8 Before & After. From left: original work by Geoffrey Gorman, (not) Charles Greeley. Far right: team work by Katherine Lee, Michael Lujan, Erika Wanenmacher.
9 Team Want/Need, "Taste Test", performance piece (image of props).
9 Before & After. Left: original work by Jerry Wellman. Right: team work by Alexis Bove, Kathryn M Davis, Cyrus McCray.
CCA Santa Fe public Exquisite Corpse project.
In this body of 2-dimensional work, I make drawings from media images printed off the internet and insert them into larger structural environments that I create on the paper. Our earthly human interactions in micro scale play out on a stage of macro systems (galactic, solar, cultural, economic, educational, mathematical, governmental, etc). Systems hold us together. It’s the drama, however, that holds our attention.
The mirror work reflects, literally and metaphorically, ideas of self & other, you & I, we & they, as well as the subjectivity of perception.
United We Stand is just a slight hint of a bigger project in the works.
June 2013 (side 1), 2014, acrylic, ink and graphite on paper, 30 x 42 inches
June 2013 (side 1, detail)
June 2013 (side 2)
June 2013 (side 2, detail)
king of the hill, 2013, acrylic, Flashe, graphite on paper, 60 x 20 inches
king of the hill (detail)
across synapses, 2013, ink, graphite on paper, 10 x 10 inches
Sambo’s tigers, 2013, acrylic, graphite on paper, 10 x 10 inches
St. Nicholas, 2013, Flashe & graphite on paper, 10 x 10 inches
my pain your pleasure, your pain my pleasure, 2013, acrylic, Flashe, ink, graphite on paper, 26 x 38 inches
my pain your pleasure, your pain my pleasure (detail)
at various times, 2013, acrylic, Flashe, ink, graphite on paper, 26 x 38 inches
at various times (detail)
research reset (primordial soup series), 2012, ink, acrylic, graphite on paper, 18 x 10 inches
research reset (detail)
Precambrian egg drop (primordial soup series), 2012, acrylic & graphite on paper, 18 x 10 inches
Precambrian eggdrop (detail)
Cenozoic pronoun (primordial soup series), 2012, Flashe, acrylic, graphite on paper, 10 x 18 inches
Cenozoic pronoun (detail)
Quaternary bath water (primordial soup series), 2011, acrylic & graphite on paper, 18 x 10 inches
Quaternary bath water (detail)
Ordovician first shot (primordial soup series), 2011, Flashe, acrylic, graphite on paper, 10 x 18 inches
Ordovician first shot (detail)
Holocene around 1200 AD (primordial soup series), 2011, acrylic & graphite on paper, 18 x 10 inches
Holocene around 1200 AD (detail)
about 200,000 years ago (primordial soup series), 2011, acrylic & graphite on paper, 18 x 10 inches
about 200,000 years ago (detail)
4th of July, 2011, ink, acrylic, graphite on paper, 12 x 24 inches
4th of July (detail)
Hansel & Gretel, 2010, ink and graphite on paper, 60 x 30 inches
Hansel & Gretel (detail 1)
Hansel & Gretel (detail 2)
come on, 2010, acrylic, ink, graphite on paper, 60 x 25 inches
come on (detail)
circus, 2009, acrylic, graphite, Flashe on paper, 40 x 30 inches
wonder, 2009, acrylic, ink, graphite on paper, 48 x 36 inches
wonder (detail 1)
wonder (detail 2)
but I'm not you, 2012, mirror, fluorescent paint, 12 x 12 inches
United We Stand, 2014, painted rug installation, original collaboration with Nina Mastrangelo, 5 x 9 feet
The reductive process of carving salt and stone has played a large role in recent 3-dimensional work and echoes the erasure process in the graphic work. I think of the sculptures and sculptural installations as performances. The components of an installation, particularly the stone carvings, are repertory actors of sorts and make an appearance in various installations.
There is a seeking of balance in a lot of these sculptures and an interplay of past, present, and future. As in the micro and macro focus in the graphic work, there is an exploration of the poles. The passionate and the practical. The magical and the scientific. Left and Right. And an unsettled sea in between.
The marble tree ring (in progress) will interact with a growing tree (species TBD) over a period of years. Decades maybe.
I’m pretty excited about what’s currently happening in my studio. Some of it will be at Axle Contemporary in Santa Fe, Winter 2016.
dissolution1: solicitation, ongoing sculpture, carved salt block left to dissolve outdoors, 6 x 10 x 2 inches initially
tree ring (in progress), 2015, marble, tree, steel, 8 x 6 x 5 inches
exposure over distance, 2014, collaboration with Cheri Ibes, Christopher J Johnson, Matthew Chase-Daniel, salt cedar, googly eyes, recorded poetry, wire, cloth, bungee cord, fans, dimensions vary
exposure over distance (view 2)
exposure over distance (detail, view 3)
pumpkineater, 2013, alabaster, steel, electrical wire, 21 x 21 x 21 inches
pumpkineater (view 2)
pumpkineater (view 3)
cosmic communicator, 2011, alabaster, records, copper, conduit, electrical wire, 11 x 2 x 3 feet
cosmic communicator (view 2)
cosmic communicator (detail 1)
cosmic communicator (detail 2)
trilliobite, 2013, alabaster, .30 caliber bullet, 3 x 3 x 3 inches
trilliobite (view 2)
trilliobite (view 3)
triplets (in progress), 2011-15, carved alabaster, concrete, aluminum, 5 x 5 x 2 feet (variable)
triplets (in progress, view 2)
triplets, sculpture installation (detail, view 1)
triplets, sculpture installation (detail, view 2)
triplets, sculpture installation (detail, view 3)
go around come around (installation view), 2012, alabaster, .22 caliber bullets, shot up wood, 6 x 3 x 3 inches
go around come around (view 2)
go around come around (view 3)
nomad, 2012, alabaster, 3.5 x 11 x 5 inches
nomad (view 2)
nomad (view 3)
ahhhhhh-h, 2013, alabaster, 7 x 3 x 6 inches
ahhhhhh-h (view 2)
broken contract, 2013, alabaster, .22 bullets, shot-up wood (not shown), 9 x 4 x 3 inches
civil unrest, 2013, alabaster & .22 bullets, polygon mirror box (not shown), 5 x 3 x 3 inches
civil unrest (view 2)
mischief maker, 2013, alabaster, 6 x 3 x 2 inches
mischief maker (view 2)
conflux, 2010, alabaster, found and new copper pipe, 16 x 13 x 22 inches
conflux (view 2)
conflux (view 3)
quiet power, 2009, alabaster, 10 x 3 x 8 inches
quiet power (view 2)
From the following exhibitions:
Art Collision & Repair Shop™, 2014-15, collaborative community project, Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe, NM
veiled, 2013, Eggman & Walrus Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
structural mischief, Santa Fe, NM
Plaid, 2014, curated by Cheri Ibes & Nina Mastrangelo, Santa Fe, NM
Outdoors, Brooklyn, NY
exposure over distance (view 1), 2014, collaboration with Cheri Ibes, Christopher J Johnson, Matthew Chase-Daniel, Art Collision & Repair Shop™, Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe
Recycled Influence, an art-making performance at Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe was a collaboration with installation artist Cheri Ibes and incorporated the work of artist Matthew Chase-Daniel and poet Christopher J Johnson. Watercolor sketches were created using the shadows from our collaborative sculpture/sound installation entitled exposure over distance to create a structural environment for the insertion of graphite drawings corresponding to words culled from Johnson’s poems.
Hopscotch Formula, a collaborative, interactive, public performance with Sasha Sumner, took place along 14th Street in Union Square, NYC as part of Art in Odd Places 2013: Number.
Recycled Influence (view 1), 2015, drawing performance with Cheri Ibes, Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe
Recycled Influence (view 2)
Recycled Influence (view 3)
Recycled Influence (view 4)
Recycled Influence (view 5)
Recycled Influence (view 6)
Recycled Influence (view 7)
Recycled Influence (view 8)
Hopscotch Formula (view 1), interactive performance collaboration with Sasha Sumner, Art in Odd Places, NYC
Hopscotch Formula (view 2)
Hopscotch Formula (view 3)
Hopscotch Formula (view 4)
Hopscotch Formula (view 5)
Hopscotch Formula (view 6)
Hopscotch Formula (view 7)
Hopscotch Formula (view 8)
"Living rooms. Life choices. Space constraints. The living room can be the center of a household’s activities. Or, it is the room with the most lavish décor—a shrine to good taste with very little actual living. Or, a place to pay attention to something—pop culture, high culture, spiritual, technological, or sexual. Where we live is where we take care of our bodies, our desires, our fears, our families. Where we soothe our stressed-out souls, perform necessary tasks, or let loose. Living space is at a premium in NYC so we pack a lot of living into a small space. Through performance and installation each artist in per square foot investigates an aspect of living in a designated (and yes, small) space at The Shirey for a one-night stand, so to speak." ~Susan Begy, curator
2013 curatorial project of performance and installation entitled per square foot exhibited at The Shirey in Bushwick, Brooklyn and featured artists: Jessica Bowman, Jamie Sneider, Jenn Brantley, Tré Chandler, Cathleen Cueto II with baby Graham McKeon, Pooneh Maghazehe, Austin Tyson, Ryan VanCompernolle.
per square foot, 2013, performance by Jessica Bowman & Jamie Sneider entitled The Final Rose (view 1), The Shirey, Brooklyn, NY
per square foot, The Final Rose (view 2)
per square foot, 2013, dance performance entitled Propinquity Effect by Ryan VanCompernolle & Austin Tyson (view 1), The Shirey, Brooklyn, NY
per square foot, Propinquity Effect (view 2)
per square foot, Propinquity Effect (view 3)
per square foot, 2013, performance by Cathleen Cueto II with Graham McKeon entitled Within Arm's Reach (view 1), The Shirey, Brooklyn, NY
per square foot, Within Arm's Reach (view 2)
per square foot, 2013, automated sculpture entitled Airwick-Matic® Can Wipe It Out by Pooneh Maghazehe, The Shirey, Brooklyn, NY
per square foot, 2013, sculpture with dog fur by Jenn Brantley entitled Saudade, The Shirey, Brooklyn, NY