I feel something unspoken between us
Callicoon Fine Arts, New York, NY
February 24 - March 31, 2013
I feel something unspoken between us, Fogel’s 2013 exhibition at Callicoon Fine Arts, NY, combined three distinct works, proposing an intersection between formalism, subjectivity and desire. The most prominent work in the show, Something (black), is a menacing and elegant 8-foot replica of a garden spinner. The massive kinetic sculpture was designed to tightly fit within the gallery, clearing the walls by only a few inches. The piece is a nod to both minimalism and op art, while also intended to mirror the bizarre and beautiful mating ritual of gynandromorphic leopard slugs. Fogel’s found video, Untitled (leopard slugs), an illustration of this ritual, was posted on the artist’s website for the duration of the exhibition. The third element of the show, a photographic series titled First Love as Photographic Reference for Artists, utilizes a new technique of digitally printing images directly on Dibond. The resulting panels have a warm sentimental quality, while being offset by their metallic reflective surfaces. The title references an earlier diptych of photos by the artist of his first boyfriend in high school, titled First Love, Summer 1994 (2003). This new series culls images from a life model book for aspiring artists printed in the 1970s, in which the young male model bears a striking resemblance to Fogel’s first boyfriend. This mapping of identities onto pre-existing material is a continuation of Fogel’s practice as seen in Quarry (2008) and Art from Kansas City (2009).
Excerpt from artforum.com Critic’s Pick by Corrine Fitzpatrick:
“For Goldye, his second New York solo exhibition this year, Glen Fogel backed his white 1991 Cadillac Seville into Callicoon Fine Arts’ new storefront space—inaugurating the Lower East Side location with a flourish of logistical heft. Visitors enter through one-way-mirrored doors to encounter the sedan head-on, with just enough room to circle and inspect, à la browsing a dealership lot. “Shit.” “Sh-i-i-i-t.” “Sh-i-i-i-i-t,” Fogel’s prerecorded voice loops plaintively from inside the car while the head, tail, and interior lights flare on and off in ghostly cadence with the verbal tics. The original certificate of sale to the artist’s grandmother (the eponymous Goldye, from whom the car was bequeathed) is hung near the rear right tire.”
Art from Kansas City, 2009
Art from Kansas City uses the book “I Had to Say Something: The Art of Ted Haggard’s Fall,” a memoir by Mike Jones, as its source material. The book is a first person account of male escort Mike Jones’ intimate relationship with Ted Haggard, the former pastor and founder of New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Haggard served as the head of the National Association of Evangelicals from 2003-06, and is often credited with bringing the evangelical vote to President Bush. Haggard used the pseudonym “Art” when he would visit Jones in Denver, Fogel’s hometown. Fogel digitally blacked out all of the text except for sentences containing the name/pun “Art,” and inserted his own name in place of the author’s. The resulting double narrative becomes an allegory of the creative process: Glen as Art’s (Ted’s) prostitute, and Glen and his relationship to his art practice. The piece initially reads as a witty readymade, yet as the story unfolds, the narrative of Glen’s relationship to Art reveals serious dimensions, fraught with complexity and contradictions.
Glen from Colorado, 2009
Created as a companion piece to Art from Kansas City, Glen from Colorado functions as the artist’s luminescent/linguistic surrogate. An audio speaker is directed at the light on one side and a chair designed by the artist is positioned on the other side. The sound is comprised of 33 minutes of excerpts from over 20 years of actual letters written to the artist. Statements of adoration, resentment, refusal, anxiety and pleasure follow expressions of destabilized sexual and gender identity.
The missives are read aloud by text-to-speech software and the volume level directly corresponds to the intensity of the “GLEN” light, resulting in a strobing, flicker-film effect. Glen from Colorado complicates and explodes the representation of ‘Glen’, in direct relationship and opposition to the ‘Glen’ in Art from Kansas City. The conflict between the personal and the public is exposed at full intensity, implicating the viewer in the exposure of the artist and his personal life in a triangulation of address at once assertive and masochistic, private and revealed, embodied and neutralized.