August Open Critique: Presented by The Nicola Midnight St.Claire
Sunday August 17th from 730PM to 930PM.
In the ART/ASSEMBLY space
The Loom Building in Port Richmond.
3245 Amber st
Philadelphia PA 19134
267 277 2666
The second in a monthly series of group critiques in collaboration with ART/ASSEMBLY This session will feature the work of Gee Wesley, GaHee Park, and Chris Haag. Hard refreshments, easy conversation, critical looking will be provided.
Chris Haag is an actor and filmmaker currently living and working in New York. He has made three narrative films around the themes of isolation, beauty, family and our most basic needs for connection, as well as a number of experimental shorts and music videos. This project, “Finding Mac,” is Chris’ first true foray into the genre of documentary. Shot primarily in March of 2013, on a road trip across the country with Brian Yarnall, an antique car collector and his two sons, to pick up ‘the Moby Dick’ of antique trucks, a 1923 Mac cab-over, from an eccentric collector living amongst his antiques in a trailer on the outskirts of Tucson.
Multiple narratives began to emerge during the course of shooting the film. A movie about a road trip quickly became one about two men’s shared obsessions with American history and its ephemeral machinery. The need to collect takes the shape of an addiction and in a way has overtaken these men’s lives. There is also the element of a race against the odds, salvation against the destructive forces of time. For the vehicles in question and for the men involved. The connection and respect these two strangers share is palpable and sometimes in contrast to the somewhat tumultuous relation ship Brian has with his two sons who do not share his passion for collecting, The real struggle is figuring out how to piece this story together, and how to move forward with the project, whether or not more footage needs to be shot or if the inconclusive nature of the process of salvation is enough to keep one engaged.
“The paintings and drawings I am working on are based on scenes and situations that I witnessed or experienced, which have affected me emotionally in some way. They often indirectly include some elements of satire by depicting narratives and characters that reflect on certain social issues. I try to position myself satirically by creating artificial utopian spaces that reflect some problems of modern society. One idea I explore is the need for a private sphere, the need for people to hide parts of their lives in order to feel fully human. To reflect this I use urbanized nature, such as domesticated animals and plants, to place nature in situations that seems strange or unnatural or perverse. Some other related themes that I explore frequently in my work include natural processes, death, decay, the human body, consumption, sexuality, grotesque humor, and apocalyptic fictions.”
Project I will share:
“Recently I have been focusing on drawing as a way of exploring ideas and compositions more quickly and freely. I use a lot of images from my memories, familiar spaces, characters and situations. Then I sketch them out in different combinations and compositions. Sometime I turn the sketches into paintings, but some of the drawings I leave as finished works. I have chosen a drawing to paint several different versions of in order to explore my ideas better.
One of my recent projects is about a woman urinating in nature and looking at herself in the reflection through the urine. The original idea became ambiguous – it became less clear what the figure was doing as I reproduced the images over and over again. With this work I am moving to the idea I mentioned about exploring the private realm and expanding the definition of the space in the social and psychological realms.”
The Living Library Project Statement (Tentative)
“The Living Library is a mobile art initiative and pop-up reading room project being developed by Ethan Sherman and I, upon its initial launch the library will consisting of 68 books carefully curated to reflect and explore themes of utopia, archive, library, pedagogy and gift economy.”