Something happened to me that didn’t to you,  Ilysia Van Deren, Hand-dyed and embroidered handkerchief, 2011

Something happened to me that didn’t to you, Ilysia Van Deren, Hand-dyed and embroidered handkerchief, 2011

Bouquet: found or forgotten, Paper Hammer Gallery, August 2012

bou·quet/bōˈkā/

Noun:

  1. An attractively arranged bunch of flowers, esp. one presented as a gift or carried at a ceremony.
  2. An expression of approval; a compliment.


Bouquet: found or forgotten is a collection of works by artists who often find themselves using found imagery and objects to investigate the past as it relates to beauty, loss, fragility, and remembrance. These found items and photos become a place to alter, transform, preserve and salvage, looking back while moving forward. 

Local writers were invited to join the exhibition, to compose their own interpretation and experience of things found and forgotten. Their words do not describe the works but rather continue the conversation, adding to a lush and fecund landscape of growth and decay, both imagined and lived. 

ARTISTS + WRITERS:
Gala Bent
Zack Bent
Celeste Cooning
Alex David Filson
Alicia Mendez
Yael Nov
Hannah Russell
Ilysia Van Deren
 


I. The Opposite of Artifacts  Alex David Filson


What we buried deep in six or seven inches of the earth

(dirt covered with moss and flaking rotting fibrous

chunks of hollow log that father fell to protect us while we slept)
 

Behind our fence and protected by stamped steel of

your lunch box and three nested ziplock bags

(enshrined there your favorite baseball cards and

my favorite cassette tape full of garbled radio rips of Paula Abdul)
 

To all be dug up out of the earth (dirt, moss, log),

treasure recovered in some distant future,

two years an unimaginable expanse of time then,
 

Enough future to be forgotten, was itself and

the earth (dirt, moss, log, lunch box, three ziplocks,

your trading cards, Paula Abdul) born up
 

All turned over and scattered by the shovel of an earth moving machine when the houses behind

our houses were built and
 

While we can’t be sure where it all got to, we know

that particular part of the earth (dirt, moss, log) is gone.


Your treasured Alvin Davis rookie card is gone

and so is Paula Abdul,
 

Lost from our promise of material continuity (the earth

(dirt, moss, log)) while all of the not-buried (not-treasured)

baseball cards and cassettes are safe in shoe boxes in closets,
 

But can you even remember them

(the not-saved, not-buried-and-lost

baseball cards or cassettes, safe in shoe boxes in closets)?

Hasn’t the here and now been lost to the here and now?
 

And hasn’t the forgotten and lost

(the earth, Alvin Davis, Paula Abdul)

only now come to life?


II. Together, In Pieces  Alex David Filson
 

Dear bone and marinade, forgo your best intentions
 

Send your first kiss to the land of single socks

alongside my best ideas, grown stepwise in import with every lost detail
 

Leave behind our spent tea leaf memories

over-interpreted and wrung out

Let my million jackets left to park benches and back corners

Cover all our old stories, the coincidence of events shaped into moments

coincident then only in reflection,
 

Forget what we laughed about,

the ideas of who we could be, or

who we could be with, or

my want that it was you
 

Wherever it was you put that smallest of spaces between your lips

send there all your sounds

the shrieks and cries and rooftop yawps that never stop,

not really,

just propagate in your wavelike fashion through our flesh and atmospheres

out to the rarified matters of the truly cosmic
 

And in that jangled space left behind

cast your best constructions,

your scribbles torn from margins,

those recollections and arrangements peopled with muscle and nerve

and the vibrations and radiations

from our diminishing concentric circles, the immediacy of our bodies,

from the irresistible collisions

of what was

and what we wanted it to be.

  Cosi vi ricorderete , Yael Nov, Found postcard, chiffon, embroidery floss, 2011

Cosi vi ricorderete, Yael Nov, Found postcard, chiffon, embroidery floss, 2011

  Nonetheless , Zack Bent, found photographs collage

Nonetheless, Zack Bent, found photographs collage

  Island , Hannah Russell, collage, 2012

Island, Hannah Russell, collage, 2012

Some more goals (pick three):  Gala Bent 


A drawing that throbs with its own reckoning, Tell-Tale-Heart-style.
 

A drawing that breathes through its teeth, makes bad jokes and laughs at itself. That apologizes too often and second-guesses its intentions. Its lines are halting and unsure. It smells like milk and garlic.
 

A drawing that chops the water into black diamonds edged in gray. The color only comes if coaxed. It slides in on glass-smooth chips and takes its place between austere facets. It is a stifled giggle, a shred of music escaping the window of a passing car.
 

A drawing that shops at thrift stores and wears pants that I’m pretty sure are out of style. It might have a hole in the big toe of its sock. It might have a stye in its eye.
 

A drawing that just sits on its ass in a museum.
 

A drawing that rumbles like thunder, rimmed with trembling light and shivering in the sudden cold. Rivulets, downpours, wash-outs, sinkholes.
 

A drawing that tries to keep what has been lost—a lock of hair flattened along with its ribbon in an old book. It is preciously sentimental and adoringly useless. A voiceless specimen for an unnamed audience.
 

A drawing that offers a nauseatingly off-kilter missed-beat, back-beat, back-alley, skip-time record scratch. All the weight is thrown into the wrong corners. The open space is begging for a mark of any kind, sighing in its blankness, aching for new language—a pale steady hum held against the scratchiness of static.
 

A drawing that gets swallowed up by the earth when it opens up, finally. Rich loam and dark fragrance. Unopened seeds and insect eggs. Wandering roots like hair.
 

A drawing that makes it all okay—modern lines and mechanical curves. Everything has a place and everything in its place. A yoga topknot. Clean sheets. The right wine. Cute kids. Health insurance. A kitchen garden and herbs in a window box.
 

A drawing that tastes infinity at the edge of restless sleep and dives under the deep water with abandon bordering on recklessness. Impossibly indigo, beautifully black, Solaris’ circular windows. A swan dive, a breaststroke, a cruciform opening out and in at once.


careful clutter  Alicia Mendez
 

a gathering of the beautiful.

really a display.

your display.

of the most pristine.

refined.

edited.

groomed.

 

or

 

the natural,

the happenstanced,

the on-the-lark

effortless beauty.

 

it’s a process.

of careful selection.

this here.

next to

yes— this.

 

have we undone the purity of the singular?

a lone

the beauty.

intimate, so untouched.

unique

too simple a word to describe what was, to what’s made.

the best of the best.

now pushes beside the rest.

rests next to the careful clutter

waiting to be molded, caressed, pushed, and trimmed.

nuance-ing a semblance

of larked clutter.

 

intended for your eye’s gravitational pull.

look.
 

this is something different.
 

reworked.

the honest collaboration.

beckoning.

your look a little longer.