Carolyn Henne Joins Comma as Co-Conspirator
Even though Comma is a collaborative project, up to now the collaborations were focused on the art objects. I’ve done everything else solo, from packaging design, web design to all the other things artists do (writing, fundraising, fabrication, book-keeping, &c). And when you don’t have a sounding board and neither funds nor time for iterations and trials, bad things happen. This is why I am honored and happy Carolyn Henne has agreed to be my Comma partner.
Carolyn and I have been friends and colleagues since 2010. I’ve always admired her work, her art life, her intellect, her sense of humor.
Here is her bio:
Carolyn Henne’s work contends with personal and public states of being. It does not easily ride on the currents of the cool and intellectual. It wallows in the mundane but debilitating sentiments of the inner self that are unclaimed by the self that must maintain its profile in the world.
Her process involves the visceral and the sensual. She revels in the supple shapes and volumes that echo pressure from within. Years ago, she made a set of tools that she has used in some way or another in many pieces since. She made a casting of her body and gridded it off 3-dimensionally yielding 3-D “tiles” that could be cast over and over again and reassembled in a variety of ways. She works with this set of tools in conjunction with the Visible Human Project dataset (an anatomical database developed by NIH).
The first thing Carolyn and I did as partners was to discuss how to use Comma to build art communities through our annual boxed collection of small art objects. It’s easy to find creative communities in big cultural centers like New York, Chicago, Miami, LA, Houston; but how do you find them where they aren’t already mapped by a network of major museums and galleries?
Tallahassee is like this. We only have one small art museum and only one struggling contemporary art gallery, and yet it’s the capital of Florida and home to an R1 university, an HBCU, and a community college that is ranked in the US top 10. Almost all of the cultural connections here are made within the academic institutions – and darned little between them - and there is no critical art scene in town. What we do have are lots of microbreweries and coffee shops. How are people here supposed to tap into the important conversations that are at the heart of contemporary art?
Carolyn and I travel not just to art centers but to other college towns, so we know there are other places across the US that are hungry to develop or re-invigorate their art communities. For those of you who live in one of these places – and also to those of you who live in Brooklyn and LA – we invite you to have a conversation. Here’s how:
1. We have designed a one-night pop-up show for non-traditional exhibition spaces - electronic and print versions of ideas expressed in the boxes. This includes video, sound, screen prints – any media that is easy to install and de-install in a few hours. We’ll have drinks and conversations about art and have Comma editions for sale.
2. We have designed a group exhibition – for traditional venues - of all the artists who have contributed to Comma to date. This goes beyond a typical group show because like the boxes, we have designed a customized space that puts artwork in conversation with each other.
3. The box. These will be available at every event, and once you have one, you can organize your own events with friends or enjoy it alone.
4. This blog. We’ll keep you in the conversation on the blog, which will feature Comma collaborations in process, as well as other things happening on the national and international scene. We’re also working on a feature so that Comma collectors can share and swap objects. Stay tuned for more on that.
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