National Gallery Homestead


Charlie Sofo – an Australian artist who will be living in the Homestead Unit and conducting his practice for two periods over the next month.  You can follow Charlie’s blog here.   On the first day of Charlie’s inhabitation, his friends Joyce and Michael  (who coincidentally have a daughter who lives in 29 Palms!)  and his brother  Liv who works with them, brought fresh vegetables from their organic garden in Camberra.  The next morning, feeling a bit like a stalker,  I checked on the unit and discovered traces of Charlie’s inhabitation….


Secret of the Stump


I’ve just spent the last week installing a new Homestead Unit at the National Gallery of Australia.  Little did we realize that a stump that I acquired from a, friend who reclaims trees in Idylwild, and then turned into a stool for the homestead, would be ferrying a few boring beetle passengers.  The sea air must have rejuvenated the beetles, and when we unpacked the unit in Canberra there was a bunch of sawdust in the packing blanket.


Since Australia is a essentially a giant island with it’s own unique ecosystem they are super strict about marauding pestilence – so a team of conservators worked with Australian Department of Quarantine to assess the invaders and and to check if they had spread to other parts of the artwork or shipping crates.  Ultimately it was decided that the stump would spend two weeks  in deep freeze chamber that the National Gallery has set up for exactly these sorts of situations.


New Work


We are back to work in the shipping container studio again – starting new sculptures for a February show at Sprueth Magers in Berlin.  Exciting!


As pretty as the all-white container compound may look, it isn’t very practical for producing large bodies of work – plus the heat and the cold really takes a toll when you are working outside every day.  This will probably be the last show that we do in this studio as we are gearing up to build a full size building – which will hopefully be completed in the next six months.

Sadie Coles HQ

HQ13-AZ7681P  Material Manifestation Single Stand Forward Motion iiThis show that opened June 10th is being posted in July because June was a crazy bad-ass month.  Not only was there a mini survey show at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence and a large new project at the IMA in Indianapolis – but we also hung a solo show at Sadie Coles HQ in London.  It is hard to chose a single representative image of this show  – but here is a shot at it.  I liked this body of work because it was all about representation and experience which is something that I’ve been struggling with in my work forever.

And there was a video.  I mean a real video-video (not a powerpoint style video), which is sort of a first.  Each show I try to make one work that scares the shit out of me (generally something that might be doomed to fail) This time that work was a video called “Clutch” – thanks to the superb cinematography of Giovanni Jance I think it actually worked.

Beauty Shot

Island CroppedThe beauty shot doesn’t do it justice.  Not because the Island is any more drop dead gorgeous – but because it is missing Mike Runge and Jessica Dunn the official Island Residents at the IMA (Indianapolis Museum of Art) this summer.

I heart Mike and Jessica.  They are resilient, funny, articulate and seem to have an endless cadre of friends bringing them picnics while they live on the Island.

The way it works is this:  For the last two years we have been working on Indy Island for the IMA’s new art and nature park: 100 Acres.  (The island was made by Barnacle Brothers – a fabrication outfit in LA who totally rock).  Each year the IMA will invite one or two residents to live on the island and to interface with the public, sort of like park rangers.  Or maybe docents.

This year island residents Mike and Jessica who are doing a project called “Give and Take”.  When a flag is raised on the island they will row ashore to pick up visitors who want to tour the island (there is a bell on shore that people ring when they want to come out)  Visitors can also send them messages in floating island-like pods, and they have what they call  “island trade” where people can bring them things and make trades in the process.  And while doing all of this they manage to maintain a pretty detailed blog.

And to top it off there is a bicycle generator for energy and floating gardens in an attempt for self sufficiency.  Genius.