Georg Burwick and Alain Park: New work at Dupreau Gallery

June 7 – July 14, 2002
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“Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees.” – Paul Valéry

The anxiety, fear and scars of the past still remain a part of our world after entering the new millennium. As a people we always try to suppress the past and say “It has never been this bad”, when in fact it has been and at times it has been worse. Elie Wiesel in a lecture given at the University of Chicago said that we have entered the new millennium with a heightened sense of hope. This hope was clouded by global events that followed our relief that our world didn’t end following the millennium bug. Our relief was short lived but enforced the desire in our hope that the new millennium was to be different and bring about positive gains for our increasing global society. Our agenda toward a global society was altered due to the realization that our world hadn’t completely changed with the writing of the year 2000. Terrorism now consumes us, our news, our radio, our television, and our lifes. However we, as a western society, must admit to ourselves that terrorism is not new but like a virus has reinvented itself. It is still the same old thing just a new package much like terrorism that was faced by presidents of our past. Instances faced by persons like F.D.R. who lead us through the terror of an attack by the Japaness on Pearl Harbor, J.F.K resolve to end our stand off with Vietnam and Communism in Cuba, Jimmy Carter confrontation with Iranian terrorist in the hijaking of TWA in the early 80’s and Ronald Reagan who sought to protect us from attack by the Russian with the Star Wars program at the height of the arms race. America has always lived in the shadow of fear and has continually armed itself, not only militarily but also personally. Our right to bare arms is a liberty that we treasure almost more than our right to free speech. Notably is that they are both seen by the American public as weapons, one active the other passive.

Fortification is an installation conflating this two manners by which we arm ourselves, language and munitions. The installation takes place in a basement gallery space at Depreau Gallery. According to Gaston Bachelard a basement or cellar is “first and foremost the dark entity of the house, the one that partakes in subterranean forces. When we dream there, we are in harmony with the irrationality of the depths.” The cellar is a place of the unconscious and were we relive phenomenologically both fear and mystery. Entering the cellar at Depreau we are invited to enter the uncousious and preceed down a dimly lit staircase at the bottom of which looms a large barrier, a wall. We hear sound of rapid activity which the viewer is allowed to investigate by walking around the initial barrier. A video projection of hands rapidly moving reveals the source to the light within the room. I activity, frantic and disconnected from the sound, is producing four types of objects; a large plane, a small plane, a boat and paper men. The discarding gesture of the hand once the object is complete leads ones eyes to the ground where there are two large piles of these objects. This activity recorded on a two and a half hour video represents a period of twenty-four hours and the piles embody the results of that period.

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