Sustained Decay

In conjunction with this year’s Mission Creek Music Festival, Adobe Books Backroom Gallery hosted a collaborative installation by Andy Vogt and Joshua Churchill who’s work collectively blend elements of sculpture, installation, sound and light. The gallery itself was expanded for the occasion, and the necessary demolition and renovation were a key aspect of the installation itself. The viewer experiences an assortment of wooden sculptures seemingly growing like stalactites from the crumbling walls, flickering lights and an ominous rumbling soundtrack all expertly choreographed to hint at some sort of unspecified impending doom.
The success of this installation lies in the convergence of these two artists disparate practices and the opportunity to inhabit a space in transition. It’s almost hard to tell what’s a result of their intervention and what’s simply exposed detritus of the aged structure of the space. This kind of confusion, I find, is a good place to start as a viewer; from there the effects of the installation slowly creep in and you’re free to respond naturally to the space, distantly removed from the academic air of a traditional white cube gallery. The work makes sense in this space in a way where one may have to think harder about it in a more neutral presentation.
The overall effect was of getting a glimpse of what transpires in the dark corners where we rarely venture. And as suspected, it can be pretty spooky. However getting the opportunity to directly confront these spooky corners has a sort of dismantling effect on that experience. Somehow it’s never as spooky as it was in our minds, instead we can examine it and find the natural beauty of the whole thing. Ultimately I felt uplifted by this exhibition…

Spor, Gareth, Taide & Design, August, 2009