08 August 2005

he's a genius


Tim Hawkinson Originally uploaded by dressform.

Tim Hawkinson that is (my mom said this a few times as we walked through the show together. it is much cuter when she says it as she is 5 feet tall and kawaii). I saw so much good art in LA that i will have to talk about it in stages (if i didn't this would be the longest blog post in history - i exaggerate, but you'd stop reading at least).

mr. hawkinson's show was at LA County Museum . there are more images (and explanations) of his work here . he's a wacky fellow alright - but we are so lucky that he is. i love the immediate connections to music, to his own body, to making clunky and yet amazingly technically proficient devices... smart, clever, aesthetically considered, conceptually inclined AND funny (a skeleton made of dog chew raw hides that sort of jiggled as the slide whistle in it would intermittently go off... it was stashed behind another major piece...) there were long long colored sturdy extention cords that literally connected all the pieces from room to room - suspended from the ceiling mimicking our circulatory system. i can't even accurately describe the feeling of wonder as i went from piece to piece (a "machine" {only in quotes because it was purposefully gawky - nails and scrap wood and a bic pen} that signed his name - over and over onto white receipt paper - a blade cutting each one after its completion. a big pile of them on the floor... the artist signature faked, over-exposed, discarded). initially simply taking in what i saw directly in front of me... then to the card where the next layer is revealed (the materials, the art historical reference, the technical creation of the piece). to borrow a phrase from the countess - he's a badass!

to briefly fill you in on the rest of the trip. i ate wonderful meals with my family... we intermittently chatted about papa (i learned some things i never knew). we may have even been dealing with papa's mischievous spirit (not one to be cleaned up or re-organized he seemed to be wrecking a tiny bit of havoc. it's odd to confront something that you may or may not believe is real.... still i ended up trying to convince him (ghost? spirit? energy? fuelled by what? us? him? love? guilt? confrontation? humor?) that it was all going to be OK. that even though physcially things were being thrown out and removed there was no way he was leaving our hearts or minds).

i also went around the condo and took photos of all the "signs" and notes of his that i could find (he was a great labeler of things). they were everywhere for all different reasons... behind doors, on shelves, out in the open.... somehow to me they actually seem like art... maybe i'll put them on flickr for others to see? will anyone but me think they are funny? touching? meaningful? not sure, but something is screaming to be done with them... will ruminate on this....

stayed tuned for LA art part dos....

5 comments:

wendy said...

Wow is work is wild. Documenting himself, but in ways that change what he is or how you perseive him. Become something else altogether.

It is sort of cathartic to say goodbye when cleaning up. Because you find these things the represent your papa, like the notes. They make you smile and remember and reach out and hang on. (I'm glad you got time to spend with your family!!)

maria said...

i would love to see his signs. it would make a great series... you should definitely do it! sounds like it was a good time to be with family and see that art. i love how life does present us with what we need when we need it if we're open to it!
i'll write you a longer email soon!
be well, mav

ladylinoleum said...

Interesting...I posted about my favorite sculptors a few days ago and Hawkinson was at the top of the list. He must be on our minds because of the LACMA show. I just saw the show last weekend. So many of my favorite pieces were in it. Just wonderful! Glad you are blogging about him too.

Anonymous said...

finding a way to memorialize your Papa's use of labels and signs would be meaningful for you and your audience. I am sure that he, too, would appreciate it...just as your Grandmother did with your piece of wire "crochet" at Mills a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

lisa, this is great! it reminds me so much of what my mom did too. it's so smart to take photos of it all so you can laugh and cry with the handwriting, spelling, content, you know? it will be nice to look back at these photos and feel how his house felt again. i hope that your trip was a good one.
love, mel