Introducing TaRLA Transdimensional Art Portal
I began this blog (and thus all the curatorial and publishing activities collectively labeled “Translinguistic Other“) nearly three years ago with the premise that there was a facet of the art and music that I was seeing, both in and out of Seattle, that was not yet being documented or discussed, at least not in any forum I was reading. My strategy in the early posts was often to use discussions of other peoples’ art as a jumping off point for tangents into my own pet subjects: consciousness, belief and ritual, alchemy and so forth, which, in my opinion, tend to circumscribe (or at least echo) creative activities in ways that artists themselves are not always aware of. But in addition to expounding on the work of others, I have also been using my writing as a source of inspiration for my own work in music and visual media. (Case in point: the post Eyes All Around, an exploration of certain artists’ strategies for visually representing the multidimensional properties of ecstatic “spiritual” perception fueled a great deal of my own work from that period, including the cover art and concept for my band Midday Veil‘s album of the same name.)
My activities as an artist and creative instigator have evolved over the past three years, and my attention to this blog has evolved along with it. For smaller ideas, Facebook’s endless stream of content has largely replaced the blog format, leading to more infrequent posts here. In addition, the subjects I created this blog to explore have been gaining more mainstream traction, leading for a less palpable need on my part to be a voice in the wilderness.
Lately when I do post here, then, it is often to lay a capstone on some big project I’ve been working on, such as the Portable Shrines Magic Sound Theatre compilation or my post about Midday Veil’s video for the song Anthem, produced during a recent residency at the Experimental Television Center in New York. On the bright side, this signals that I’ve been working much more tangibly on real-world projects outside the arena of theoretical discourse and writing in isolation on the Internet, such as the band and our new record label, Translinguistic Other Recordings. On the not-so-bright side, less frequent blog content means that my blog’s readership (and perhaps relevance) has flagged from its all time high around mid 2010, when my little Internet outpost was getting many hundreds of hits a day.
But given the “esoteric” nature of my pet subjects, I could just as easily embrace as lament TLO’s return to (relative) Internet obscurity. If you are reading this now, it is probably because you either know me personally or are familiar with my work in other media. That’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, a paradigm shift toward inviting more intentional intimacy is at the heart of my latest creative project: an art gallery in my new house in Seattle’s Central District.
Last month, my partner David and I moved, as it happens, into the house formerly known as TARL. TARL’s previous tenants, led by artist Matt Browning and curator Jessica Powers, began a tradition of hosting art exhibitions in the basement of the house. (My review of Rob Smith’s TARL exhibition Locrian Invocation lives here.) Before they left the house, Matt and fellow TARLer Jason Hirata converted a small closet on the main floor into a white-walled gallery. It is this small room that I have christened TaRLA Transdimensional Art Portal (in an appropriately warped homage to the nonsensically-acronymed TARL) and will use to host event-based exhibitions and installations at our home.
I am pleased to announce that TaRLA’s first exhibition will be a video and sound installation by artist Molly Mac Fedyk. One of the first people I met in Seattle when I moved here almost exactly 8 years ago, Molly is a fellow alumnus of the (now-defunct) Printmaking department at the University of Washington, where she was an undergrad in an etching class that I TA’ed as a grad student. She has since lived in Glasgow, Scotland and then New York City, where she recently received an MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College. At her MFA show, when asked by a prominent New York curator what her post-grad plans were, Molly responded that she was moving back to Seattle, a response that perplexed the curator. “Why would you move to Seattle?” he asked.
Molly responded confidently that she felt like Seattle was home. It’s not where she grew up (she hails from Georgia), but it’s where she started to make work and think of herself as an artist. Seattle inspires her. It’s also a hell of a lot cheaper than New York. New York is a rat race. Seattle is a forest utopia, a clear (if at times neurotic) mountain stream. Or, at least, it has that potential.
When Molly recounted this story to me, I stopped her there. Did she know about Seattle’s personal inferiority crisis as an art city? Its “Vancouver Problem,” as it were?
She did not. From her perspective, having lived and worked as an artist in both Seattle and New York, as well as abroad—in addition to Glasgow, Molly has also worked and studied in Rome and Havana—Seattle was simply the most inviting city to come home to. This is not a strategic career move. Indeed, it could, from one point of view, considered a kind of career suicide. (This is a narrow point of view, but that narrow view is considered to be the only view by perhaps the vast majority of people who still pay attention to Art with a capital A.)
Well, New York may very well still be the undisputed [American] center of the art world, but if the Internet has done anything for us, it has busted open the geographical and institutional imperatives that have kept art as a category separate and distinct from daily life for so long. I am opening an art gallery in my house out here in this remote corner of the continent because (a) it would be a waste of the space not to, and (b) because I crave less separation between art and my daily life. The demands of my own projects have, for some time, kept me from being as active in Seattle’s visual art community as I’d like to be. By selectively inviting artists to produce and show work at TaRLA, I am eliminating the geographical obstacle between myself and at least some of the art I’d like to spend time with. I think Molly Mac Fedyk is the perfect choice for this space’s inaugural exhibition because she is also working to [illu/eli]minate some of the obstacles that stand between us as experiencers and our experiences, both in her work and life choices.
home, please. opens tonight at 6 p.m., in an event that will also serve as our housewarming party. If you are reading this, you are invited. (Facebook event here.) Full press release info follows. (I will write a separate post about Molly’s work and documenting the installation itself in the near future, for now please just come have a glass of wine with us and experience it for yourself.)
A man makes himself “at home” in a self-reflexive constellation of fidgets, slouch and verse.
This moving image and sound installation is created specifically for the occasion of TaRLA’s inaugural exhibition and will be artist Molly Mac Fedyk’s first multimedia installation in Seattle.
Molly Mac Fedyk received a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington and an MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College. She has recently returned to Seattle after several years living in New York and abroad.
OPENING RECEPTION/TaRLA HOUSEWARMING PARTY:
Friday, August 5, 6pm-12am. 21st Ave between Pine and Union (look for the gold balloon.)
The installation will also be open on Saturday, August 27 (hours TBA) for those who can’t make it to the opening.
TaRLA Transdimensional Art Portal is a house venue aimed at the event-based manifestation of eternal works of art in terrestrial space-time. Situated atop the ashes of the seminal TARL Gallery, TaRLA is curated by the Translinguistic Other (a multidimensional [non]being currently sharing a body and more with Seattle artist/musician Emily Pothast).
This inaugural event will also serve as a housewarming party for TaRLA’s new inhabitants, Emily, David and Garek. Some snacks and drinks + a grill will be on hand, BYOWhathaveyou.