Jean 1 (Poor Marat), Color print on metal, 16 x 24 x 1 inches, 2016
An Accidental Revolutionary...
A Fruit Bowl Manifesto
New ceramic, sculpture and work on paper by Andrew Cornell Robinson.
Creative collaborations with Greg Climer, Paul D’Agostino, Richard Darlington, Jeffrey Goldstein, Michael Kirk, Elias Paulson, Alex Reyes, Brett Sroka, and Steve Turtell.
4 March 2016 through 29 March 2016
- Nomadic Press Presents Difficult Poetry | Wednesday 23rd March 7-8pm
- Embroidering French Knots and Names: A Gallery Talk | Saturday 26th March 2-3pm
Christopher Stout Gallery, New York
299 Meserole Street, Ground Floor Rear
Brooklyn, New York 11206
Gallery Hours: Thursday through Sunday, Noon-6:00pm and also by private appointment.
An Accidental Revolutionary… A Fruit Bowl Manifesto features the work of Andrew Cornell Robinson who has collaborated with a dozen different artists, designers, musicians, and a poet. Their inspiration comes from an inherent sense of play–a distinct sense of humor, the dangerous, poetic, rebellious and at times the absurd.
Robinson explores discordant assemblages of personality, memory and history through craft. The work is comprised of a ceremonial series of reliquaries, grottos, artifacts, photographs and agitprop from the personal to the poetic. Inspired by radical events loosely informed by memory and reimagined through the proxy of two personae based on historical and fictional characters that include Madame Thérèse Defarge, the villainess in Charles Dicken's novel A Tale of Two Cities, Rene Stilitano, the object of affection in The Thief's Journal by Jean Genet and the French revolutionary Jean Paul Marat and his assassin Charlotte Corday. In contrast to Jacque-Louis David's celebrated painting, Death of Marat, Robinson has combined historical and fictional narratives with his own memories of an activist past as a departure point to reimagine memory through independent works and creative collaborations with a jazz composer, a master printmaker, a costume designer, a poet, a product designer and many others. Each of these collaborations began with a conversation about a reimagined persona. They worked together to create artifacts, ideas, sounds and garments for. The resulting queer things are not easily defined. Robinson has sought out fringe storylines, and diaristic visual fragments, attempting to pass as artifacts and heirlooms, ideas and agitprop as aesthetic signs and stories.
Participation, inspiration and collaboration and thanks to the following: Greg Climer, Paul D’Agostino, Richard Darlington, Jeffrey Goldstein, Julia Gorton, Sigfrido Holguin, Michael Kirk, Elias Paulson, Alex Reyes, Sarah Bonham Robinson, Renée Rockoff, Brett Sroka, Patty Suarez, Steve Turtell, Andy Wentz and the Parsons Print Shop. This exhibition is made possible in part by support from the New School and Parsons through a Research and Creative Practice Grant.
This is a series of images and a pair of costumes. This series represents the starting point of this body of work. Each work begins with a story and research. The works are a mythic recreation of the past and present by combining personal memories with facts, fantasies, and speculations to create a pastiche; a reimagined life of a revolutionary (Jean) and his assassin (Charlotte). It is a story of contrasts and conflict across content, context and form.
Collaboration: Andrew Cornell Robinson and Greg Climer with help from Paul D'Agostino and Jeffrey Goldstein
Inspired by radical events informed by memory and reimagined through the proxy of two personae based on historical and fictional characters that include Madame Thérèse Defarge, the villainess in Charles Dicken's novel A Tale of Two Cities, Stilitano, the object of affection in The Thief's Journal by Jean Genet, and the French revolutionary Jean Paul Marat, and his assassin Charlotte Corday. Robinson created two composite personae, a contrast in scale, gender, power, politics and class.
Working in collaboration with fashion designer Greg Climer and artist Jeffrey Goldstein. Wondering what would a revolutionary and an assassin wear? How could fashion embody an idea or exagerate an emotion, a personality or a socio-political story? Working together Robinson and Climer created a corsett and gown made of linen with the appearance of burlap, for Charlotte and fit onto Robinson's six foot four inch three hundred pound frame. The names of her enemies and agitprop slogans will be embroidered into the lining. Where as Jean's costume is comprised of a petite wool trousers and jacket lined with loops, hooks and secret pockets for shoplifting and hiding weapons and ideas, and topped by a Phrygian cap.
Top left to bottem right
Jean 4 (Phrygian Cap Pulled Over His Eyes.), Color print on metal 16 x 24 x 1 inches, 2016. In ancient Rome, the Phrygian cap was worn by emancipated slaves as a symbol of their freedom.
Jean 2 (Reluctant Revolutionary), Color print on metal, 16 x 24 x 1 inches, 2016
Charlotte 2 (The Perverse and Proprietary Gaze of Privilege), Color print on metal, 24 x 16 x 1 inches, 2016
Charlotte 4, Color print on metal, 24 x 16 x 1 inches, 2016
A series of ceramic, glass and mixed media grottos. Based on a shape derived from a series of drawings and inspired by a reliquary. When Charlotte Corday plunged her knife into the heart of Jean-Paul Marat in July of 1793, she created one of the French Revolution’s most powerful martyr heroes. His body and memory were elevated into a ceremonial pantheon. His heart was removed and placed into a makeshift reliquary–a bejeweled urn that had once belonged to the deposed French monarchy. The reliquary served as a focal point for public ceremony and devotion. The cult of the Sacred Heart (Sacré-Coeur de Jean-Paul Marat) derived from Catholic rituals and idolatry.
Rebellious Heart #7 (Beat), Ceramic, oxides and stains, metal, plastic, 12 x 10 x 8 inches, 2016
Rebellious Heart #1 (Sacré-Coeur), Three dimensional print, with pigmented epoxy resin, 12 x 10 x 8 inches, 2016.
Rebellious Heart #2 (Figure Head), Ceramic, tin glaze, cast and slumped colored glass, 12 x 10 x 8 inches, 2016
Rebellious Heart #3 (Reposir), Ceramic, slumped glass with oxides 12 x 10 x 8 inches, 2016
Rebellious Heart #4 (Rune Black), Black glazed ceramic, 12 x 10 x 8 inches, 2016
Rebellious Heart #8 (Providence), Ceramic, slumped glass with oxides, metal, 12 x 10 x 8 inches, 2016
Marat Mahākāla II
Marat Mahakala #1, Silkscreen on Bristol (Edition of 2), 19x24 inches, 2014-2016
Marat Mahākāla II is a result of a collaboration between Andrew Cornell Robinson and Michael Kirk. This project, like the other collaborations inculded in this exhibition is part of a series, which includes multidisciplinary collaborations mediated through a persona narrative. This print installation started with a discussion between Andrew and Michael about two photographs Andrew made of artist Paul D'Agostino. The theme of the photos loosely explores the life and ethos of the French revolutionary Jean Paul Marat. Through out the exploration of printmaking and drawing, further discussions led to a meditation on Mahākāla a protective figure in Buddhism. The idea emerged to combine the two ideas of Marat and Mahākāla through the layered images of over twelve different silk screens. The installation includes forty eight mono prints on bristol.
Collaboration: Andrew Cornell Robinson and Michael Kirk
Related Marat Mahākāla I
This exploration of personae, craft process and sculpture expanded into a series of exchanges between Andrew Cornell Robinson and the acclaimed jazz composer Brett Sroka. The result is a sound sculpture begining with a recording of Andrew singing the love song Besame Mucho, by Consuelo Velázquez. Brett then deconstructed the audio tracks, creating a layer of sounds, patterns and a momentum that transforms the awkward recording into a chant that builds and subsides in the space of the exhibition.
Collaboration: Andrew Cornell Robinson and Brett Sroka
Fruit Bowl Manifesto
A poem written for this project by Steve Turtell
I. Play-Time--A Cantata for Five Stooges
1. “We'll drop the whole fucking building on them if we have to.”
2. “Let's just put everything in the kitchen sink.”
3. “It'll be art.”
4. “It sure as shit will.”
5. “Do you think we should write a manifesto?”
II. A priori
All art is the conscious manipulation of ordinary activity.
Breath is song; every word is a poem; blood and flesh were the first ink and paper,
running the first dance, bricks of mud and straw made the first buildings, and pots the first sculpture.
We loved watching each other do magic and imitated all of it and theater was born.
Now get out there and start seeing all the unacknowledged creativity around you. There’s more art than anyone has ever noticed. Steal from it. Maybe you’ll be less predictable.
III. "I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast."
IV. Fruits and Nuts got married...
...and as in any relationship were altered by their constant interaction. They now prefer to be called Frunuts, and each has adapted, so now they have some of the characteristics of the other—but reversed. The fruits now have hard shells and must be opened with nutcrackers but carefully so as not to damage the wet ripe interiors; the nuts have smooth and, sometimes fuzzy, skins like peaches and can be eaten as is or peeled. They are deliriously happy.
V. Connect the Dots
(Cheating and stealing are allowed; this is REAL WORLD ART not School. There is no score. All answers are correct. Who says the lines have to go only left/right? Additions accepted.)
|Were/Is/Are/Will Be the New|
VI. A bowl is a brassiere for air.
Obviously, the sky is unisex and has only one breast, which we all share. There’s plenty for all.
There is a great sense of the ordinary that runs closely with the fantastic. I’m so grateful for those ordinary moments in life that lead to a spark in each of us. The following friends, colleagues and collaborators contributed in immeasurable ways to my work and this project and I owe them my thanks.
Greg Climer’s work focuses on how traditional crafts can be augmented, reimagined, or challenged by new technologies in a way that marries traditional crafts with modern tools. In fashion, Climer has worked as a designer and pattern cutter. For several years he designed his own menswear label. Additionally he has worked for Victoria’s Secret Runway Show, Karl Lagerfeld, multiple Broadway and film production, and indie designers such as Todd Thomas and Imitation of Christ. Climer received his BA in Theatre and Design at Rollins College and his MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design. He is a member of the faculty of Parsons School of Design.
Jeffrey Goldstein is a dye artist, stylist and makeup artist who got his start shoplifting the makeup counter at a Woolworths whilst simultaneously gobbling up pastrami on rye, slathered in schmaltz, an never getting caught. He is the creative director of Label New York, an apparel design studio based in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.
Michael Kirk is a master printmaker and artist. His work has been exhibited at Gimpel and Weitzenhoffer Gallery in NYC; Norske Grafikere, Oslo, Norway and many other national and international venues. His work is included in the collections of The Brooklyn Museum; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institute; National Museum of Art; and Penn State University, etc. He teaches printmaking at Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute of Art.
Patty Suarez is an artist raised in Queens and living in the East Village of New York. Her medium is portraiture in all its forms - especially - photography, drawing, cutting hair and audio recordings of people based on their experiences in New York. She works closely with her alter ego Mr. JulianRay.
Brett Sroka is a celebrated composer, musician and sound artist for film, dance, installation and has released multiple recordings with his electro-acoustic jazz trio Ergo, and melodronoise duo Cherubim.
Steve Turtell is a poet. He studied under the tutelage of Allen Ginsberg. His work was awarded the Rebound Chapbook Prize. His publications include Heroes and Householders, Orchard House Press; Letter to Frank O’Hara. He is currently at work on Fifty Jobs in Fifty Years, and Peter Hujar: Invisible Master.
Studio and research assistants: Richard Darlington, Elias Paulson, Andy Wentz, and Alex Reyes
Lastly I would like to thank the students and faculty of Parsons School of Design for their support with a School of Design Strategies Research and Creative Practice Grant.
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