For the month of February, I will undertake the task of reading as many items from my personal art library as possible. This project stems from my belief that I have an inadequate knowledge of art and is my attempt to rectify that situation.
What is presented here tonight are the raw materials I have provided myself for this undertaking: an area in which to read, eat, and store my books; every art related book, magazine, article, and pamphlet I own; and a reading schedule.
The project will culminate in an exhibition during the month of March in which I will present documentation of my activities and a summation of the work
(The gallery will be open to the public during reading hours)
Friday, February 6, 9:00 – 5:00
Saturday, February 7, 12:00 – 4:00
Sunday, February 8, 12:00 – 4:00
Monday, February 9, 4:00 – 5:00
Tuesday, February 10, 9:00 – 5:00
Wednesday, February 11, 4:00 – 5:00
Thursday, February 12, 9:00 – 5:00
Friday, February 13, 9:00 – 5:00
Saturday, February 14, 12:00 – 4:00
Sunday, February 15, 12:00 – 4:00
Monday, February 16, 4:00 – 5:00
Tuesday, February 17, 9:00 – 5:00
Wednesday, February 18, 4:00 – 5:00
Thursday, February 19, 9:00 – 5:00
Friday, February 20, 9:00 – 5:00
Saturday, February 21, 12:00 – 4:00
Sunday, February 22, 12:00 – 4:00
Monday, February 23, 4:00 – 5:00
Essay by Jim Heitzeberg
Variously the dictionary defines a shrine as: a holy place because of its association with a sacred person or relic, typically marked by a building or other construction; a place associated with or containing memorabilia of a particular revered person or thing; a casket containing sacred relics; a reliquary; or, a niche or enclosure containing a religious statue or other object.
All the pieces in this show meet the formal aspects of shrines to one degree or another but vary widely in what they enshrine. One of the pieces speaks to ways that death is defied if lasting effigies are erected. Other pieces draw on current cultural practices of enshrining family culture and erecting memorials to the recently departed. There are pieces that start with traditional shrine or niche shapes but alter the established content in ways that asks questions about our expectations and how they effect our interpretations of what we are viewing. Some works speak to the effort and scale we commit to mark that which is seen as sacred, while others look at our society’s current move away from the mysterious.
We are a culture that uses shrines to honor the celebrity, remember a disaster, mark the location of a traffic accident or drive by shooting and are still able to recognize the heritage that makes theses acts of enshrinement significant.
In total the works shown here form a visual and intellectual exploration of an impulse and a practice common to every culture and society.
Statement by Quinn Gomez-Heitzeberg
The idea for this installation came about when I heard a public radio program about the Pulitzer Prize winning expose on WalMart that was published in the Los Angeles Times (see Sources and Documents). During the program, a caller who had done business with WalMart described the lobby where prospective vendors wait to meet with WalMart buyers. He described a room with little more than a receptionist’s desk and rows and rows of metal folding chairs. The idea that the world’s largest corporation was not willing to spend the money to provide decent chairs shocked me. That shock was replaced by irritation when I realized what a blatant and unnecessary exercise this was. In the relationship with their vendors, WalMart holds all the cards. Successful and unsuccessful vendors say the same thing about dealing with WalMart; give them what they want or they will not do business with you. WalMart is ruthless when it comes to getting what they want. This can be seen as a positive or a negative, depending on what side of the profits you are. Within the WalMart culture, all things come down to price. There is nothing that will not be sacrificed to get a better price for the customer. For WalMart things are simple, you are either with them or against them.
The more I read about WalMart and other giant corporations, the more I realize that there are no easy answers. As much as people dislike WalMart, its economic force is undeniable. You cannot simply wish away the corporate culture that now fuels the world’s economy. Each of us, in our daily lives, makes choices that cause us to be more beholden to corporate power. If we do not have some idea how the system works, we cannot understand our place in it.
This installation is designed to illustrate the nature of WalMart and the individual’s relationship to it. I do not have an interest in telling people what to think about this issue, but rather in suggesting that we all need to make our own informed decisions.