Sunday, July 15, 2012

Alan Kane at BQ

As it turns out, the problem with my bike was not a sticky brake pad but my ignorance of the bike's construction. I learned this the hard way, having taken the bike to a nearby shop where one of the technicians shook his head when I pointed out the "problem" and left me to find another who spoke the kind of English a simpleton like me might understand.

"Your problem is not the brake," he began. "In fact, it is not a problem at all. The reason for what you call 'stickiness' is the dynamo in the front wheel that powers your headlight. If you did not feel stickiness while riding your bike last night you would have been unlit, invisible to cars, and perhaps hit by one. So instead of complaining to me right now, you might be complaining to a doctor instead."

This from a teenaged bike technician.

While happy to hear that my bike was okay (a little red button disconnects the dynamo), the problem was now the weather. Too wet to ride up to Orienstrasse, I replenished my supply of dinkelbrot at the Bio Store, along with a few other things for dinner, and returned to Innsbrucker to finish my review of the Ethnologische Museum show (which should be on the Canadian Art website next week). From there, a couple of corrections to my Steele and Tomczak essay, and then the preamble to my piece on Gareth Moore's dOCUMENTA installation, which I will be visiting (and sleeping in) tomorrow.

A piece I would like to write, one I may or may not have time for, is on Alan Kane's BQ exhibition, where, in the larger space, the artist filled the room with 27 4'-high white plinths (3x9) and placed atop them, beside them and before them objects he had asked visitors to bring with them for the opening (stamps from the Phillipines, a potted cactus...). In a smaller room, on whose walls were affixed shelves (one wall had 8 shelves about a foot apart, the other only one), he displayed ceramic bowls and cups from a collector friend in England. In an even smaller room, an eye-line row of at least ten Michael Jackson Bad albums -- again, from another collector.

In considering the ceramics I was struck by how harmonic the arrangement was, both in colour and form -- to the point where if these vessels were to arrive in padded boxes, with instructions to arrange them in a manner entirely devoid of conflict, this is what you would get.

The idea of a collection resulting in a singular array -- the only array possible -- is intriguing to me, one that goes against everything I have learned about the mutability of art. When I asked Alan about this, he nodded, said we think too much, and that he wanted to make something without thinking, something composed intuitively, curious (I suppose) as to what the viewer might make of it.

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