Saturday, March 11, 2006

tangent and 555

Tangent...mark heggie and ron zarkrin

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this one about sums it up
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the opening was a cross between cpop and primary space
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555 - Anne Mondro and Chris Whaley and a catholic church thesis exhibit (below)

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555 has so much potential but again the show felt thrown together and a little empty. I understand they have to pay the bills but I think they need a stronger focus or more direction in curation. I am happy to see them still around though, kudos to that!

19 Comments:

Blogger John Azoni said...

Well 555 often times doesn't curate shows. Artists rent out the 2 galleries and then its up to them what to display. So in reality, the artists are to blame, not the gallery. I actually liked the "Functional" show. I thought the pieces were kind of cool, delicate, and well thought out. Probably not "cutting edge" work, but they were still appealing to me. The catholic church show was far from impressive. But again, it's at the fault of the artists, not the gallery. I just think that religious work needs to be handled with care, as it is SO easy to make it cheesy. I'm mostly talking about the clay pieces, as I'm not a great judge of photography. I can't seem to get into it, and I can't tell what's good and what's bad because it all looks the same to me. But the clay pieces were just really iconographic and bland to me. They looked like they belonged in a gift shop. As for the photos, I was happy to see large scale prints, but the imagery seemed a little tired. Overall, I was more impressed with the Functional show.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous topher said...

I saw two differnet schools of work at the shows. The non-jesus was stronger. I'm not religious and kept asking "where is the clay shield that shows jesus coming back from the dead, coming out of his cave and seeing his shadow. signaling 6 more weeks of winter?" Seriously they were quality pieces in both shows. Nice presentation and pride in being a artists. Sometimes 555 has had thrown together peices, these where well made and had backbone.
I really am beginning to see differently. I remember going to see the butthole surfers in 84 at the greystone hall in detroit. guitars out of tune, drunken band members. poor sound. real raw. it was not an expensive production with lasers and smoke. it was a rough and dirty kick ass show. 555 kind of is like that. 80's punk? Granted, the butthole surfers still showed a level of pride in thier craft, like saturdays opening. Its just a little rough. I enjoyed both shows, raw and dirty yet refined.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is difficult to respect the images and opinions posted here when the show at motor city was given a GREAT review. The motor showing wasnt so much as bad as not great.

And please explain cutting edge art to me... PLEASE! things recycle themselves so frequently and are so mangled i feel sorry for the person seeking "cutting edge art". or who thinks anything they will ever do will be seen that way. maybe if you make some paint splattered T-shirts, but thats the only chance.

The catholic show never really put out that it was going to be "cutting edge". It seemed more of an intellectual theme to discuss the well being of the City of Detroit and how the church might not be doing all that is should. It was a useful theme and should have gotten more respect from a blog full of "cutting edge thinkers".

i might not understand if reflection on social issues isnt cutting edge or not, but the show at 555 served as a creative food for thought at the proper time in Detroit.

the people who run 555 are responsible for the art they show in their gallery. 555 is a great gallery, and every show has been great. That is why the intern works there and the blog writes about it.


and now 555 might be a little cool, just like the butt hole surfers show in 84. just what everyone wants.

lets hope 555 ignores their intern and this blog of butt hole surfers and keeps the backbone they have. That would be cutting edge.

Be good little art bullies

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is the intern? Is it you John A.?

4:13 PM  
Anonymous topher said...

I dont know...i thought my butthole surfer thing was a compliment. If you saw the show you would know. He was drunk and kept pouring vodka on himself and lighting it until he did a stage dive and passed out. It was a classic and really was quite a show. Not like the polished pop stars of today who come out, lip sync and walk off.
Sorry you misunderstood.
But what is this art bully thing? Before i grew up and became and artist.....I lived and still live in a real life buisness setting. I am an I.T. contractor who lives or dies by my own skills that I alone must sell every year to recieve raises or bonuses. I command a group of individuals under me and am responsible for their failures or accomplishments. I have benn fired multiple times and have fired people. I have even escorted them crying out to the front door and informed security that they are not to be let back in for any reason, even to retreive family desk photos. Anyways, my wife and I make fun of the "fragile art folk" and how timid and gentle they can be. The fear of rejection is so powerful and sometimes they can be flighty. But that is the world i have chosen to be a part of. It is ok to be a bully. Remember the book "the lord of the flies"? remember there were 2 camps of kids, the good nice kids and the wild hunters? Remember when the hunters killed Piggy? I found that a very funny situation because the nice kids were not suposed to survive. The whole statement was that only the strong survive. the 555 can be that if people who really want to fight for it dont end their statements with "Be good little art bullies". end it with something like "You all can go fuck yourself, I think its the best goddamn gallery in the midwest". see the difference? the first statement almost welcomes a firm kick to the groin and a few laughs. While the last statement really is what you want to say if you want to shed the "fragile art folk" image.

No need to thank me for the advice, believe me I happy to dole it out. Kind of like peeing on the seat in a public toilet. You always want to leave a lasting impression.

Be nice you fragile art folk 'cause you know i'm right goddamn it.

6:06 PM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

yeah I'm the intern. And I don't see how I ripped on 555 in my post at all. I was merely expressing my opinion about the catholic church show and how I didn't like it that much. But I guess nobody is allowed an opinion on this blog according to the brave "anonymous" poster who is really the only art bully in this thread. Seeing as Ann takes the time to post this blog for everyone to enjoy and discuss on, I think that you should give her some more credit. And if you don't like what she posts, LEAVE! nobody is twisting your arm to read anything on here. And for the record I stand by 555 100%. I think some things need tweaking, as does every gallery, and as does your lame ass attitude, but that doesn't mean that they're doing it wrong. 555 is a great space, and offers the community some outstanding opportunites that I comend them for. Not many other spaces have been as brave as 555. And I think that if you (anonymous poster) are going to act all tough behind your keyboard and rip on anyone that has an opinion about anything, then you should at the very least not post as anonymous. And maybe take a little of your own advice, and:

be good little art bullies.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmmm. keep sufing.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummmm....didn't you just say that ed brown's show wasn't good? So couldn't we all call YOU the art bully for having a negative opinion. Get the stick out of your ass man. Ed brown is stepping out of the box and should be commended for that.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To greed, all nature is insufficient.

just because a person takes the time to do something doesnt mean their intentions are good. Skewed opinions are not anymore helpful than a person who does nothing. it almost seems to create an inevitable circumstance being an artist and an art critic at the same time.

Many work hard to do.

art to some is the reflection of society . and when the ego interferes with it's natural progression it seems to be a conflict of interest. how can you truly let the self go when you are busy delivering commentary about shows based on your un devoted opinion?.

a less personally bias opinion from the information source here will allow more thought about the shows.


If i were the holder of the blog key i would allow people to make the decision for themselves. It is not productive to provide scenester shout outs to artists you know or wish to be ------- it makes the whole idea of this blog begin to stink of bullshit.

i appreciate hard work, but take this as a critique. your opinion is thrown around loosely here. leading viewers is a bad thing.

you need to think before you communicate on any platform.

I apologize to 555 for using them as the stepping block to push on this wet extension of the art scene. 555 seems to be the best thing happening around here and it pains me to just smile and watch you blindly swing the hatchet.

There has not been one discussion about artist purpose here. as if the white walls of the gallery are for composition zombies and presentation junkies.

jerk off if you want an easy feeling.

be good little art bullies

PS - ed brown's show is fine and i would love to discuss with you why i feel he did it. but that show was not great just by the simple act of declaring it to be. it was interesting to see. visually it was annoying and in many ways creative because it might have forced me to think past some of my other gallery experiences. but just to blindly call a show "great" is as ignorant as calling a show bad.

1:51 AM  
Anonymous jim said...

hey anonymous,

get your own blog if you want an opinionless presentation of images. this is ann's blog. she can express her opinion as much or little as she wants to.

also, you seem to think it's fine to throw around your opinion of the ed brown show. so, are you the only one allowed to voice opinion?

reading your pseudo-zen wannabe meets trying-too-hard-to-sound-intellectual near-nonsense is like watching a little girl try on mommy's shoes. -k

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you might be about 2 conversations back. it seems we are discussing the difference between art and art critic. and how the acts being performed at the same time are not always good for an art scene.

any comments on that?

also..how do you feel about the lack of work performed by the church in regards to the struggle of detroit?

i feel as though the church has failed in many aspects. and that it is a strange situation in society when casinos are doing more for a communities progress than the church seems to be doing. I hope i am wrong. any thoughts?

be good.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous jim said...

so anonymous, once the conversation rips your arguments apart, you decide it has already moved on? weird - are you running this government too?

"the difference between art and art critic" - what are you talking about? bad for the scene? that seems to be a prevalent opinion in detroit: "don't criticize the ever-shrinking pretty little flower, even if it has severe and obvious flaws. it might shrivel up and die! it's too weak for real commentary! must be positive!"

nonsense. that's actually part of why this art scene keeps getting smaller and weaker.


I don't count on the church or the casinos or the government. I count on myself. I don't know what a church's role is - it seems to be to charge people money to tell them fables. nothing wrong with that. -jim k

10:02 AM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

I really don't think it's the church's responsibility to keep up the city. The church does a lot for the citezens as far as homeless shelters, and things like that. well...I guess it depends on what church you're talking about. Not all churches are good churches. But I really don't think that we should be looking to the church to fix our problems in the city. church is a place to learn about and experience God. If it's God's will to fix these problems that we have here, he'll take care of it on His time. Not to turn this into a religious discussion because we will inevitably end up disregarding the artwork, but God never promised us a perfect world. Things are the way they are for a reason and He hasn't abandoned the situation. We can't judge what God does or doesn't do because He is on a whole different level than us. We can't judge God based on human standards. That's where we go wrong with our takes on religion. Jim here thinks that the church is greedy and just wants our money. While some churches may fuel that opinion, God calls us to tithe (give 10% of our money back to Him) so it's not the church being greedy, it's God wanting us to live openhandedly and trust Him with every aspect of our lives, including our finances.


ANYWAY.....it seems as though the catholic church show has served its purpose, to strike up good conversation and for that I think it puts it on the same level as the Functional show. Functional was more visual, where as Catholic Church was less impressive visualy but made up for it by sparking some good conversation. Maybe the religious discussion is better suited for the forum.

And I think that regardless if Ann choses to post her opinions on the show or not, I think it's a positive thing. You read a review in a magazine or the paper and you can't immediatley let you opinion be heard. At least here we can all voice our opinions, whether we agree or disagree with Ann. That's why people review shows. It's one person's take on a particular event. Are you gonna call up the editor of Art in America and tell them they shouldn't be reviewing shows and to just let the work speak for itself?

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Christine said...

I really don't think that we should be looking to the church to fix our problems in the city. church is a place to learn about and experience God.-John

You'll find even less of God in the city, now that the diocese has closed all the Catholic schools.


And Anonymous sure spouts like Wrathdell. Maybe that's why he's Anonymous.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim- i think the scene in detroit has a lot of potential. maybe it is just a little tired because people are driving art like a car instead of public transportation. burning more fuel because they like to commute alone. that is why i support the 555.

Jim - saying the scene is dying is not very positive. saying we are not going to accept half ass manipulative bullshit from anyone no matter how much time they put into their exploitation is positive. the scene is just changing. the economy is changing in detroit and so is the art community.

Jim- you dont count on casinos or churches. ok. so? what do you count on?

John...if we dont look to the church to correct problems...then why do they exist? is the church here to provide a place for god...and if you dont come to that place you are not god's responsability? they receive tax breaks from the city and donations for just that reason. could they have some roll in the improvement? what is their roll? i think they should do more and dont do much for society as a whole any longer.

I agree - john- this forum has great potential to do a lot of something. it is just my opinion here. and if i am wrong then you are right and then all we did was confirm that. but think for a moment that what i might be saying is correct or a little less than or close to.

I sort of agree with jjim, that the church receives money from the community, including tax breaks and has a responsibility to use that money to better the community which allows it to collect these benefits.
\dont most galleries go under the 501c3 status claiming to better the community. maybe 555 is just doing its job and we are not familiar with this approach from galleries.

maybe the dog eat dog art world is as problematic to detroit as the church and is only evolving what they claim to be against. do artists claim to be against anything anymore?

maybe i talk shit.

be good.

9:57 PM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

anonymous- (speaking from personal beliefs and knowledge of the christian faith..) Everyone is God's responsibility. He created everything that we see. He created people that run the churches, but inevitably we fall short. While, you are right, there is more that the church can do, there is also more that EVERYONE can do. It's not religions fault that detroit is so deserted. It's at the fault of the people that subscribe to religion and those that don't. God gave every one of us gifts to be used for His purpose. Some people's gifts may be having a heart to help the community. Others may be using their gifts to reach others in other areas. A lot of money that the church recieves goes back into the church and into reaching the lives of others. For example: the citidel church in midtown tries to get enough money from its churchgoers and from other sources to do things like make sure those in need have gas in their car. There's only so much that one part of society can do. To blame it all on the church and religion is a somewhat ignorant position to take. Like I said, there are things that everyone can be doing to help. The weight doesn't just fall on christian shoulders.

12:21 AM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

since we seem to have completely disregarded Mark Heggie and Ron Zakrin, I will say that Heggie gives some rad ass tattoos, and I've been a fan of Zakron's for a few years now, and have admired his work.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah let's talk about Zakrin...
I love Ron's work, he's one of the best painters in Detroit. He's a real old-fashioned painterly painter, not an illustrator or graffiti wannabe like a lot of the other "painters" out there. Some people might not like his subject matter, the cute vulnerable Asian girls, manly men and gorilla portraits rub some people the wrong way...But they are "classic" painting subjects. Except for the apes... He should have been in that "romantic" show that K. Beaver curated.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

god?, jesus christ give me a break

1:07 PM  

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