Posts Tagged ‘Bleu Cease’

Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe or Good Morning Tom

Monday, October 9th, 2017

I did my second live Facebook event of the week on Saturday afternoon at RoCo. Wednesday’s Margaret Explosion stream from Ken Colombo’s phone was primarily for Bob in Chicago but Peggi and I watched it when got home from the gig. The two songs he caught, our first two with Phil Marshall on guitar, sounded pretty good. My Artist’s Talk did not. My voice is to meek to reach to back of the room where the camera was positioned. Peggi video it as well and she was sitting in the front row so I posted it here. One of the audience members mentioned he read my blog every morning so this post post goes out to him although, as I’ve noted before, I do this primarily for myself.

Bleu, RoCo’s curator, made the talk a breeze by asking me questions. Funny how the best questions are the ones that have no answers. By the end of the video Gary Pudup can be heard trying to bail me out by saying, “like Freud said, ‘Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.'” At which point I was fumbling for the Duchamp quote, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” but I could not come up with it until it was over.

After my talk we headed over to Visual Studies Workshop to see “Implement,” the sister Rochester Biennial show by ILLSA (Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts), an evolving publishing & public practice platform committed to investigating labor, time, and what we value. Co-founder, Emily Larned, gave her artist’s talk as we examined the show. The visuals take some explaining as they are intended to explore and expand the potential of the toolkit, inviting participants to consider and share what they deem to be essential tools for living.

At the end of the talk we participated by filling out a form where we answered three questions. “What is one of your essential tools for living? Why? Where do you find it? Peggi and I answered them all similarly. “Eyes, Ears.” “They enrich our life.” “In my head.”

New Subterranean Surrogates

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Subterranean Surrogates in Inner Loop. downtown Rochester, New York

You know you’re in a happenin’ spot when both Bleu Cease and Jonathan Binstock, the directors of RoCo and MAG, are in the house. Well, not exactly in the house but outside of the packed 1975 Gallery where a show of work by the international mural artists, in town for this year’s “Wall Therapy” project, was in opening mode. The work had some serious prices attached to it and some of it was extremely meticulous. This gallery has zeroed in on the tattoo set. Illustration, surrealistic nods to the absurd, bugs, photo realism are all touchstones. I was drawn more to the “Subterranean Surrogates” in the old Inner loop, the underground infrastructure going into this new terrain in front of the gallery.

We wandered over to the Village Gate for the Festival of Lights. The Village Gate location was running a little later than the 10 o’clock start time and and I got a kick out of that. I used to like that hour or so where you waited for a band to come in a rock n’ roll club that was running perpetually late as the excitement built. The place was wall-to-wall bodies, the sound system mysteriously went silent but we stuck around long enough to see some LED lit dancers slithering around the cobblestone. Last night’s thunderstorm and its accompanying light show blew away the Festival of Lights by a long shot.

Wait For Valet

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Wait For Valet Sign in Rochester, New York

The people up on the hill had a party over the weekend. We heard the band and we live about a mile away, classic rock sort of stuff, old people music. Their sign looked kind of odd the next morning.

Gallery director, Bleu Cease called yesterday from Rochester Contemporary to arrange time to set up “Subterranean Surrogates,” my upcoming photo installation. I did RoCo’s logo a while back and I had a show there long before Bleu took over so I didn’t realize what a dynamic force Bleu is. He does everything over there and what he doesn’t do he arranges to have done right. He climbed off the ladder and on to the top of one of the walls in his flip flops while helping me block out the ambient light that was creeping into my allotted space.

I was there all day hanging the projector upside down from strings attached to the ceiling in the back room so the photos would drop into this space and fill one of the walls. Peggi was originally going to drop me off downtown but she made a run to JoAnne Fabrics to buy some black felt for the ceiling and she picked up a peanut butter and banana sandwich and pitched in on the ceiling effort while I balanced the projector. You would think four white walls with photos projected on one would be a pretty simple install but we were there until eight. Art is not as easy as it looks.

Wendell’s Castle

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Bleu Cease and Wendell Castle at the Makers Mentors opening at Rochester Contemporary

We got a personal invite from Heather Erwin so we started First Friday at her place. Met an up and coming photo journalist there and told him I thought photo journalism was getting better. This opinion is only based on the number of photos I’ve cut out of the newspaper lately.

We cut through the creepy leather store in Anderson Alley and stopped in the Bop Shop. I had tried to download Billy Bang’s newest, “A Prayer For Peace”, but it wasn’t in the iTunes store and I thought I’d pick up the cd here but they were sold out. Like any good record store Rick made a persuasive argument for picking up another cd, “Tara’s Song” by Ahmed Abullah who used to play trumpet with Sun Ra. His band does two beautiful versions of Ra tunes and a amazing cover of Ornette’s “Lonely Woman.”

Onward to Record Archive where Lucinda Storms showed some brand new luscious Valentines Day paintings. Stan Merrell was onstage playing a therimin. Alayna offered us Genny Bock Beer and we settled in for some free ranging conversation. Rick Simpson who had earlier tried to sell me a down jacket that he picked up at Eddie Bauer for forty bucks and was now trying to sell the coat to Jeff Spevak. Jeff’s dad had just died and he wrote a beautiful piece on him. Stan and Brian Williams tried to help me find the black and white mode on my new Nikon and I bought one of the Dick Storm’s appropriation t-shirts. He did a tempting Warhol VU banana one but I went for the bright green “Archive Rock Beer” shirt.

It was only fitting that Wendell Castle would be holding court when we got to Rochester Contemporary for the Makers/Mentors show featuring his work. Perhaps Rochester’s most successful artist, he has influenced a generation of woodworkers.

We were looking at the other makers’ armor art with Martha O’Connor when Martha exclaimed, “Of course!” It dawned on her that Nancy, Wendell’s wife, had certainly crafted these dwarf sized amour suits to hang in their “castle.”

We discussed going to Abilene for the Spampinato Brothers but had spotted a beautiful black and white snow scene painting on the First Friday website so we headed off to a place called the Living Room Cafe on Monroe Avenue. Perfect name! A small crowd was watching “Reality Bites” on a projection tv. The screen was pulled down over some of the paintings that we had come to see but this place was comfortable. We were offered a free cup of coffee and stuck around for the rest of the movie.

Showroom Dummies

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

Larissa Cleveland photo

My hat goes off to whoever the person was that rekindled the First Friday gallery night concept. We did four last night and had a good time running into people and art. Peggi planned our route before we left the house so we knocked them off like the Griswalds in “European Vacation”. We started at the Hungerford Building with a video installation by Michael Frank. Turns out we were the video installation. The little peepholes that we at first thought were the art turned out to be cameras pointed at us. Too bad we had just finished dinner because there was a nice little spread courtesy of Palermo’s Market on Culver.

Next stop was Booksmart Studio, the nicest gallery place in town, for Larissa Cleveland’s photos of mannequins. The one above reminds me of someone who comes in and cleans our house every once in a while. On to the VSW Print Loft Gallery for an invitational photo exhibition. I got the impression that they were Visual Studies students that were invited. Our last stop was Rochester Contemporary. We did the logo for this place. Tanyo Smolinsky had some really beautiful ink, wax crayon and pencil work in the lab space but that wasn’t the main show. Michael Rogers and Jack Wax were. Bleu Cease, the gallery director, was on crutches after falling while snowboarding. We said hi to Anne Havens and wandered upstairs to the artist’s spaces where we saw this beautiful painting by Julianna Furlong Williams.