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Notes on B + B, Encore, 2009.

From: Art GALLERY <Art.GALLERY@msvu.ca>

Date: March 20, 2009 8:56:26 AM PDT (CA)

To: jasonwff@shaw.ca

Subject: Notes on B + B, Encore

Hi Jason,

After being pre-empted by the snowstorm, our panel (minus the Religious Studies specialist) convened and held a 90-minute palaver concerning your work.

Staffer Katie Belcher and I took notes.  Attached and pasted below are the transcripts of both sets of notes.

After about 2 weeks I should be in a position to start work on the catalogue.

Everyone in the discussion was fascinated and challenged by your work.  Thank you for an unforgettable exhibition.

Ingrid

Informal Panel Discussion of Bite and Burn, Encore

10 March 2009, MSVU Art Gallery

With Wallace Brannen, Peter Dykhuis, Craig Leonard, Jayne Wark, Katie Belcher, Ingrid Jenkner

Brannen

In 1970 local tattoo artist, Bob MacLean, made a print in the NSCAD Litho Workshop based on one of his original tattoo designs, Whore’s Doom. Iconographically it is entirely unexceptional! Brannen is preparing an article on NYC artists of the 70s who used tattoos as a printmaking image source.  While in Halifax, Vito Acconci considered acquiring a tattoo of line demarcating his entire body front from the back—but demurred.  At that point Jerry Ferguson, who accompanied him to the tattoo parlour, had Acconci bite him on the leg.  The tattooist then inked the bitemarks in a tattoo.

Jenkner

Similarly to a printed impression, the activity on the platform left a permanent compression of one corner.  A performance trace left in the material.  The indexicality of the blood trace (evidentiary) and the “footprint” of the performance.  How does this link to the authenticity valued in Death Metal, the search for self via a witnessed ordeal?  (Evidence of event left in the gallery space post- performance; this really happened.)

Leonard

Reduction (non-representational, non-melodic, etc.) a trope of musical and artistic minimalism.

Amped sound of tattoo gun: Loudness is often characteristic of Noise, as is the use of a tool in place of a musical instrument.  Noise (music) represents a disruptive form of resistance; sound of gun reflects the parallel disruption of traditional tattoo norms in the tattoo designed by Jason.

Lou Reed’s proto-Industrial Music album of 1975, Metal Machine (feedback) is reminiscent of the effect of the 3 Bite and Burn videos playing simultaneously, with the sound clashing and blending.  Also comparable to Brian Eno’s No Wave Noise composed of feedback, guitar, vocal and arrhythmic drumming.

In that it is noisy, non-narrative, and aurally irritating, Death Metal is comparable to early Noise and Industrial Music.

Wark et al. on tropes of masculinity

Compare Throbbing Gristle and the Viennese Aktionists.  Blood sacrifice and mortification of the flesh.  Jason’s performance not comparable to Robert Morris’s machismo style of presenting himself, but rather a non-armoured search for self, authentic experience.

Beuys’ social sculpture and art events grounded in a response to the Holocaust and trauma. Is Jason also engaged in a ritual of healing post trauma through voluntary experience of pain?

Judith Butler’s concept that we perform ourselves to others as though looking into the mirror for re-assurance that we are who we think we are.

The witnessing role of the performance audience: shock arises from the violation of boundary between private and public space.

Dykhuis

The anti-tattoo: Bite and Burn tattoos resemble the blackout rectangle normally associated with covering up a disliked tattoo.  Emphatically contra orthodox tattoo culture. The spinal tattoo closely resembles an earlier black wall-floor sculpture illustrated on the artist’s website.

Gang of One: one foot in artworld the other in a subculture.  Working class aesthetics and task-oriented constructions comparable to those of Kelly Mark.

Encore functions as the summation and counterpoint to the previous Bite and Burn “tour.”

Encore:  T-shirts, Open Platform, Live Band, frontal tattoo

VS

B & B: record Albums, Enclosed Cubicle, Recorded Music, spinal tattoo

Katie’s Notes

BITE AND BURN ENCORE, GENDER AND THE DISTRESSED BODY NOTES

Rites of Passage

Mood aspiring to manhood

Painful ritual of healing and purification

Opened to self-investigation

Not armoured, not self-sufficient and self-contained

Creating rituals of authenticity in an attempt to gain it.

Minimalism

Connections to the nuances in music and visual art

Limited “minimal” design of the tattoo

References to minimalist sculpture in the platform

Sound

Loudness as a characteristic of noise

Amplified tattoo gun as an instrument

i.   Industrial music

ii.   Use of unorthodox instrumentation to create noise

References: Douglas Kahn, History of Noise, Jacques Attali, Noise

i.   noise as resistance to dominant system (power).

ii.   The line and its presence in noise music

iii.   Lou Reed: 16 minutes of feedback.  Just as he was becoming accepted more into popular mainstream, he challenged musical convention (to break a contract?)

iv.   Brian Eno’s “Now Wave”: feedback, guitar, voice, arrhythmic drumming

Esoteric and quasi-intellectual music whereas Jason listened more to juvenile metal.

i.   Metal was for him about authenticity. Metal vs. Rock (glitz/glamour/celebrity)

ii.   Gendered form of music, idea of authenticity yet he is not presenting himself as a macho, both vulnerable and stoic.

The Tattoo

Decision of the linear shaped tattoo

(Noise and the) (M)(m)inimalist line

i.   Straight

ii.   Minimal gesture

iii.   More like a stencil

iv.   Lack of representation

v.   Simplification/purification

vi.   Act of noise because of its resistance to a dominant system

“Gang of One” Disregarding tattoo history; intervening/disrupting the common form of tattoo. He remains outside of tattoo culture

Negating a bad tattoo, blocking out the image

Mondrian patterning on his body

Process based work

Faux construction jobs: building of the platform

Kelly Mark as working class hero: class/work analogy

Is he anti-intellectual?

Not resistant, not controlling of his work

Open to interpretation

Wants to situate himself within the art history

Is this the appeal of Beuys? An artist outside of traditional materials to look up to?

Religion

Symbolic elements:

i.   Under the light

ii.   Across the chest, openness

iii.   Mortification of the flesh

iv.   Martyrdom

v.   Proclamation as a prophet

vi.   Passivity/punishment

Spectacle of pain and the ritual of ordeal

Joseph Beuys

i.   Acted like the messiah fro German people said all art is political (art materials not from an art store)

ii.   holocaust, mass trauma vs personal trauma, solipsistic

iii.   Problematic to call up references without taking responsibility

Close to the Viennese Aktionists.

Printmaking

Platform absorbing an imprint, compression; never leveling off after the performance.

Editioning as a practice of printmaking, but keeping them together and showing them as one piece is not.

What was the possible effect on the crowd?

forcing as witness as opposed to the barrier at Struts.

During the performance, there remained an aura around him, everyone was giving him space: no contact, therefore it is not social sculpture

Focus/skill of the collaborating artists was on display (trust)

Etymology

Origin of the word Tattoo: The origin of the word tattoo is from the Samoan word tatau, meaning “open wound.” Could there also be a relation to the repetitive drumming of a military Tattoo?

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V>

This communication, including any attached documentation, is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed, and may contain confidential, personal, and/or privileged information. Any unauthorized disclosure, copying, or taking action on the contents is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please contact us immediately so we may correct our records.

Please then delete or destroy the original transmission and any subsequent reply.

Thank you.