Walking through the alley between 4th and 5th Streets, between Central and Gold Avenue, an explosion of blood on the concrete, a woman taking pictures of gas meters, preparing to drive across the desert this afternoon to Phoenix, the thoughts racing about art process, about the use of materials, thinking about Jarrod Beck and the accretion, the forced entropy of his installation at Generator and also thinking that I’ve been out of town so much I haven’t seen any shows to write about–excepting George Shaw, Jesper Just, Lindsay Seers, the Side Gallery, the images I’ve seen of Ant Macari’s show in Sunderland (which I didn’t make time to go to). There is a sense that a million splinters equals something else, that a burned canvas with string or crushed aluminum trumps ink on paper or cast iron, which it could, but who knows? And maybe the lack of psychedelia in England is more about frugality than anything else, or what’s essential to focus on, which is why Damien Hirst I guess is so lauded and reviled.
Beck was mind-splittingly inside his installation, stained by graphite and vaseline and plaster and by his desire to translate a fragile, noumenal moment from Carlsbad Caverns into a fractured, stuttered presence that resisted the expectation of Art. That frame is hard to shake and maybe not even present in the artist’s thinking if the space itself is a true mediator of that original experience. Now, on to Phoenix.