Sunday, July 19, 2009

ARTIST’S STATEMENT Working against the backdrop of a global art practice that is all too often a self-contained tautology, my body of work has often been described (and dismissed) as merely "political". But it is not political in the traditional sense. From the earliest point in my career I have delved into the question of the "gay sensibility". As an amalgam of Aubrey Beardsley and Johnny Rotten, I have been influenced by the theoretical issues raised by performance and conceptual art, but rather than take the standard trip down memory lane into the suck-and-fuck paradigm, I've positioning myself as an ironic spectator. Cherry-picking at will from mutually exclusive sources - the morning headlines, the official record of 20th century art, the signs and signifiers of the gay male underground – has allowed me to explore the spaces between these charged relationships. While it is old news that the male body continues to be a provocation, ironically, a critique of masculinity has gone largely unexplored. Herein lies the challenge: The proposition explored in much of my work is that it should be possible to be simultaneously hot and sweaty and critical and detached. It is desirable -- even exhilarating -- to question the givens of our cultural baggage while at the same time allowing ourselves to be wrapped in its brawny arms. If there is any theme that unites my disparate body of work it is that it concentrates on the representative gestures of maleness, their signifiers, and their remains. Even though it is virtually indefinable, this much I know for certain: necks are meant for sticking out, envelopes are meant for pushing, and art is not suitable for family viewing, nor must it be emotionally uplifting. Art must refuse to kowtow to the limitless demands for the familiar and the safe and the conventional. Art has nothing to do with social work or political stability or with the ending of negative stereotypes: these are the jobs for propagandists. It's a tough world out there; do we really need any more decorators? After fully moving over to the digital side in 2000, I have established a presence internationally through my participation in New Media events and festivals in Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Cuba, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, and Venezuela. In 2001 I returned to Canada after living abroad for many years, and after a great deal of time and effort the last of the prison tattoos have finally been removed. What follows in a more or less chronological order are the artworks, texts, and interviews that have kept me preoccupied and off the streets for the past couple of decades. If you make it to the end, you'll find a complete list of my peripatetic wanderings. BRUCE EVES

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

THE HISTORY OF LIGHT In the early 1990s I embarked on a project investigating the possibilities of pinhole photography. Generally used as a game to amuse small children, it is a way of making photographic images without the use of a camera. The paradox of using low-end means to achieve high concept results both satisfied my craving for a Luddite means of production and a way to reference issues current in contemporary art. At its simplest, a small hole is made in the wall of a dark room allowing the tiny beam of light entering the room to project an image of the outside world on the opposite wall. Historically, it was a tool used by painters like Johannes Vermeer to side step the complexities of perspective. Any light tight container will do: a shoebox for example. The “lens” is merely a piece of tinfoil with a pinprick set into one side of the box. A sheet of photographic paper is mounted opposite the lens. Once the exposure has been made, the paper is processed in the usual fashion in a darkroom, and the resulting negative image can then be contact printed to produce a positive image. What is unusual about the process is that the pinhole captures an image with an indefinite depth of field so that all objects near and far, are perfectly in focus. The lengths of exposures are learned through trial and error, and depending of the light and weather conditions an exposure could be as long as thirty minutes. This would render any moving object invisible. The results are often gloom and forlorn. The nine photographs reproduced here are drawn from a 20 image series. Drawn together under the elusive title of “The History of Light” this suite was created largely in Brooklyn, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. With it’s capacity for an indefinite depth of field, pinhole photographs of small mundane objects assume the monumentality of public sculpture. An ordinary one dollar bill becomes as obnoxious and intrusive as a billboard dominating a junkyard and an accidental light leak renders a Ken doll into a seductively insinuating figure hovering over a bubbling cauldron worthy of the brothers Grimm. Scribbling on and adding collage elements to the negative ups the ante for a picture’s conceptual implications, and the medium is ideally suited to transform the mere gothic into something more satisfyingly overwrought and post- apocalyptic. BRUCE EVES

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009