Hearts and Fireworks / Burning the Many, Installation view, 2009

Our first exhibition features three new pieces by Andrew Rigsby. Hearts and Fireworks a digital video is projected on one wall of the space, Burning the Many a painted dyptych frames the video and Purple Heart sits on the wall (not shown). The installation is a reflection on mortality and age. These pieces are part of a series Rigsby has produced about reflections and memories. Each video is a marker for a specific time or place in life. Burning the Many is as much a light box as painting. Installed in an interior window it uses the existing light from the adjacent room to illuminate the panels. This piece is a response to the video installation. The final element of the exhibition, Purple Heart, is a cut out mdf painting mounted on the wall in the space, it’s dark hues blend in with the subdued light of the exhibition space. This piece is a meditation on the pain that comes after a wound has been inflicted.

Exhibition continues through Aug 15th. Please email info@wot-it-is.com to schedule an appointment.


post_fireworks and hearts from andrew rigsby on Vimeo.

It’s all about the after. And the before. It’s about the future, as well as the past.
It’s almost never about the now.
It’s about standing still. And it’s about moving. About looking back. But pushing forward. It’s about not knowing what comes next, having no clue, but still acting, doing something, anything.
If you ask the artist, he’ll talk about highway driving, chasing the sun with a car. Long distance. He’ll talk about things on the horizon getting closer, growing to where you recognize them and then them passing and fading behind you.
It’s about the other thing that then comes into view.
There is a word for all this: Longing. I like the length implied with this word. The actual distance imparted by it. It’s appropriate.
In Oak Park, Illinois in the front room of a house turned gallery Andrew Rigsby’s latest video plays on a wall. It’s large, projected, and has no sound. There is a barbeque in the backyard, the inaugural show for a new gallery, and the gathering of people in attendance go through the room with the video to get to the food and beer. This is a model of showing that has worked well for Chicago, the apartment gallery. It’s an intimate, work-horse ready atmosphere. No pretension. Practical. Honest and genuine. An ideal setting for Rigsby’s work. This is not a wine and cheese event. It is the beginning of summer and there is still a chill to the air. No one really trusts it, but everyone is comfortable with it, accepts it as the way things are. Chicago weather. Chicago work. People linger with the video, beer in hand, usually alone, before they head out back for air and conversation.
One would think the art stops at the door. That it doesn’t travel outside. But that would be naive. This is sticky work.
On the surface, the video appears simple. A silhouetted image of a human heart frames a frenetic slideshow of colorful fireworks, both moving, forward and back in space, pulling and pushing at each other at different speeds. The firework slideshow is fast and frantic. The outlined heart is slow and plodding. The combination is brutal.
Have no doubt, this is sad work. It is melancholy. Bitter sweat. Even a little depressing. But along with the sadness, there is hope. There is the idea of potential, anticipation, a crowd of prospective happiness, talking, gathering together and meeting each other, having a drink or two or three or more, making your way through new and old faces, smelling backyard smoke for the first time after a hard winter. This is where the work lives. This is how the work lives.
I feel the summer in Rigsby’s work. Not the meaty middle firework time. But the end-nearing, can’t-hold-on-to-it, wish-there-was-more-of-it time. And there’s a secret. It’s a secret which the artist has figured out and is attempting to let us in on. There is more. This work is an Indian Summer. It’s a gift.
Stand still and watch explosions in the sky. Kinetic movement above you. Underneath, looking up, you are powerless compared. You are static, still, and quiet. But keep in mind that you will not burst. You will not spontaneously catch on fire. You will not sputter and spit and quickly burn off into the night. You will be small and subtle and dark next to the fire but you will remain. It will pass before you.

Text by Alain Douglas Park, July 2009

Andrew Rigsby: Post_ installation images + text | 2009 | Artists | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments (0)

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