Platforming is an art of building. Not simply running an art gallery, moderating a panel discussion, hosting a radio show, putting on a talent showcase, making a web-TV station, or organizing an outdoor experimental film festival; none of these activities themselves would necessarily constitute platforming, were it not for the condition of their building, which contains an immaterial mortar that holds the thing together. The mortar is in part the aesthetic personality of the platform maker, along with the unpredictable confluences brought to the platform by the platformed and the intended audience, all this combined with certain elements that remain undefinable long after the event or situation has taken place
For its new show LOCUST PROJECTS invites five platformers to work their magic.
Gaylen Gerber, steadfast godfather of platforming, drops in with one of his site-specific “paintings”. Made out of gray photographic backdrop paper that covers all the walls of the exhibition area, Gerber’s paintings negotiate a space between a critical practice that highlights and questions the conditions of institutional display and a more open and inclusive collaborative drive. At Locust, all the other artists will be working over his painting.
Nicholas Frank is probably the most versatile of platformers. He’s maintained a gallery, organized a radio hour, and hosted a lecture series, among many other activities. For this show, he will organize the “Locust Branch” of his Nicholas Frank Public Library. Unlike other public libraries, the books in the NFPL don’t come with their contents already in place. It is the viewers who are to contribute—however they see fit—the content to otherwise blank books. The collections of the NFPL are depots of local knowledge and personal _expression.
Since 1997, Paul Drueke has been collecting snapshots from regular folks involved in what may be considered social activities—birthdays parties, half-court basketball games, luncheons, etc. Collectively, this group of images, currently in the hundreds, is known as “A Social Event Archive.” At Locust, Drueke will show a selection of the archive and will invite visitors to contribute their own images to it.
This is General Store’s second visit to Locust. Last year, GS invited hundreds of artists to make drawings with that old staple of high school nerd-dom—the four-color pen. For this exhibition, GS will present a selection of another project for which they invited dozens of artists to produce their version of the perfect mixtape. We’ll be cranking up the tunes.
Although the other four participants hail from the Midwest and bring with them a hopeful and democratic attitude, London-based John Russell brings in the darkness. A former member of the too-little-known collective BANK, Russell has been edited the anthologies Frozen Tears and Frozen Tears II, to which he has invited artists and writers—people as dissimilar as Art & Language and Dennis Cooper—t o contribute horror stories. Rusell shipped a selection of his anthologies to Locust. On the way, however, they were all first sent to some of the original contributors so that they could be pissed on. To the inclusive impulse of the Midwesterns, Russell pits the nastiness of the body, the possibility of contamination, the disaffection that often finds form in disgusting adolescent gestures, a little foul odor to mar all the joy in the room.
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