Gabriel Reed, Cohort ’13
As a newbie Septemberist, I couldn’t think of a more perfect re-introduction to NYC than the IDSVA New York Residency 2015. I felt blessed to finally meet the faculty, staff, cohorts ’14 and ’13 while co-creating a continuous conversation of heartfelt inquiry throughout morning coffee and paper presentations (shout-out to the endless supply of lifesaver mints). Tucked between trains, museum visits and a Pace Gallery panel discussion on Happenings, the dialogue persisted as a continually present gift.
What better way to punctuate this extraordinary residency than a sunny Saturday visit to Dia Beacon and special exhibition of Carl Andre works titled, Sculpture as Place (1958-2010). These cuts in space filled four full rooms showing a broad range of axial symmetry where the intersection and arrangement of manufactured objects created a series of art conditions that as Andre put it, “do not quite exist.” Two works, among many, significantly reflected my feelings about the week. Upon entrance to Gallery No. 1 was a work sprawled on the floor called Scatter (1966). I’d like to think that much like this jumbled mix of ball bearings, blocks, and washers, our IDSVA cohorts were equally dropped on the floor of ideas, each tumbling and crashing into one another with a spontaneous inertia, leaving me as a balanced washer held in perpendicular equivalence, stopped but ready to roll onward.
Throughout the remaining museum galleries were placed square grids of metal tiles below our feet, building rooms without walls where one could begin to feel their invisible structures and strong connection to language. This was made clear by volumes of Andre’s poetry, simple in form but rich in repetitive complexity. Connecting sculpture to poetry was integral to his work and while contemplating this collision I made my way down to the basement where there was a bonus part of the exhibition, a whole room of smaller studio works, photographs, and articles. Here I found a final sculpture which I would happily give my remaining ten minutes: Cask of Meats (1959) is an examination of space as a transparent and empty medium with no need to turn the page if you can already see through it.
It wasn’t until I saw the small red book with a circular void that I understood what the past semester at IDSVA had given me: an absence, a new cut in language and space concealed between the covers. Thanks to all for a grand week of sharing stories and creating questions.