Rich Barlow at the Chambers: "I Didn't Ask for Sunshine"

Rich Barlow, a Minneapolis-based artist I hope to feature here soon, captures my own conflicted feelings about going to certain art openings: out-of-place, aching slightly to fit in with the hobnobbers and well-to-do art speculators, but ultimately an outsider. In my favorite bit of art writing in awhile he recounts seeing exhibitions by Megan Rye and Andréa Stanislav at the Chambers Burnet Gallery in downtown Minneapolis. Finding works by Stanislav, which depict pop culture icons from New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders (right) to Omar from "The Wire" in layers of glitter and resin, "relentlessly bleak," he heads to the bar:
These ideas bouncing vaguely about my head, I walked out past the Angus Fairhurst gorilla, more snow-back than silverback, to the ice bar to purchase an $8 beer. (I should point out here that even Microsoft Word seems to think that "$8 beer" is a typo.) "Cheap dialogue, cheap essential scenery," perhaps, though somehow I doubt an outdoor bar carved of ice is cheap, or essential. It is pretty remarkable, though, like so much of the surroundings at Chambers, as well as seductive and fun. Just like seeing one's reflection in one of Stanislav's wall pieces, it all leads to feeling complicit in this production of desire and consumption. It's an uncomfortable sensation, and like Johnny Rotten in "Holidays in the Sun" [from which Stanislav's exhibition takes its title] it's enough to make you want to climb over the wall. Or, to see if there's enough cash left for a scotch, inside with the outsiders. They pour them pretty generously.
Read it.


Rich Barlow said...

Aw, shucks, Paul... I'm blushin'.

Thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

There's some real Lee Mullican in that piece.