Thursday, November 12, 2009

Death by sculpture

Once in a while a movie with art as its subject is so abject that it demands to be featured on OTN. Jimmy Zip is such a movie. Bear in mind that the director/writer’s first feature was about a skateboarder named Orpheus and friends who go to Hell to stop television signals because they are brainwashing America, and read on.

Jimmy Zip and his Tourette's inflicted sculptor friend, makes art from leftovers in a car wrecker’s yard. What better way to make money and escape a crime lord than to sell said art in an uptown Mary Boone-type dealer gallery? The two front up, one all puppy dog enthusiasm, the other trailing a cloud of inappropriate language, and the dealer offers Jimmy and Tourettes-guy an instant exhibition, thanks to the quality of the work and some standover tactics by the CL. As the dealer explains to Jimmy, “Your patron set this up so that you got your show or my brains were going to be used to revive Abstract expressionism.” The boys are told to tux up, “It’ll add class to the opening,” and then stick out like sore thumbs among the well-suited, open-shirted clientele. There’s wine, and speeches and canap├ęs City Gallery style and one of the open-shirted ones buys a sculpture for $6,000.

The kinetic sculptures in the movie were made by Peter Reiquam who has an MFA in sculpture from Yale (OMG). One of Reiquam’s more recent commissions was “a sculptural scale for weighing food waste in the dining hall of the Puget Sound Environmental Learning Center on Bainbridge Island.” He is also responsible for some Scott Burton lookalike chairs for a commuter rail station in Portland.

The epic ends with Zip burning the Crime Lord to a crisp in his car using one of his kinetic-slash-pyrotechnic sculptures. As EYEcontact’s John Hurrell might say, a lot to think about.

Images: Top to bottom, left to right. Top, the boys bring their work in for exhibition, game on. Middle, tink, tink, tink, “may I have your attention.”, tux talks to dealer. Bottom, collector tests the product, sculpture versus Crime Lord - sculpture 10, CL 0.