“I am for an art that grows up not knowing it is art at all, an art given the chance of having a starting point of zero. I am for an art that embroils itself with the everyday crap & still comes out on top. I am for an art that imitates the human, that is comic, if necessary, or violent or whatever is necessary.”
– Claes Oldenburg, 1961
Auxiliary Projects is proud to present its third exhibition, Adam Thompson’s “From the Desk of Adam Thompson,” opening on February 15, 2013 and on view through March 17th. “From the Desk of Adam Thompson” is a solo exhibition of drawings and video works. There will be an opening reception Friday, February 15th, from 6-10pm, coinciding with Bushwick’s twice-yearly “Beat Nite,” when local galleries stay open late. In this season’s event, ten galleries including Auxiliary Projects were selected by curator Julian Jimarez-Howard to comprise “Beat Nite: Limited Edition.”
Over the past 6 years, Adam Thompson has created a vast quantity of simple, distinctive line drawings, each on 8.5” x 11” paper, representing the banal, charming, depressing, mysterious, brilliant and stupid shit that happens to us, or occurs to us, everyday. With a pared-down surrealist style, as if one’s dreams were illustrated with IKEA assembly instructions, Thompson’s images invert, fragment and distort the usual visual relationships: an airplane has no wings, a genie’s lamp dreams of a genie’s lamp, a coffin has a disturbing EKG readout, a page of writing features lines of illegible text-like marks, helium balloons float their way up through doorways in the ceiling, a glob of pills gets stuck on its way down a throat.
Thompson’s repository of thousands of drawings is rich and varied, yet also monotonous and eventually maddening. This maddening monotony is echoed in the installation of “From the Desk of Adam Thompson.” The gallery is presented as an institution—part corporate office, part public library—displaying and housing over 1,000 small drawings hung on the wall up to the ceiling, archived in filing cabinets, and stacked vertically in shiny silver frames on the floor. Some drawings will remain inaccessible to viewers; you can trust us that they are there. “Surplus” drawings, neither hung nor stacked, are stored in the filing cabinets and comprise a passive/aggressive database, only partially available for viewing.
After years spent creating this incomplete catalogue of his consciousness, Thompson has begun to find his material “out there.” And of course by “out there,” we mean on the Internet. Two recent videos on view feature low-tech, kinetic video collage. In “Hallway”, a gleaming institutional floor is intruded upon at irregular intervals by a series of absurdly out of place objects, goofy mismatched sound effects, distortions, and interventions. In “Face,” a cartoon everyman head floats through a variety of absurd, terrifying, and mundane situations, his expressionless visage never reacting with more than a blink.
“Life is just one damned thing after another.” Attributed to L.Ron Hubbard.