Inside Job

For once I come across a work of art that would enrage my friend Dave and instead of being enthralled find myself oddly unmoved. Since August 13 Zachary Royer Scholz has been fiddling with the detritus of the Lab’s main space, allowing visitors to come as often as they like to view the work in progress. I arrived the weekend before the end of its run and spent a good bit of time wandering about the space and jabbing at the odd bit of dangling adhesive nailed to the wall.

I dutifully began noting all the objects and arrangements in my trusty notebook before I realized I was doing so largely as an absentminded gesture. For the record here are some of the scribblings, helpfully translated from my personal secret code (i.e. lousy handwriting): “two tables placed on their sides, the tops facing each other, oversized light bulb sits between them, plugged in but unlit; arrangement of water stained panels in a grid formation on the floor; ribbon of tape and trail of orange peel hanging from wall; pillar of multicolored tape rolls; vertical stack of metal shelves; loop of garden hose hanging from ceiling; series of four mats hung on blue wire clothesline beneath which run two rows of metal plates- the kind used for crappy office furniture in the Seventies- laid out like sliced bread.” And much more.

Part of the problem is no doubt my hatred of industrial spaces. My first job was working beside the assembly line of a plastics factory in Michigan, where the grey of the architecture continues unbroken into the grey sky. As I sat there on a folding metal chair trimming the excess flash off of windshield wiper components with an exacto knife something bubbled up from somewhere deep within me screaming “get as far away from die cutters and press machines as soon as is heavenly possible.” I still get a shudder every time I pass Cellspace, which unfortunately smells exactly like the main floor of that plastic factory (to be fair, that smell might be emanating from the auto repair garage next door, but I have no inclination to investigate further).

It is only in a moment of disinterest with the jumble of items on display at Scholz’s arrangements that I look up at the ceiling and see many of the elements that have ended up on the floor. Here are those perforated ceiling tiles that formed the floor pattern, water stained and looking ready to come down at any moment. Together with the exposed bits of ventilation piping jutting out it appears almost like the looking glass surface of a reflecting pool aping back what is found below. Finding more interest in the ceiling than in the art work can’t be a good sign.

So I’m going to have to plead bias I guess, shrug and move on. Over at ArtSlant Natalie Hegert has provided a much more involved study of the piece with some excellent photographs.

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