…hot air hits you as the doors slide open – you smell a combination of, what is that? Cut pine? Floor cleaner? And bitumen? Wow! Your skin prickles. Your breath quickens. You’ve finally made it to the place that has everything you need to make all the things you want to make! You’ve made it to …
A Brico is a magical place where I get the tools and materials I need to turn my abstract ideas into things that physically exist. And making these things gives me a sense of purpose in life. It’s a simple exchange.
Claude Lévi-Strauss once said that, and I am paraphrasing here, he said that the Bricoleur is someone who creates mythical thought from an ability to improvise new creations out of the pre-existing junk of the world. Nice, no?
I think this is quite a good description of what art is. I also think it’s quite a good description of why art is. I have an inherent need to make, and in the process of making, I develop a sense of self. I make, therefore, I am, and along the way, I create some mystical thought that accounts for this making.
But, I get vertigo when I think about this because, if I am the one who is making myself, with what sense of self do I do the making??? Maybe underneath all the layers of psychological cultivation and emotions and memories and loves and hurts, under all the layers of assemblage that is me, underneath all of that, there is nothing, no self, just a pure instance of existence hurtling through time like a comet, a brief flash, before the eternal nothingness that preceded it, envelopes it once again.
Jesus Christ!! No wonder I make all this stuff!! Much better to be caught in an eternal loop of assembling oneself through an act of bricolage than to contemplate the gaping chasm of unfiltered existence!! !
Look, all I am trying to say here is that there is something in the relationship between making things and making oneself, and the Brico is my metaphor about the potential of this back and forth. I want to be the Bricoleur, the amateur assemblage-maker making mythical thought out of the world-junk. It’s what the essence of this exhibition is
Some of these images have been with me for years. Photos I made but didn’t find a place for, but which, nevertheless, became an integral part of my practice. Now they sit within all the world-junk that stuck to me over time. Matchboxes from dead restaurants, reborn as lightboxes. Toy cars worn to metal and then repainted, now growing trees. Photos of cats with their owners, both long gone. Old medicine. Jpegs from the dark web. Badges from all over the world. Cigars, caps, mobile phones, bones. See and be seen. Be and be in-between. Be both the bricolage and the bricoleur. The subject and object.