On Friday night we had the opening of Paul and Melissa’s project EIDIA House. A segment of an extended project that has been in place since 1979, the works consisted of 40 cubes, made up from exhibition invitations from different galleries visited by Paul and Melissa in New York. Engaging with the each individual artwork gave reference to not only a Judd box moment, but also is like visiting a collection of exhibitions in down town New York from around 2011 to now. A conceptual and aesthetically beautiful representation of the ready-made.
EIDIA’s interests and influences come from the mundane objects in everyday life to high design and architecture of the past to future. The duo also take inspiration from artists of the past and present as well as writers and poets. The art practice of Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Broodthaers, Donald Judd, Louise Bourgeois, Hannah Wilke, William Burroughs and Joseph Beuys hold strong influence on EIDIA’s trajectory as creative producers.
The practice of Melissa P. Wolf and Paul Lamarre (aka EIDIA) is consistently an interdisciplinary endeavor exploring the dynamics of art politics, social spaces, and the environment. Their work presents its form through multimedia installations, photography, sculpture, film/video, painting and aesthetic research. They are co-founders of “Plato’s Cave” a public exhibition space, and The Deconsumptionists Art As Archive 48 ft. trailer, ‘nomadic hybrid’—a curatorial outpost and sustainable art practice with archive. The Deconsumptionists project’s had its launch in 2011 as Wolf and Lamarre were invited visiting fellows at Sydney College of the Arts—subsequently resulting in their appointment as Research Affiliates of the University of Sydney. The Deconsumptionists first museum solo exhibition (2014) was at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Their varied works also include FOOD SEX ART – The Starving Artist’s Cookbook Video Series and “the nea tapes” documentary film / archive. These and other limited edition artist books, and documentary films are in numerous collections internationally. Wolf and Lamarre are Sundance Institute Fellows with numerous awards in filmmaking. See: http://www.eidia.com
A long-term plan is the EIDIA House Compound, a building complex and foundation devoted to the arts, utilizing repurposed shipping containers and semi-trailers. EIDIA House is currently fundraising for this project.
The RAYGUN PROJECTS exhibit consists of (40) 5 inch (127cm) cubes constructed from gallery exhibition invitation cards of thick cardstock. These cubes are partially assembled by EIDIA and then completed by the RAYGUN staff according to EIDIA video instructions. The cubes are stand-alone art works that can be placed anywhere in the gallery as the RAYGUN staff chooses.
It may be of interest that previous fabricated cubes were created (1979 to present) in materials such as bronze, iron, lead, marble, concrete, granite, rubber, wax, and various common and exotic woods and now card stock. This shift in materials to art exhibition invitations beginning in 2015 addresses a topic of the discarded mundane propaganda of art becoming the art itself.
“A readymade is a work of art without an artist to make it, if I may simplify the definition. A tube of paint that an artist uses is not made by the artist; it is made by the manufacturer that makes paints. So the painter really is making a readymade when he paints with a manufactured object that is called paints.”
Thierry de Duve, “The Readymade and the Tube of Paint,” in Kant After Duchamp (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1996), 163.
So too, EIDIA’s practice seeks to transmogrify the mundane objects of the everyday life to symbolic signifiers—a hyperbolic commentary on what constitutes an art object. Recall how Marcel Duchamp referred to his Bicycle Wheel as a charge for “causality”—taking it upon oneself to assign new meaning to something perhaps abstract, obtuse or with a meaning that is not initially clear and needs clarification.
EIDIA maintains that their diversified discipline—working numerous material and matter of art simultaneously—demands harnessing and containment within one modest, symbolic form, to aid in the understanding of what EIDIA’s practice is. In this case a 127cm, (5×5 inches) cube made of cardstock exhibition invitations.
EIDIA STUDIO NY
I must say that the (EIDIA) Toowoomba show is a brilliant example of the strategy of translating artistic paratexts back into art objects! Very clever!
Sean Lowry http://www.seanlowry.com