Thursday, November 01, 2007

"The Blogger Show" @ Agni, NYC.

If you are in the NYC area this weekend (or anytime during November), stop by the Agni Gallery at 170 East 2nd street (between Avenue A and Avenue B), on the lower east side of Manhattan. I'm going to be showing my first piece ever in the Big Apple. John Morris from the Digging Pitt has put together a show of artists who write blogs that (in some way or another) have to do with the art world. The opening reception is this Saturday, November 4th, from 6-8PM. There will be 30 artists included in the exhibition at Agni representing such far flung locales as Seattle, Minneapolis, Richmond, Raleigh, Detroit, DC, Portland, Philadelphia, Boston, Jacksonville, Brooklyn and (of course) Pittsburgh. Technically it would be more appropriate to say that these folks represent virtual space, as they have all contributed to what is being referred to as The Blogger Show.

If you are stuck in Western PA- don't fret because there will be two local receptions held at Digging Pitt/DP Too (December 8th, 6-9PM) and the Panza Gallery in Millvale (December 15th, 6-9PM). Many of the same artists with work @ Agni will be displaying additional work at these galleries. Besides the piece in NYC (a drawing diptych entitled Separation of Sinner and Saint), I will be displaying photos and additional drawings at Panza. Much of this stuff has only been shown on a very limited basis in past shows. As the Blogger Show marks what is likely to be some of the last curatorial efforts of the Digging Pitt within the Burg, it only seemed right to choose examples of my work that rank among John's favorites.

The idea for The Blogger Show germinated shortly after John Morris began his own gallery blog. For a few months I limited my online activity to contributing to that site. After awhile John convinced me that I should start my own blog. It was originally conceived as a forum to post images of my work, but it evolved into something altogether different. I ended up experiencing difficulty uploading picture files (mostly because I was limited to a dial-up internet connection), and so I concentrated on my writings. Serendipity has since transformed into a mishmash of collected observations on all sorts of topics. In that respect, it is quite different than the majority of efforts undertaken by other artists included in this show. But I would argue that much of the conception that has seeped into my artwork over the last year and a half has either been reflected or stimulated by material posted here. If you would like to compare and contrast styles, both in terms of product and genesis, you can explore each individual artist's site from this page.

I'm both surprised and encouraged that my efforts have led to my participation in The Blogger Show. While publicity may have been among my original intentions when I started this project, I have ended up undermining that purpose by deciding to write under a pseudonym. That decision was made to dissociate my 'real world' persona from an assumed identity. Despite the fact that I display my work under my given name, it's true that my thought process is expressed more freely within this blog than anywhere else with public access. That reality has contributed to a strange dichotomy that I have expounded upon in a previous entry (read it here). It's perhaps ironic then that this exhibition has done more than anything else to once again connect my actual name to this blog.

The disconnect between my virtual and external lives is going to be (once again) reinforced by my choice not to attend the opening reception at Agni in person. I've put a lot of thought into traveling to NYC for the weekend, but logistical concerns have made the prospect of such a journey impractical. That's a sad situation because I don't know if I'll ever get such an opportunity again. Still my absence seems strangely appropriate given the nature of the theme of the show. I am arguably far more revealed by your computer monitor than I would be otherwise. This Saturday and this month will pass, but the show will go on in cyberspace. See you there.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jafabrit said...

I seem to have done the same thing and its only through taking time that people learn my real name. Enjoyed reading your comments, wish I could have seen the blogger show.
all the best

8:27 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

jafabrit,

Thanks for visiting and taking a moment to post a comment. Creating an online identity distinct from the bricks-and-mortar facade I wear daily is a periodic struggle. It's stimulating though, and provides fodder for the imagination.

If you can make it to Pittsburgh in December, there are the two local receptions that will culminate The Blogger Show. The Burgh is a nice place to visit once in awhile, and there is plenty to see over a weekend.

6:27 PM  

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