August 24, 2009

it's hard, and i could use a little help

Chicagoist interviews Traywick Contemporary* artist Ken Fandell. The video they discuss below is one of my favorites of his.

C: Some of your pieces remind me of the myth of Sisyphus — for example, “It’s Hard, and I Could Use a Little Help” (a five-minute video in which the artist tries to assemble tiny human figurines, but ends up with a sticky mess of glue and plastic limbs). Instead of pushing a boulder that keeps rolling back down, you’re trying to make these people and it doesn’t work.

KF: When I had to write art statements, Sisyphus would come up. But a key difference is that Sisyphus would get the boulder to the top, and then the rock would roll back down — and I’m interested in never getting to the top. My work is about the process of going there — in that video, for instance, it’s important that the people are never made; the video mostly shows me trying to assemble them. (That piece took a long time to make.)

* Disclosure: I’m married to the Traywick in Traywick Contemporary. In fact, sometimes people call me “Mr. Traywick.”