Wate rhome: We is Somebody Else
September 24 | November 9, 2013
Opening September 24 from 7-9 PM
Brand New Gallery is proud to present Waterhome: We is Somebody Else, first Italian solo exhibition by American artist James Krone.
Waterhome is the factory name of an aquarium that was given to me as a gift a few years ago. I decided that I didn’t want any animals living
in my house so I just filled the aquarium with water. The aquarium began to produce layers of algae that would eventually die and fall from
the glass walls of the tank. This fallen algae would decompose and the aquarium would continue to produce more algae. I was attracted to the
constant production of the tank. The production was the narrative and this narrative would end and then repeat and end and repeat and so on,
without any sort of progression or goal.
I began to make paintings on glue sized canvas that I had intended to stand in as locations for me to reenact the actions of the aquarium. I
chose four colors that I perceived in the algae or that combine to match certain colors suggested by the algae. I paint one monochromatic
layer of paint on the canvas per day and stop when the canvas appears to be a light absorbing, ruddy black, so that I can discern no change
from further accretion of paint. Flaws in the canvas support allow the paint to bleed through the surface in an incidental, patternless manner.
While the fronts of these paintings is where I behave as the aquarium “behaves”, the surfaces themselves are inchoate, refusing to speak of
pictorial reference beyond an ostensibly black monochrome which if having any sign value is as a sign for the historical black monochrome.
The areas where the pigment bleeds through the canvas make the reverse sides appear to resemble, mimetically, the algae covered walls of
the aquarium. I decide randomly whether or not to leave the paintings as I painted them or whether to unstretch and reverse them, exposing
the side that appears to be subjective but is, in fact, a blind material composition.
The aquarium isn’t a painter’s object like a bowl of pears is or a view from my studio window, a patient sitter in a chair, a photograph of any of
these things or even a structuralist allegory is. It is more like a cathedral without a religion. In this way, as a shell for performative inhabitation,
it is a vessel for drag. Indistinguishable as a subject or an object I use it as an attempt to drown out any narrative of artistic progress that could
be read as a lesson of biographical accumulation. Where my attempt fails to pass is where it exposes my desire to refrain from the courtship
games of expressionistic self diarizing.
The exhibitions I’ve made with this work relate to each other as different iterations yet they never seem to resolve an ideal presentation
for the work. What is causal in the paintings isn’t necessarily transferable to the expectations of exhibition. There have been arrangements
describing the process and content and there have been arrangements that have masked it, mocked it, occasionally undermining whatever
delicate potential for meaning might exist there by masochistically repositioning elements of the work as decorative artifice or as functional
objectification. Eventually the exhibits come down and I begin again. Build a cathedral and burn it down.
James Krone, May 2013