Yesterday I went over to the gallery to get reacquainted with and to help install “Magic” a piece of mine from 1991. It’s included in a show organized by Vincent Fecteau, and my piece will sit alongside works from Vince and Lutz Bacher, from about the same time, when we were all residents of the Bay Area. I think the last time I saw “Magic” was in 2009, when we installed it at Location One Gallery for my show there.
It’s one of the most directly elegiac pieces I’ve ever made, and Vince and I were were joking about all the memories it surfaced while we worked alongside the handlers setting things up. Vince is showing work he first showed in our friend Rick Jacobsen’s Kiki Gallery, and Lutz’s piece is one that he helped fabricate. All in all it’s weirdly familial and creepy as a show, resurrecting a bit of 1990’s San Francisco, even as it demonstrates how very far we are from those days now.
Magic is about silenced voices and the uncanny nature of stand-ins. It’s about the drive to create characters who can say the things we can’t or won’t on our own, and whether we can trust that impulse. It’s about entertainment, and weirdly enough in the years since I made it it’s about what happens to that impulse when we shut it away, even in the name of preserving it.
The show opens on Thursday at Matthew Marks Gallery on 22nd street.