Tom Judd Brings the Myth of the West Back Home
“Go West, young man” was the catchphrase for generations of young Americans, urged to throw themselves into the rush of America’s Manifest Destiny. A century later, Tom Judd decided to go East, but the myth of the West was never left far behind, and this month the Salt Lake City “expatriate” brings to Modern West Fine Art a new collection of work focusing on when (and how) the West was settled.
Don’t Fence Me In is filled with a number of small, collage-based works, and some larger ones, too. While Judd works in both acrylic and oil (doing the backgrounds of his large paintings with acrylic, the foregrounds in oil), on his collage works (he has always incorporated a lot of collage) he uses only acrylic “because I want to work fast. Those small pieces are dependent on my striking while the iron is hot – not going in and refining them. They are the lynchpin of the show. They are slightly subversive: out to deconstruct the [Hollywood] myth, to turn it on its head – the noble thing about our national character while we were wiping out the Indians. This manifest destiny shit; the whole macho Marlboro man stuff. I want them fresh."
Judd allows, however, that he loves the myth itself “as long as it stays a myth and is not sold to us as the truth.”
Music: Artist Profile
Andrew Shaw Rocks to the Beat of a True Gemini
“It seems so hard to get people to actually listen to music,” says Salt Lake City rock musician Andrew Shaw. “There's so much saturation right now with so many bands making great music and other entertainment vying for your attention. Someone dedicating any amount of time in their day to listen to the sounds I've created is great. And if they have some sort of emotional response to it, even better.”
Shaw recognizes that, when it comes to consuming music, we live in a different world than he did in high school. Twenty years ago, purchasing an album was a commitment. You owned that record and you looked at it; you unpacked it and kept it in your CD player to listen to over and over again. “Now that everything has gone to streaming, it seems more like visiting a buffet where I get a taste of this and a taste of that, then quickly move on to the next thing,” Shaw explains. As a musician, he knows that is how people encounter his music as well.
Exhibition Review: Salt Lake City
Laurel Caryn's History of Photography at Alice Gallery
Raise your hand if you have sat in a hardback chair in a darkened room, surrounded by rows of people sitting in similarly uncomfortable chairs, listening to a monotone voice explain to you a moment in history while you viewed an image projected onto a screen…
Raise your hand if you know the noisy clank of a slide carousel, the hum of its fan, and the rhythmic shift from one image to the next…
Raise your hand if you have seen a slide library, those shallow drawers stacked atop each other full of plastic squares holding 35mm positive film, thousands of images neatly arranged to represent history as a visual chronology…
For generations of non-millennial students, the slide library, darkened lecture hall and distinctive hum and click of the slide projector were hallmarks of the educational experience. Prior to digital imaging and asking The Goog for any and all things, professors loaded slide carousels with small plastic squares holding positive film so that when the slides were projected onto a screen the audience would see lights, shades, and colors true to the original object (i.e. the opposite of a negative). Slides are now obsolete as instructional materials and have become historical objects in and of themselves, but in this context they carry historical meaning and therefore power. In History of Photography, her current exhibition at Alice Gallery, Laurel Caryn appropriates the slide libraries from the art history and photography departments of the University of Utah (where Caryn is Assistant Professor/Lecturer in the Art and Art History Department) to reflect upon the slide as both object and purveyor of the historical canon. She uses simple techniques and simple visual cues to set the stage for a rich reflection on the photographic object, the collective memory, and the teaching of history.