Art & Statement: Dog Chases Rabbit by Andrew Ross
Dog Chases Rabbit is about survival in the face of distraction. The works in place deal with work, building, food and public representations of self and businesses. I think that the milieu that I was trying to build is exemplified by the works that are presented in pairs. Two wall sculptures bearing the phrase “It’s My Pleasure,” and two miniature ovens in hot pink and orange.
“It’s my pleasure,” as seen in “Untitled (Wish You were Here)” and “Untitled (Blindness Lends Insight)” is a phrase that I associate with the service industry. I thought that I wanted to make art using it while I myself was working on a job. I was managing the studio of an older, more established artist, and one of my tasks was to facilitate its maintenance. Upon thanking an electrician who came in one day, he said to me rather blankly, as if scripted, “It’s my pleasure, heck, it’s my job.”
The moment had a profound effect on me. It set up a dichotomy, which was further complicated by his body language and the inflection in his voice. I spoke to someone recently about my wall pieces, and they made an interesting correlation between the wall used as the backing for the work and the recipient of the phrase, homogenized as one in a series of many presented this line.
The ovens, “Untitled (Mom)” and “Untitled (Seven Easy Steps)” are musings on the thought of decorating in order to embody one’s task or profession. My studio is in Sunset Park, just a couple blocks from “Industry City,” a complex filled with small to large scale niche businesses, many of them being bakeries.
I think a lot about the decision to start a business like a bakery and how large of a factor color and decoration must play. There was a time when pastel colored stoves were common. I think a lot of us are familiar with images from a forgone past (maybe in the 50’s) of kitchens fitted with pastel green appliances. I believe Baudrillard has a chapter about it in “The System of Objects.”
Now a days, it seems that colorful appliances are reserved for those trying to make a statement through their tools. I wanted to make my ovens on a scale between the well-known toy, EZ Bake, and the real thing. I used a cardboard box as the substrate, and left its facing exposed where the window to the oven would be. The result is a sort of picture frame for the cardboard, which bears the markings of having been manhandled in service of the sculpture. I also appreciate that it adds an almost narrative element to the work, being that cardboard is not something that you would want inside of your oven, unless of course it had just been delivered from the factory.
“Dog Chases Rabbit” will be on view at SIGNAL, 260 Johnson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11206, from September 11 – October 4, 2015.
Acid Rain’s Art & Statement series places artwork alongside the artists own words in an effort to distribute and promote artists’ writings and a greater understanding of contemporary processes and ideas.