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David Snyder

The five-gallon bucket. A metaphor for “from” in relation to words, concepts, and images – Snyder explores the way in which such a container can carry the content, if not burden, of a message.

Snyder is a not-so-surprisingly verbose speaker who engages the audience powerfully with the content of his own message: that art is the result of value. Without value in the message, how else can art be defined?  Snyder seeks to answer this by “emptying the bucket” and create oppositions of content and derived meaning.

His work, Night Conversations with None Other (2011), depicted above, perfectly embodies this notion of destabilizing content and value assumptions. The visual disarray of edits from a cabin on fire to the lot which contains the cabin, overlaid by a narrative not unlike a life coach’s cassette tape plays into the ambiguity of messages and values within the offsetting work.

Going through his thirty videos on his Vimeo account, one starts to understand a fuller picture of the man behind the works. Snyder does not seek to entertain or even provide comfort to the viewer. He instead looks to catch the viewer off guard. What ever expectations you might hold as the viewer, quickly they unravel and unravel until you are left with disarray – attempting to extract meaning from the work. What goes unspoken, however, is that this meaning one searches for is not necessarily in the work, but of  the work. One must ask why Snyder performs as he does – once this question is validated and answered, some truth may be understood.

Admittedly, for this viewer, I have yet to fully answer the question and understand fully the genius that is David Snyder.

 

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Alejandro Cesarco

Alejandro Cesarco genuinely impressed me by the end of his short, but well-versed lecture on his works and experiences as an artist. A native of Uruguay, Cesarco’s works are playful but laced with a dangerous imposition to the user: self-reflection. While exploring additional examples of his works, I couldn’t help but find myself at first smirking at his statement-based pieces such as When I’m Happy (2006) and Picture #8 (2007) – but then immediately feeling a feeling of emptiness. It is as if the piece leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth – purposely though so as to create tension between the viewer and the work.

 

“Picture #8” (2007)

Other works of Cesarco, such as his Baloise Art Prize-winning The Streets Were Dark With Something More Than Night Or The Closer I Get To The End The More I Rewrite The Beginning (2011) explore a unique narrative of a detective-like story. Playing out in a noir fashion, the installation is astounding for its ability to place the viewer in the role of an investigator propelled along his creation of a storyline thorugh simple prints and projections.

Cesarco deserves the attention and acclaim he has thus far received – I can only hope that he continues on this path of success without forgetting his roots that make him and his work impossible not to love.


Lead photo credit: http://www.rolexmentorprotege.com/FILE/7306.jpg?w=960&h=540
Photo #8 credit: http://www.fluentcollab.org/mbg/index.php/letterfromeditor/index/179