Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hey,Hot Shot! at Jen Bekman

jen bekman's "Hey, Hot Shot!" winter annual show opened wednesday night and what a delicious treat it was indeed. I've discovered a delightful and gratifying amount of information about what jen bekman does and how this show came about. If I am correct, she has a website where photographers can submit their work and participate in a competition which leads to seasonal exhibitions which then leads to those photographers being represented by the gallery.
There is an abundance of great work from past hey,hot shot! shows such as Dylan Chatain's exploratory photographs of people and their surroundings, pictures he must have taken while traveling around the country. They seem to comment on spontaneous and curious encounters with hidden natural beauties embedded in obscure locations where garbage, McDonalds, and people abound. It's a complacent mixture of poverty, idleness, sunlight, greenery (images of country), and claustrophobia (images of people in elevators). I found an aesthetic voice in each picture that was reflective and innocent, that each picture was as pure and literal, what you see is what you see. Here are some images:

In the current show there didn't seem to be a unifying theme, a little about massive consumption of objects and information found in the works by kate bingaman-burt, whose statement explains it all:

statement :: obsessive consumption
I documented my purchases for 28 months. Every purchased item was photographed at the point of sale or soon after. Every receipt was archived and tagged. All of the documentation was uploaded to my website I created a brand out of the process to package and promote - an infinite loop of consumerism was born.
In September 2004, I started collecting all of my credit card statements each month (six total) and am copying all of them in pen and ink every month until they are paid off. I have drawn 144 statements as of October 2006. I do this as penance for my sins.
In February 2006, I started drawing one item that I purchased everyday. I have no plans to stop.
I created Obsessive Consumption, the brand, the company and the website, to showcase my love/hate relationship with money, shopping, branding, credit cards, celebrity, advertising and marketing. Personal consumer spending and monthly credit card statements ferociously fuel my work.
Obsessive Consumption is about making the mundane special. I am taking a mass produced product and personalizing it. The consumer is no longer faceless.
Obsessive Consumption conforms to the cliché that shopping is a favorite past time of society. Obsessive Consumption is repulsed and grossly fascinated by the branding of consumer culture. It wants to eat the entire bag of candy and enjoy the sickness that it feels and hour later. It doesn't want to be an outside critical observer. It wants to be an active participant. Obsessive Consumption wants to be serious. Obsessive Consumption wants to have fun. Obsessive Consumption wants to document and create from experiences through this over stimulating, nauseating world of consumer culture.
Obsessive Consumption was created to showcase my love/hate relationship with money, shopping, branding, credit cards, celebrity, advertising and marketing. The work is inspired by the ever ubiquitous, generic, delicate, sometimes stomachache inducing credit card statement, craft as activism, and general consumerism.

I find myself suffering all the time with this need to consume as much information as I can and to take that information and turn it into something productive such as posting on this blog. So in this sense, I obsessively connect with kate and I adore her over-productively in multiple channels of expression. Here's an example of her credit card bill drawing. how exquisite:


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