BULLETIN BOARDS AT VENUS OVER MANHATTAN
By Kam Dhillon
Last night, an unseasonably cool summer evening in New York signaled the opening of Venus Over Manhattan's sophmore exhibition, Bulletin Boards. The gallery's latest outing, a group show curated by Matthew Higgs of White Columns Gallery, asked over 20 practicing artists and creatives to present work using a bulletin board. Participants include Darren Bader, GAVIN BROWN, Bjarne Melgaard, Virginia Overton, Daniel Turner, Vince Aletti, Rita Ackermann, NATE LOWMAN, RVNG Intl, MARC HUNDLEY, and Mike Cloud among others.
Grown from Higgs' previous projects involving the bulletin board as a new lens in which to view work in the gallery space, the project's basic aim is to subvert the board's obvious function as an overlooked office supply. Higgs' newly imagined bulletin board is an autonomous space that 'frames' any material it may contain, much like the traditional museum vitrine, just a lot less expensive.
We bumped into friend of OC MARC HUNDLEY, who opted for a minimalist approach in his bulletin board composed of well-designed musings. We also snapped man of the hour Matthew Higgs in front Brandon Degan's bulletin board, which doubles as museum shop where gallery-goers are free to buy a book and drop the dollar in an aptly placed box––all compacted into the prescribed 3x4 bulletin board space. But perhaps the most ingenious participant was the RVNG Intl. The Brookly label invited a select group of musicians to contribute an object to be used as a percussion instrument arranged and affixed to the bulletin board, which Van Teighem later played.
While some participants took the bulletin board as a literal, specific space to organize thoughts and visual emblems, others reoccupied the board as a raw canvas. Bjarne Melgaard's explosive collage was a firm favourite; he may have slightly dismissed size limitations but his piece's brash visuality (a real kaleidoscopic sludge of color) commanded attention amidst more muted neighbours. A performance by Van Teighem, as well as DJ sets by Matthew Higgs, Nick Relph, and RVNG's Matt soundtracked the evening. Have a look at the photos from last night's opening!