Megan Evans  David Goodman  Heather L. Johnson
William Lamson  Saul Melman  Steed Taylor

Mapping the Unfamiliar:
The BoxoHOUSE  Survey 2013

September 28 – November 15 2013
Thursdays-Sundays 12-6pm and by appointment
@ BoxoOFFICE 421 Hudson Street, #701, NY, NY 10014

BoxoPROJECTS is proud to present Mapping the Unfamiliar: The BoxoHOUSE Survey 2013, the second in a series of exhibitions of works created through the BoxoHOUSE residency located in Joshua Tree, California. This year’s exhibition reveals distinct shared themes amongst a group of artists employing a diverse set of approaches and media. Most prominent is the examination of mapping  – how to make sense of the vast terrain and the complex interactions embedded therein. Another theme examines the historical and cultural specificity of perceiving and portraying landscape. All of the works respond directly to the resource constraints and abundant inspirational stimuli of the remote location – contemporary art at the new frontier.

The year saw significant growth of the residency program with six artists participating: Megan Evans, David Goodman, Heather L. Johnson, William Lamson, Saul Melman, and Steed Taylor. BoxoHOUSE is a research outpost for the investigation and development of ideas related to place, community and the environment. Residents engage with the community and the site such that there is an exchange that leaves lasting results and continuing threads.

David Goodman created a series of drawings, a sculpture and an ongoing site-specific sound installation after kicking off the 2013 season. While at BoxoHOUSE, he walked the local terrain, mapping the relationships he uncovered using found materials, paper and building materials. David’s work focuses on the visual mapping of relationships between form and materiality and his approach is comparable to archeology (the reconstruction of the visual landscape premised on its trace).

William Lamson set up a number of simple ‘actions’ in the terrain around BoxoHOUSE, using basic materials to create a platform for an experiment or an experience to occur in which the properties inherent to the material dictate its form. The results have been documented in a series of photographs on exhibition. Through these simple actions, and the necessary collaboration with forces outside of his control, William’s work explores systems of knowledge and belief.

Steed Taylor has created drawings, paintings and photographs inspired by
Celtic Knot for Joshua Tree, his cast on-site, 5 feet wide by 30 feet long concrete installation. The Celtic knot design references the infinite cycles of life, birth and rebirth. The sculpture contains small objects and other ephemera supplied by members of the local community which invoke their hopes, wishes and desires for themselves and the community. This is Steed’s first 3-dimensional large-scale work and builds off his practice of creating road tattoos in a wider variety of settings.

Saul Melman, who makes sculptures and installations, returned to BoxoHOUSE and again turned the studio into a camera obscura. Using large-scale papers he formed at his Dieu Donne residency in New York City, Saul made photosensitive materials and created a series of evocative images inspired by classical frescoes. Saul inserted himself into these images, exploring a performative element that is prominent in his practice at large. The resulting works consider aspects of history, memory and dislocation.

Heather L. Johnson is exhibiting works in which layers of information are intricately stitched on linen and give the appearance of ink drawings. These works result from a three-month-long project, titled In Search of the Frightening and Beautiful, in which Heather rode her motorcycle from her home in Weehawken, NJ to BoxoHOUSE in Joshua Tree and then back again. En route, she documented dramatic marks on the landscape made by companies and individuals in the name of art, science or progress. During the residency, Heather began this new body of work based on her travels and on the outcomes of engagement with the Joshua Tree community.

Megan Evans’ mixed media works including sculpture and embroidery, emerged from her project titled SIMPLICITY which focused on the dispossession of Native American communities in the Joshua Tree region. The work connects to her larger Keloid project that looks at the effects of colonisation on the original inhabitants of a land. Through these projects, Megan considers how the lingering effects of a difficult past still play out in the social relationships within communities through prejudices, stereotypes and misinformation.