The Art Truth in Memphis

Submission from Koala Boom: who? gives a shit

Koala Boom has some questions (and opinions) about Present Tense. Thanks Koala Boom!

a few questions…

has any artist in Present Tense sold a piece of work since the opening of the show at Dixon? aka…does anybody give a shit..

why does roy tamboli have 4 pieces in the show? …simple enough someone should be able to answer this…

why were terri’s cast wedges not treated better? and the videos for that matter? maybe nobody cares but the videos would’ve been better projected. but maybe they were made for little screens in corners, in rotation with another artist? 

if powerhouse was so damn important, how about how they first opened ….with William m-f’in Eggleston playing the organ in the raw creepy space? He has a lot to do with Memphis and Memphis Art—but nobody is willing to admit that. Yes, he still* affects Memphis Art. I don’t get why he wouldn’t be a part of this but Nikki Lee would? really, John Weeden, Nikki Lee had THAT much to do with the Art scene over the past 12 years? or were you just picking work that was easy to get or covering your bases? 

why not catalog? maybe i’ll go photograph it, bc i give a shit. all that wasted $$ on ghetto vinyl lettering on the walls could’ve been put towards a badA catalog that people would’ve have and still would buy. oh shit, but that’s wasting paper. always something eh

the show is mistitled. present tense? 

We know you’re not asking us, but we can’t not keep the conversation going…

buying = giving a shit? It’s one way to give a shit, sure. But museum exhibitions aren’t typically geared toward sales. It will be interesting to see what happens to these artists’ value in the local market after this show. (we’re working on a post about this, so there will be more, later) Sales aside, it seems to us that a lot of people give a shit - conversations are popping off and people like you are speaking up. We’ve never seen this much critical conversation about art in Memphis before - not that it doesn’t happen, but this show brought the threads of conversation together.

We’re wondering the same thing about Tamboli. Part of it must be the fact that there is a lot more space outdoors than in the galleries, so throwing an extra sculpture or two in the garden doesn’t take space away from anyone else. Still, those extra sculptures effect the overall quality of the exhibition. We’re reminded of Koeppel’s call for “concision, discipline, and rigor.”

UGH the videos.  We got mad.  That was amateur.  And Terri’s wedges on the dirty carpet…they should have been treated so much better.

Do people not talk about Eggleston? We don’t think anyone denies his importance, but aside from the Power House performance, has he had a presence here in the last decade? Really, we’re asking - we don’t remember anything but maybe we missed it. So much of that performance’s power came from that space, so we’re glad they didn’t try to recreate it. But maybe they could have done a new performance as a 2013 addition to the show? (more on this idea later as well)

We’ve never seem vinyl in the ghetto…and we thought the timelines looked pretty good. Everyone involved, including the artists, the curator and the Dixon people, probably would have loved a catalog. We’d guess that not making one was a financial decision - those things are incredibly expensive (way more expensive than vinyl lettering) and sales rarely make up for costs. Hopefully they’ll keep the Present Tense website up so there’s at least a digital record. That’s a boring answer, but money is boring.

We’re kind of neutral about the title.  It didn’t upset us, but…eh.  Anyone else feel differently?