GREEN STREET
REVIEWS
 
  HISTORY | WHO WE ARE | REVIEWS | EXHIBITS | SUBMISSION GUIDELINES | CONTACTS

 

GALLERIES
Weathersby gets hands dirty at Green Street
By Cate McQuaid, Globe Correspondent  |  October 8, 2004


Leave it to the Green Street Gallery to turn a renovation into an art project. Director James Hull has contracted with artist Douglas Weathersby's Environmental Services to demolish the reception desk, erect a new wall, and create a storage and office area. It's not just a construction site: It's an artistic work in progress, with the ribbon cutting planned for Saturday at noon.
Weathersby is Boston's go-to-guy for the art of dirt. He received the 2003 Institute of Contemporary Art Artists Prize and proceeded to give the ICA a good cleaning. What he does with the dust and detritus is where the art comes in: sculpture, performance, photography, and video. He brings the eye of a painter to the refuse heap, and documents the tearing down, cleaning, and constructing in a way that crystallizes it into art. By bringing a Zen-like attention to the smallest moments, he stops time and shows us the beauty in what we habitually ignore. For instance, he placed Environmental Services signage in Green Street's glass windows and videotaped the way the light passed through them and fluttered over the back wall. It's in videos like this, which run on a loop in a darkened section of the gallery, that Weathersby's fine-tuned aesthetic shines. He held a carwash to raise money for materials for the show (at $25 an hour with a minimum job of three hours, he's a high-end carwasher, but you get documentation for your dollar). The mesmerizing carwash video features close-ups of lather bubbling on the hood, water droplets spraying and jumping, and the quick dissolution of water after a chamois wipe-down.
The sculptures are more forced: a shard of desk juts up from the floor, framed by a light projection that traces its contours along the wall, hasn't quite transcended its trash identity. The environment that Weathersby creates, though, with its mix of beauty, humor, and the spirit of Dada, draws you right in. Being in a construction zone, as well as in a work in progress, has an illicit thrill and makes you want to pick up a hammer and help out.

 Telephone: (617) 522-0000, Fax: (617) 983-5005, 141 Green Street, Boston P.O. Box 1140, Boston, MA 02130
   HISTORY | WHO WE ARE | REVIEWS | EXHIBITS | SUBMISSION GUIDELINES | CONTACTS