AFTER SHELLEY DUVALL ’72
After Shelley Duvall ’72 (Frogs on the High Line) exhibit at Maccarone, curated by Bjarne Melgaard.
September 17–22, 2011.
By Michael Holtermann
Traditionally when thinking about curation of an exhibit, the curator stays in the background; we often don’t even recognize his/her name. The focus is on presenting the art in the spirit of the artis’s intention, along with a theme and focus. When an artist – such as Bjarne Melgaard – curated this show, it’s obvious that the curation also becomes a reflection of the artist himself. It’s a form of new self expressionism going on here. In other words, Melgaard uses works of other artist to express himself.
Shelley Duvall’s acting career took off in 1970 (Brewster McCloud) and she retired as a producer in 1993.
In a November 5, 2010 interview with Mondo Film & Video Guide, Duvall talked about her current life, revealing that future film roles are a possibility (from Wikipedia):
I wouldn’t say I became a recluse. If you Google the meaning, it sounds much worse. I just took time out. I’ve been acting for over 35 years; it does take a lot out of you. I just needed some me time, and I’ve loved it. People seem to think I’ve turned into a recluse who never leaves the house and doesn’t communicate with the outside world, that’s just not true… I have a quiet life now, I have a lot of animals on my property and look after them; not a crazy cat lady yet though. I write a lot of poetry, would love to publish a book of my work one day. Still get a lot of scripts sent to me, a return to acting is never out of the question.”
The exhibit features the following: Anonymous Three (Anonymous Three Selects Omar Harvey), Fabienne Audéoud and John Russell, Michael Alig, Alissa Bennett, Sverre Bjertnes, Big Fat Black Cock, Inc., Caroline Busta, William L. Copley, John Duncan, John Kelsey, Richard Kern, Michael Bernard Loggins, Lydia Lunch, John Patrick McKenzie, Dwight Mackintosh, Bjarne Melgaard, Marlon Mullen, William Pope.L, Sam Pulitzer + Mathieu Malouf, Seth Shapiro, and Estate of Martin Wong.
The exhibit is a mix of traditional and formal display, a homey setting, and a messy studio setting – a feeling of some kind of a process frozen in time, yet vibrant and moving. None of the art pieces are labelled and there is no map that helps guide the visitor in any way. It is quite refreshing and liberating in itself not having to “know” and “understand” the art. Also, there were no refreshments such as designer water or alcohol served at the opening.
The curation is not driven by a selling concept, it’s not even clear what’s for sale, what’s on loan, what is art, and what might be props.
Many subjects could be described as dark, but personally I didn’t find this a dark exhibit.
The photographs from the opening night were taken using my iPhone, and I carefully chose not to reveal individual pieces. My intent was to casually capture impressions, and not to present approvals or dis-approvals of any kind. I do, however, highly recommend seeing this show.