Katelyn Farstad’s Untitled Mauve Lattice
By Leia Wambach
I have felt confused lately about how I act in public. There are things that I haven’t figured out how to explain to others, so I habitually ward off inquiry. I used to lie and sometimes still do. More recently I have been trying out tactical honesty, my vulnerability cased in control.
I suspect Untitled Mauve Lattice would have sussed me out regardless of its maker, but I do know Kate. We met and became friends while working customer service jobs at the Walker. I was good at that job, I think. The pretext for interacting with others without risking my privacy felt like a freedom. Kate was good too – mesmerizing, funny, quick – but also a flustered mess sometimes. Miraculously, she usually pulled off her panic.
Don’t we paint that over? Have you learned a better way of hiding?
Her visual works have typically kept me at an arm’s length. They confuse me, or maybe they make me nervous. Untitled Mauve Lattice is different: disconcertingly recognizable. A minimal and delicate sculpture, it appears unexpectedly cornered. Its pharmaceutical pink skin has gone rigid mid breath, dragged to the back of a mouth or blown into sticky summer crevices. I think of my rib cage fictionalized in the mirror, satisfyingly visible only when sucking in. How I try to be sucking in a little all the time.
This work is from 2012 to 13. She never made another one like it, as far as I know. I wonder about that, and about what it’s like for her to see it now. Like seeing an unexpected candid photo of yourself?
Strange, I look beautiful in this one.
Leia Wambach is a Minneapolis-based museum educator and occasional visual artist. Current interests include craft scholarship, intergenerational arts programming, and poetry by Louise Glück.
Collecting Art: HAIR+NAILS Group Show
By Sean Smuda
Tom Sachs passport piece! Psyche, un-psych, re-psych! What would it be, a replica of an NRA gun collector’s cabinet, a meat freezer, a cockpit? Whirling around, draining toward the basement, its humble plinth and crowd of opening-nighters prevented examination. Rolling eyeballs continued instead to K. Farstad’s similarly colored torso cage drain catch as a passport to the body’s retention and deflation. Disparate memories connected only by sheetrock and track lights fold all architecture into revelation that stops or fixes a certain sequence of time. So the hands were turned back; here then is Tom Sachs’ Swiss Passport and back-story. Because it is nothing new but has a set of contexts that puts the viewer between Earth and space colony, present and past, affection and commerce, and deus ex-machina Rachel Harrison. Pride and innovation trump guidelines and grace to have Mr. Sachs expand its title to multi-verses. Time, in collector R. Fontaine’s narrative becomes form. This parallel’s the experience of Huffy Howler’s “sympathy for the Road Warrior”, including the recall by Huffy of about 4,000 of them in 2007. Failure and falling flat and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, to imagine Iggy as part of the continuum. A flag in reverse, a castration, Total Recall obliviating the Present. But, Yerba vulnerable as Sachs moves from worst to great artist, again, sitting on a planet size throne of Styrofoam mirroring all hubris to exit it. A collection is reproductions of its acquisitive inspirations. Do not relate it except on top of the throne, on the other hand, its is as viral as pride and love spread over the land, a mound of fake purple bricks Prince jumped. The flag in back exited the bag up front because all art is hindsight, a Chris Marker, so thankfully un-business like, so hopefully tribal. A 4,000 strong Huffy Parade at half-time followed by mom’s casserole and battle air, crawling out of the sheep skin. The Huffy Howler passport Americanizes the EU while opening the former into eternal Euro reverie full of self-reflexive Marxian crane shots, Sinsemilla, LSD, extreme sublime violent matriarchal transformation, psychological equivalencies, and oceanic engineering, an ideal pinnacle for the shroud of Gibson. So goes this moon shot.
Sean Smuda is an artist in Mpls. He runs Pirsig Projects and was recently included in Emergency Index Vol. 6, an international survey of performance work (Ugly Duckling Presse, Brooklyn, NY). www.seansmuda.com
On KHFN (Jeff Fontaine)
by way of Untitled Mauve Lattice (Katelyn Farstad)
and Here and Mails (Casey Van Loon)
By Arwen Wilder
I love the KHFN.
I know it is by Ryan’s brother, Jeff Fontaine.
I come back to this one over and over in the show.
A group show, so I find myself doing the reflexive math
how many women how many queers,
how many anything but cis white people
how many artists with children
And a new calculation, how many artists dead young?
Jeff Fontaine, I know, died last year.
And Jaime, the year before that.
It is traditional or scholarly
to write about dead white men.
But why for Hair + Nails,
Why would I write here
about the art of someone who is dead,
What could he get from it?
and why write about a man when Kate’s
beautiful spiky pink blob
is there right there on the floor
like a pair of discarded panties
so imperfect and uterine?
Its skin tucked into the lattice
the extra spilling onto the floor
I had a ball, brought here from Thailand
woven bamboo web
Improbably it lasted through two toddlers,
bounced down the stairs
chased by the cats
When I was pregnant, you could feel a little bump,
the baby’s foot they said, but then the lump
was still there when the baby was out with two feet
Kate’s sculpture doesn’t have to be a uterus,
perfect walnut that stretches to the
fills with fibroids and vines
lets a child slip through the tracery.
This sculpture could be a strawberry or something useless
the pure enjoyment of covering something completely
Choosing is so political. So I take a another walk around.
Upstairs I am seduced
by a simple line drawing and more pink,
who did it? The other sibling in the show, of course.
Kristin’s sister Casey Van Loon
this one so simple and realistic
If dilapidating her sister’s house too soon.
Do the shingles of the house meet the frame line, do
the window sills lie flat and meet the walls or do they waver
like that? I lived in houses like this drawing,
in West Virginia, in Ossining, in Colorado Springs
Small irresolute houses where the corners pull away
and mold and humidity swell and change,
the floors growing boles and layers sagging away,
the words flush and plumb and square no longer relevant
or waterproof, little tumors with sketchy margins
In this drawing the pink pole of the mailbox
is a hopeful pink button-slit.
But what clouds or dreams make a sky like this?
like a lot of flapping birds or falling sheets of paper,
geometries of fabric,
Ominous or Luminous
My aunt at 19 was a single mother of 3 kids
under age 4, driving home one hot airconditionless afternoon
from the laundromat, she thought
she was being followed through south Denver by seagulls
Some strange white bird
that flapped near her car like an omen
Some secret to tell and just when she could almost
make it out, it would flap away
When she got home
she realized the kids had been throwing
their laundered diapers
out the window, one by one
I go back downstairs to KHFN.
KHFN? — Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis —
the band of 300 indigenous people
living on a reservation near British Columbia?
This seems more probable than KHFN the Christian Radio Station
in Nazareth, Texas. Kentucky Highway Freight Network?
KraftHerr Fight Night — the Austrian night of punching competition?
Something in Icelandic? Something in Russian? Some secret
explanation or rotting inside joke.
The Indigenous people KHFN state online that they never
ceded the land, that they are working on healing
and clean water, from their tiny poisoned reserve.
I don’t have any idea how this piece KHFN
was made. Which is part of why I like it so much.
I want to look closer and closer. I am glad I am alone
down here, you would think I was licking it.
If I get close there are little sparkles. I don’t have any idea
what the scale is, there is some kind of biological
or chemical decomposition here. Could this be cellular respiration,
could it be rust, or imaging of oil spills in wetlands.
What internal or external entropy is this beautiful?
It is so succinct. A filmstrip has frames which translate time.
These frames are also time.
So shiny a build up of breakdown.
A splash, a spill, a spread, a fade, a
redwood cardinal bronze eucalyptus mica azurite
and patina of copper oxide
the word pluperfect again, past time implied
future breakdown insured.
Arwen Wilder makes dances with Kristin Van Loon as HIJACK and raises children with Heidi Eckwall at 3140.
Luke Holden’s animated short film coming soon.
COVER: AMTK “Untitled (Yellow #1)”, 2012, various paints on canvas, 36” x 30”
1: JEFF FONTAINE (1974-2017, r.i.p.) “KHFN”, 2012, mixed media on steel, 12” x 48”
2: KATELYN FARSTAD “Untitled Mauve Lattice”, 2012-13, wicker and fabric, 8” x 28” x 42”
3: JIM HITTINGER “Graveyard Shift”, 2017, oil. on canvas, 24” x 36”
4: CASEY VAN LOON “Here and Mails”, 2017, graphite, watercolor pencil on paper, 6” x 8.5”
5: TOM SACHS “Swiss Passport (Huffy Howler)” 2016/2017, Swiss passport, photo, 5” x 3.5”
6: JAIME CARRERA (1973-2 016, r.i.p.)w/ NICK WIRTZ “Untitled (Coqueta)”, 2010, color photograph, 6” x 4”