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Henderson Blumer

Banner Year

May 1 to 31, 2019
Closing reception for the artist: Thursday May 30, 2019, 6-8 pm.

Henderson Blumer

This was a year spent on the floor
Arguing with myself
Confronted with great images and specters unresolved

This was a year of old flames

This was a year of bones, hips, knees, toes
Bowed backs, bad leans
Loaned lives and medicinal drinks
Of vertebrae settled improperly
Jaw clenches and hard ears that bend acupuncture needles

This was a year of shit artwork
Really bad artwork
Unfinished artwork
Artwork eaten by moths, roaches, fleas

This was a year that lasted more than 365 days


The artist has been working on drawings over the past year. A selection of them are mounted on plywood and mahogany panels and affixed to Proxy Gallery’s “walls” “floor” and “ceiling” by hinges. The viewer can interact with the installation by moving panels to see the different drawings and writing.

An important element of the installation is that, although the drawings appear to be preparatory sketches for actual banner installations, they are never meant to transition from the physical wooden “pages” framing the gallery like flaps of a box. The drawings are done in pencil in a deliberate “artless” way, some representing banners, placards and quoting heroic/anti-heroic triumphalist words such as environmental impactand backwards writings or puns on words such as GARB - AGE, hand-le and hand.

Some of the banner drawings are diagrammatic, while others exist somewhere between writing and poetry. The drawings, under the collective title Banner Year, are collected into a digital artist’s book. This book will be accessible by a USB memory drive given out at the closing. The artist’s book can also be acquired by request over e-mail.

Several operations and exchanges take place here: The “book” does not really exist in physical paper form, while the gallery itself (empty in its central space) assumes the form of a book, with its barndoor wooden flaps acting as pages that move with metal hinges. It is perhaps Blumer’s materialist proposal against digital ubiquity, or maybe a literalization of “reading” an installation and figuring out its relation to its specific form.

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