‘I balance the roles of both art making and curating – both practices relate to one another, each sharing similar starting points‘.
Brion Nuda Rosch
How to introduce Brion Nuda Rosch? The first words which came to me are busy man. He is an artist who exhibits his own body of work, consisting in paintings, sculptures and collages. Brion usually mixes different elements or images together to create a new meaning. He had a show at DCKT recently, an art gallery located in NY’s Lower East Side.
He is also curating shows, allowing a one-day residency program in his own home, it is called Hallway Projects.
Brion and I have never met so far. We exchanged information on our respective work through the past months. I remember the nice message he sent me to congratulate on noblahblah. Very stimulating.
The following conversation was proceeded through emails during the Summer.
Brion: Time, Space, Chaos, and THINGS. I was recently in conversation with fellow artist Peter Fagundo discussing these topics and how as artists we relate to “things”. Rather than making from a blank canvas, objects that have been found in an ordinary context are a movement, alteration and possibly a layer of paint away from revealing their magnetic beauty. Within the mundane chaos of day to day life, our to do lists, the process of washing dishes, folding clothes, organizing bills and taking out the trash are comparable to the actions taken in the studio. Or the tasks achieved in the office. These tasks, handed down from your boss are similar to the tasks made in the studio, that is to say we perform tasks only our “boss” is every work of art made before us. There is an extreme tension of repetition, and art making lies somewhere between navigating these tensions and finding a calm resolution to the “things” around us.
Adeline: I noticed there is some recurring shapes in your work, such as the black one (standing for a rock), the circumflex one (standing for the mountain) or the three black lines (for the face or the portrait). Where comes this use of simple visual language from?
B: These are dark dark brown. They can either be marks resulting in “nothing” or completely “everything” in the world. The use of these simple gestures are a result of reducing my visual language towards something achievable without the struggle of a tortured artist. I left the pain of painting for the sake of pushing paint. Rock, Mountain, Monument, or Portrait confidently obtained over and over again.
From your point of view, as someone who decrypts images on a daily basis, what do you find within these simple reduced gestures? How do you view images (in broad terms)? How do the images of “art” relate to “things” you find yourself surrounded by?
A: As an artist, you tend to focus on the process. I think simple reduced gestures are a way to ‘go straight to the point’. In French we say ‘aller à l’essentiel‘, it means focusing on the main thing. Being confronted to an image, I first let the image speaks for itself if I can say so. Then I will try to decode it – professional inclination? I look at the composition, the colors or the lack of colors, the shapes. Does the image remind me of something? Does the image make me comfortable? Or on the contrary, uncomfortable?
B: Yes, to the point. Another part of the process is the selection of images to be used; a selection of material followed by a set of rules, or a set of alterations. I tend to use common images, causing an entry point with something very familiar. The same is done with assemblage works, using found common objects I attempt to place mundane artifacts in new contexts. Placing something on a pedestal or presenting an object in a vitrine sets some importance on the object and by doing this with common materials I am hoping the viewer looks closer asking some of the questions you just presented.
A: The materials you are using seem to participate in the DIY: found book pages, recycled paint. By picking these objects, you tend to change their status. I agree with you when you say that ‘placing something on a pedestal or presenting an object in a vitrine sets some importance on the object’. That is what I call the “duchampian reminiscence” – or the legacy of Duchamp. On the other hand, your works are referred as “non-monuments”.
B: Yes, I work with readymades. The book pages I use are selected in a curatorial manner to determine which could be considered readymades (or complete and finished art works). A recent collection of pages I have acquired from old cook books. Unaltered these pages will be shown as a “meal”. This “meal” is part of our everyday, also an element of the conversation I intend to provoke between the viewer and the work. That is to say, the works are not monuments, rather part of common rituals. These everyday rituals are balanced with rituals in the studio. Marcel Duchamp, David Ireland, and Bruce Conner have all played a role in laying down this groundwork.
A: Your work encompass curating and exhibiting. Is there a common logic linking these activities. And also what is a typical day of work for you? (if such a thing exist nowadays…)
B: There is definitely a common logic between these two activities. As I mentioned both thoughts share a very similar starting point in my work; a selection of materials followed by a process of alterations. I approach art-making with a curatorial tendency, wherein these selections and edited compositions define the aesthetic of the work. I continue to involve both roles throughout various collaborations such as the One Day Artist Residencies. I am interested in obscuring authorship while working with others, returning the focus to our interactive process. Nowadays a typical work day (if one does exist) involves moving objects, making space and finding time. Interestingly enough, I have not found the time to update the website for the One Day Artist Residencies, which indirectly further complicates the private nature of the project.
A: You just mentioned “alterations” – which are part of a natural process. Interesting thing to point out as you use white and terracotta colors in your work quite often, they could be some possible recollection of earth or organic materials.
B: Much of my process is natural, as with most artists; responding to our surroundings. I spent a lot of time with my family in Arizona growing up. When I was young my mom would buy turquoise from Navajo Indians on the side of the road. I returned later in my life and the Navajo Indians were gone. There was a piece in my DCKT exhibition titled Turquoise Added, Turquoise Removed which was a response looking back on this. The neutral color palette is not so much part of a an alteration as it is more of a reduction or response. Small elements of bright teal, turquoise, red or orange (reduction) intercept the commonality of rejected house paint colors (response).
Brion Ruda Nosch lives and works in San Francisco, California.
He is currently exhibiting in the group show Ultrasonic V at Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles.
More info here: http://www.markmooregallery.com/
All works – found book page on found book page, Courtesy of the artist
Portrait of artist if Bob Ross was father