Thursday, February 26, 2009

Still employed, thank goodness for lunch...

It looks like I've survived the latest round of layoffs at my job, but 100 of my co-workers didn't, about 20% of the company. I don't know how it's going to go once the dust settles, but I wish everyone who was let go a more interesting future than they would have gotten if they had stayed.

I guess I'm relieved. Money is good to have. Time is better. Money plus time would be the best, but hard to arrange.

So I'm still coming into Providence every day, and still get a lunch hour. I took advantage of it today to mail off a couple of applications for national park residencies and take in RISD's faculty biennial.

I enjoyed the biennial more than previous ones I've been to. The work seemed more interesting, not as sterile or contrived. The extra space is really luxurious too, now that the Chihuly show is down and the full extent of it is visible.

I was immediately taken with a painting by Todd Moore "I Rest on the Way to Church Point". It's a large painting and loses something in the photo, but when you see it in person the space is kind of skewed, the big rock at the top seems to move forward, giving the boulders weight and presence. It has a gritty feel that reminds me of the feel of stones crunching under my feet as I walk the shoreline.

Another piece which I found intriguing was John Supancic's photo of the Johnston Landfill. I recognized his name on the label because he's been a stringer at a few newspapers I've worked at and was also my (excellent) wedding photographer. So I was surprised to see what looked like a painting next to the label. On closer inspection I could see some photographic details, but thought for sure he had overpainted the image. I looked even closer at the "brushstrokes" and was surprised to see that they were actually bulldozer tracks. It's more obviously a photo when it's reduced to the size you see here, but at actual size (about 30"x34") it's beautifully brushy and expressive.

I also liked a video by Dennis Hlynsky that showed birds in on wires and in flight, with motion trails that looked like charcoal drawings.

It's up until March 13 and worth a look.

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