When Wishes Are Horses, Beggars Will Ride
January 5 - February 4, 2018
Opening Reception, January 5th, 6-9pm
The Pentagon recently confirmed its UFO program, Black Money. What better way to reveal the state sanctioned investigation of spacecraft than to equate it with money and darkness. Of course, individuals and groups have been researching such phenomena since always, but now that the government is admittedly involved, it’s equated with commerce and darkness. Michael Welsh’s exhibition When Wishes Are Horses, Beggars Will Ride at Interstate Projects investigates worlds beyond commerce and changes disconnected from traditional assumptions of endless progress.
Opposed to a layered, stacked, one on top of the other aesthetic, Welsh interweaves, creating mass without sediment. His rag rugs are made with scraps from the studio, old clothes, friends’ t-shirts, whatever he can scrounge. These rug-tapestry- blankets look permanently out of date. They appear simultaneously old and worn yet bleakly futuristic. Perfectly lame monuments to our now, not really recycled, not up-cycled, just cycled material becoming something to be admired again. Out of sync with monetary value in a use based economy, Welsh’s rugs move laterally, horizontally, getting away from the highs and lows of commerce and our more and less lifestyles.
But the horizon eventually curves and comes back around again. Welsh has installed a cyclical fountain where water drips down a chain, is cycled back up and streams down again, looking both endless and transitional. Can we pinpoint the moment we notice a change? A different air temperature is not something we recognize unless it’s a big change. Playing with micro environments, Welsh has installed homemade swamp coolers throughout the gallery space. Swamp coolers rely on water to cool, pushing air through wet surfaces releasing moist cool breezes that result in water you can’t see yourself breathe in. Welsh doesn’t want to cause us a chill, but to suggest the room is breathing too, the air itself constantly changing. It changes without value, without progress. Are our internal radars finely tuned enough to pick up on these transformations?
When Horses Are Wishes, Beggars Will Ride asks us to accept less, notice more and feel comfortable knowing we are just one world among worlds. The "do it yourself" nature of these rugs, coolers, and fountains is not born of a selfish, save yourself impulse. Welsh is shuffling material outside of the Black Money systems, reminding us that change comes in many forms.
Michael Welsh (b.1983) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. He is a founding member of GWC Investigators, and editor of New World UNLTD. Welsh's interdisciplinary works have been shown nationally at such venues as Shoot The Lobster, New York, NY; High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree, CA; Printed Matter, Inc., New York, NY; American Medium, New York, NY; GCA, Brooklyn, NY; Judson Church, New York, NY; Appendix Project Space, Portland, OR; Katherine E. Nash Gallery University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; Extra Extra, Philadelphia, PA; Helper Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; C.R.E.A.M. Projects, Brooklyn, NY; BRIC Arts, Brooklyn, NY; AdHoc Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; among others. Welsh's has been published in print and online by Publication Studio, Packet Bi-Weekly, Social Malpractice Publishing, Queen’s Mob Tea House and his forthcoming book, Family will be published by maga books.
Reviews of exhibition: Humor and the Abject, The Brooklyn Rail