Friday, February 24, 2012

Bill Burns: A Brownnoser's Story opening at Mulherin + Pollard, March 1, 6-9PM

Katharine Mulherin is pleased to present A Brownnoser's Story, an exhibition of works by Canadian artist Bill Burns at Mulherin + Pollard, NYC.

"A Brownnoser's Story is the story of my relations with art critics, editors, dealers, museum directors and curators. The story is told in carved logs, photographs, words and watercolours. Many of the events that I describe take place while on hike, at log cabins, on northern lakeshores and in boreal forests.

The show consists of about 100 carved logs, some log carrying cases, a machine that tests artworld celebrity gloves, a photo and a set of watercolours. The logs are carved with the names of the top 100 people in the art world from Art Review. The photo is remade after a film still from "Thee Film" circa 1957 by Brion Gysin, Ian Sommerville and William Burroughs. The people in the picture are discussing the previously mentioned carved logs. The machine that tests art world celebrity gloves is a simple robot. The gloves are embroidered with the names of people who have either helped me, wronged me or who I still hope will help me. The watercolours tell of singularly important episodes in my life as an artist.

A Brownnoser's Story tells how I got into the art world and how I manage my life in it. It's a catalogue of misadventure, failure, and success. One increment tells of how I nursed a visiting Taiwanese curator whose testicles had swollen, now to the size of navel oranges, now to the size of grapefruits, now to the size of melons. Since we were deep in the woods I jerry-rigged a sling for him from my own tee shirt and some birch saplings and I applied a poultice that I concocted from reindeer moss, pine needles and way-bread to sooth the pain and extract the contents of the grub coloured pustules that had erupted all over the afflicted area. Another increment tells of how, sometime after my first exhibition of Safety Gear for Small Animals in New York, television's Homer Simpson became a conceptual artist and began making safety gear for animals. Neither of these events proved to be particularly bankable. I was not, as I had hoped, invited to the Biennale in Taipei and the Simpsons episode has yet to have any tangible effect on my career." -Bill Burns, February, 2012

Exhibition runs March 1 - 26

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