Is pink the new black? If you’re a contemporary artist these days and you don’t use pink––the right pink magenta it, hon’––well, come on down to Reed college to the Cooley Gallery. I ventured down to Reed, Wednesday eve September 5, around 8ish, excited to see who this Peter Krieder was because we went to the same school (Tyler School of Art). Walk by the volunteer gallery guide. Acknowledge her/him. Say, “Hello, I’m fine. How are you?’ Then face what I call the wall of Big Pink. There is no escaping the large white type “social housing for billionaires”. Around you will find an array of art artifacts using a wide range of materials and video.
Okay. So here I am in the gallery and a usually locked door is open to the other side of the gallery where the loading dock and offices are. People walked in and out from there through the opened loading door not sure if this was part of the show. I overheard visitors fascinated by what they saw. “Is this part of the show or is this the other side of the gallery? Who is Silas Cook?” Why were visitors grouped around hanging bags of Styrofoam packing peanuts? Was the cart full of paint cans an art piece? Even though I assume it was not intentional, people stood transfixed by the postcards displayed on Mr. Cook’s door.
Step back, my friend, into the gallery and you have two artists brought together by the renowned curators Stephanie Snyder of Reed, and Kristan Kennedy of PICA. An assemblage of different cultural ideas and art practices from Marko Lulic and Peter Kreider. Reactions I overheard were to individual pieces of work. The framed photo of a beer bottle replete with bubbles made me crave its contents. Its placement on the floor and not hung on the wall, struck a visitor in her late ‘70’s with jet black hair as her favorite piece. The ceramic gallon milk jugs of upside down skeletons created a metaphorical image––milk is murder? Death by dairy? The sounds of Lulic’s Austrian language video played at the other end of the room. Kreider’s work was more playful; Lulic’s more Austrian post war intellectuality. I lean to playful imagery. I couldn’t help noticing a few bewildered kids looking at the fork jammed into the light socket––kids don’t try this at home. Then the child turned to see the larger than life extension cords sculpture. “Honey, that’s a sculpture not a toy. C’mon daddy‘s going to go outside and get a beer.” I want a beer too, I followed them out, and this is a show I definitely want to return to after these crowds leave.
Posted by Ben Killen Rosenberg