Mixed Me­dia Axle Con­tem­po­rary’s not this, not that opens at the Rai­l­yard

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPO -

You ain’t seen noth­ing yet

No tex­ture, no brush­work, no drawing, no forms, no de­sign, no color, no light, no space, no time, no size or scale, no move­ment and fi­nally no ob­ject.

— from Ad Rein­hardt’s “Twelve Rules for a New Academy”

The Se­in­feld tele­vi­sion se­ries may be re­mem­bered as a show about noth­ing, but for a real show about noth­ing, come see (or not see, as the case may be)

not this, not that, the lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion at Axle Con­tem­po­rary. Axle cu­ra­tors Matthew Chase-Daniel and Jerry Well­man pose a chal­lenge to the art-go­ing public: A wooden frame sur­rounds the mo­bile gallery’s en­trance, like a paint­ing in a mu­seum, but, as pro­scribed by artist Ad Rein­hardt, it con­tains no ob­jects. “For mil­len­nia, hu­mans have strug­gled with the lin­guis­tic co­nun­drum of de­scrib­ing what is in­her­ently in­de­scrib­able, in nam­ing the un­name­able,” the cu­ra­tors write in a state­ment. “As soon as words are used, mean­ing is lost. The same co­nun­drum ex­ists in science and art. This ex­hi­bi­tion is a method of en­quiry into this philo­soph­i­cal, sci­en­tific, re­li­gious, and artis­tic topic.” The ac­com­pa­ny­ing cat­a­log, ap­prox­i­mately 240 blank pages with a front and back cover, is avail­able for sale from a web­site cre­ated specif­i­cally for not this, not that (www.not­this­not­that2015.com). On the site, un­like in­side the gallery, are images that re­late to the ex­hibit’s theme, such as René Magritte’s paint­ing The Treach­ery of Images, which de­picts a pipe, un­der­neath which is writ­ten “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe), along with an ex­ten­sive se­lec­tion of quotes on the top­ics of noth­ing and noth­ing­ness. Vis­i­tors are en­cour­aged to leave com­ments about the ex­hibit, the quotes, and the sub­ject of noth­ing. “I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing how other peo­ple par­tic­i­pate and add to the dia­logue,” Well­man told Pasatiempo.

Not this, not that opens in the Rai­l­yard shade struc­ture by the Farm­ers Mar­ket Pav­il­ion with a 5 p.m. re­cep­tion on Fri­day, May 29, and is on view through June 7. Check Axle’s web­site www.axleart.com for up­dates on the mo­bile gallery’s daily lo­ca­tion; call 505-670-5854. — Michael Abatemarco

Axle Con­tem­po­rary’s

not this, not that, in­stal­la­tion view, 2015

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