what are (some) boys made of?
with a bulbous nose;
a ‘brella, some bottles;
a bantam; a bag.
a blank painting.
In the bowl—of “air-dry clay”—a latex lining. Protection from transmission?
Roundness resonating (though never quite perfectly); Gibbons makes the circle in Conduit’s floor bound up.
Even the rubber chicken re-cycles, never getting to the other dam’ side. (But his head- and eye-shades grace Beethoven’s bust.)
Letters that can spell I’ll love you too or Loot or maybe some other things spiral on a flimsy shield from wet elements, rounding into dark like words on a vinyl disk, or memories into a lens or an I, or (maybe) something into a toilet.
Breath trapped in clay urns, like Keats’ (“thou still unravished . . . foster child of silence”, etc.): no room for Beethoven’s ashes or solider substance, but the movie lasts almost half a 24; or is it just 11:35 min.?I’m also in mind of Breughel’s Beggars.
The punching bag dresses a lot like Gibbons. Belt me.
Clown Ambulance has no working siren, just an old bell probably too small for much of a temple, hung with at least three “meaningful” strings (Milton taught me, meaning resides in relatedness); and the jokes won’t make you laugh. A lot of us, maybe all in our ways, are trying to save ourselves or each other. The rescue always seems too little too late; but Gibbons props up the dead patient anyway, and makes it sing like only a deaf clown-beethoven-that-can’t-smell-the-incense-sticking-out-of-its-own-head could.
Gibbons’ work has been known to make people cry, and I’m feeling that as I write; but I think it’s in a very, very good way.
The exhibition also includes a 20-minute compilation of videos that, taken together, seemed profound and work wonderfully with the rest of the show.
If you haven’t already seen it, go, before it and the year close.
At Conduit Gallery in Dallas through Dec. 31. Images courtesy the artist and Conduit Gallery.
also by Carolyn Sortor
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