By Howard Halle
Artist doesn't have go far to get to his show; his bedroom is in the gallery
Let's face it: Life in the age of smart-phones and social media has become one long exercise in over-sharing. That's presumably the intended takeaway from artist B. David Walsh's current exhibition, on view until March 1, at Park Slope's Open Source Gallery. Titled “Extracted Bedroom Project,” this installation-cum-performance features the artist's actual bedroom, which he's relocated to the gallery for the run of the show. And he's residing in it, 24/7, until his exhibition closes.
As an historical matter, performance art pieces and beds have gone together like sheets and pillow cases: There was John Lennon & Yoko Ono's antiwar "Bed-In" at the height of Vietnam, for example; a few years later, L.A. artist Chris Burden likewise took to bed for a gallery show. So Walsh's effort is arguably part of a tradition of sorts, though he adds a few twists, like using his mattress, bed-frame, furnishings, clothing and personal items. He's also set up a live-feed over the internet, allowing you to peek in on him at any time. It's not clear if there's all that much to see—unless, you know, he's hosting an orgy or something. The more likely bet is that if you have insomnia, a few minutes of screen time with "Extracted Bedroom Project" might be the perfect remedy.
By Matthew Perlman
An artist is moving his entire bedroom into a Park Slope gallery
It is art irritating life.
Park Slope artist B. David Walsh will move his entire bedroom, including all his own paintings and sculptures, into Open Source Gallery in Park Slope this week for an installation called “Extracted Bedroom Project.” While his belongings are on display, Walsh will live in the emptied room back home for the next 22 days, streaming his simplified existence back to the gallery and over the internet.
“It’s an exhibit within an exhibit, within a performance-piece,” Walsh said.
The idea behind the project is that Walsh’s art is usually on display in his bedroom, and thus that is the way it is meant to be seen — intermingled among his personal affects. He said the notion came about when the gallery’s executive director came to his apartment to see his work and asked him how he’d like to show it.
“I said, ‘Just like this,’ ” Walsh said.
A construction worker by trade, Walsh said he will meticulously reconstruct his bedroom in the gallery space, framing out walls and windows. He will then schlep his things the few blocks from his apartment to Open Source. Well, everything except for his fish tank.
“I have to feed them,” he said.
Walsh’s paintings are mostly done on cabinet-grade plywood and utilize other elements of his profession, such as acrylic paint typically used on walls, he said. He also makes sculptures with found objects and fragments.
The installation was initially just going to be Walsh’s room and works in the gallery. But with the room empty of his art and artifacts, Walsh said he figured he might as well document his life in the blank bedroom. The footage will be streamed live to a screen in the gallery, showing the artist’s work in the setting where he lives, while he lives somewhere else.
“If you want to creep on me and see what I’m up to, you can,” Walsh said.
Even he thinks the whole thing is a bit nuts.
“Can you believe I’ve agreed to do this?” he said.
Brooklyn Hits Radio Interview, February 6, 2015
By Garret Lawson