Memphis' three home art galleries, GLITCH, Southfork, and Beige — hybridized living rooms and kitchens — showcase work by Mae Aur, the artist pair Chuck + George, and Rhodes alum John Payne, respectively, this month.
Painter Adam Farmer's GLITCH is gallery/home/sculpture garden/multi-walled mural. Once a month, this otherwise unassuming Midtown bungalow serves as a semi-public performance and fine-arts venue. Featured artists are allowed complete creative license over Farmer's ceilings and walls.
Each GLITCH show is its own intervention, not only into Farmer's domestic life but also into the remains of the previous month's show. This Friday, Mae Aur offers her own modification, "Sweet Creams."
"Sweet Creams," a one-night-only show, is a pastel dreamscape. It is an Easter show in the same way that Gremlins is a Christmas movie, which is to say, not really but it shares a color palette. Aur installed hanging plaster eggs, a large modified parasol, and white fur wall hanging. The results are somewhere between Tokyo shopping mall, 1970s teen girl bedroom, and a Lewis Carroll poem. Musicians Franklin Doggrell and Dominic Van Horn composed a soundscape to accompany the work.
Farmer is interested in how Aur's work has evolved and overridden GLITCH. Pointing out some untended borders around the silver-painted living room ceiling, Farmer told me excitedly, "They look like minor malfunctions!"
"Sweet Creams," Friday, April 18th,
6-11 p.m., at GLITCH (2180 Cowden)
The "Sweet Creams" opening coincides with the closing of "Chuck + George: Tablescrappin'" at Lauren Kennedy's Southfork.
The Southfork space is smaller and more contained than GLITCH, but both galleries share a penchant for installation. "Tablescrappin'," by Texas artists Brian K. Jones and Brian K. Scott, includes faux-Victorian floorboards and wallpaper, as well as hand-constructed furniture. A series of prints depict "Chuck" and "George" at a carnivalesque dinner table. In one corner, a television loops gothic animation.
Southfork is open by appointment. Email Lauren Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also this month, the Southfork sister space Beige will exhibit work by collage artist, painter, and illustrator John Payne. Payne's hyper-detailed abstractions will be on view through early May.
Beige, the home of Clough-Hanson curator Joel Parsons, defines itself as an "otherwise space." It is an intentional space for queer artwork, or, as Parsons put it, "work that is not a part of the conversation that is already happening, work that might otherwise be overlooked."
Parsons is also looking forward to another event in coming months, a performance-art festival that debuted last year. That festival featured 30 artists who submitted a script. The upcoming festival will follow a similar model.
Parsons says, "Some [of the performance pieces] were games, and some were very intimate and small. Some were more grand and theatrical ... some were impossible to perform."
The festival's pieces were drawn from a wide network of young artists, many of whom took the opportunity to show experimental work. Parsons sees Beige as something of a safe space — not only for "otherwise" artists but for artists who want to display their weirder work in an intimate context. Beige supports this work not only by providing a space but also through its microgrant, the Sugarbaker Milk Fund — money drawn from collections during the show and awarded to local queer artists.
Like GLITCH and Southfork, Beige has its own answers for the old question of how life and art intersect. When asked about how he strikes this balance, Parsons answers, "[My partner and I] try to be flexible, so if someone wants more of a clean space, we will try to clean it up. There's still residue of our lives there, but that is part of the package. But we are open. For instance, one artist took all of our furniture, piled it in the middle of the room, and wrapped it in Mylar."
Parsons laughs. "We lived with that for a little while."