First up in the Hard Sell series is reading by juan rubén reyes, an Auckland based artist who has shown at Fiat Lux, Teststrip and Ramp Gallery. Trained in philosophy & poetics, his art practice is concerned with the materiality of language, the effects of composition on reading and the creative input needed in all acts of reading. In the past his work has presented textural environments in panelled pieces and in an installation format. In these works single words are taken from some original context, whether it be books or advertising, and presented as beautiful, significant objects in their own right, calligrammes of themselves.
In reading we see a queen sized bed partially made with crisp white linen, beneath which sit opened, half read books. The 'completeness' of the object upset by a black ink which effuses over the foot of the bed, spilling from book to bed, bed to book and consequently, book to book. The bed becomes a visual trope for the stillness and privacy required in the act of reading, and at the same time the site of the creative, even violent effusion which results from physical immobility and isolation when language is present. reading evokes this situation rather than attempting to capture what is essentially a dynamic moment. As it appears here, reading is concerned less with understanding than it is with movement, less with the brain than with the feet. Perhaps there is something of the flâneur present in the reader.
Reviews, Essays & Articles
The Package, #143, April 18 - 24, 2002
HARDSELL - BECAUSE YOU WANT IT!
JUAN RUBÉN REYES - Artist Q&A
The Physics Room Annual, 2002