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Windowkammers

Randy Regier, Lydia Badger, and Andy Rosen

INFO
Jan 2, 2009 – Feb 2, 2009
In the Window

Every day, hundreds of people pass SPACE Gallery’s Congress Street window, located between the Maine College of Art and the L. L. Bean store in the heart of Portland’s arts district. One of the most unique features of SPACE is the gallery situated in this storefront window, which offers us the opportunity to bring artwork to the public in an unexpected way. The idea for this new project came from interest in expanding the concept behind our window gallery into a larger-scale, non-traditional exhibition incorporating vacant storefronts across the city.

In this exhibition, titled Windowkammers, three Maine artists have designed and built large-scale dioramas to be installed in storefront windows throughout Portland. These window environments, inspired by the dioramas found in museums, are three-dimensional models depicting real or imagined phenomena, people, places or events.

This project has grown out of on-going conversations with artists about their work, what it means to exhibit in galleries and the nature of public art.

Funding support provided by The Maine Arts Commission. Additional support provided by Portland’s Downtown District, The Fore River Company, and Southpaw Sign Studio.

The projects:

Randy Regier
Now Your Spacecraft Will Be Your Peace
511 Congress St.

“My spacecraft work began in 2001 as an experiment with the intersection of science and art. My mentor while building the piece was an award-winning physics professor who, while bemused at the futility of the craft’s perceived celestial ambitions, nevertheless held me strictly (as was possible) to task regarding a multitude of formal scientific concerns – as least as far as aesthetics were concerned. Until this Windowkammers exhibitr, the fallen spacecraft has always been displayed in a sort of guerilla manner; it was installed at night in a public space, un-announced, un-titled and un-explained and as if it had crash-landed. The Portland installation, Now Your Spacecraft Will Be Your Peace, is the first time the ship has been presented as a sort of captured device along with all of the related ephemera I could conjure up. It is staged in this window as a taxidermied animal might appear in a natural history or science museum – as if it had once lived. All of the text panels were excerpted verbatim from a 1959 American children’s book of space, but were then ran through a software translation called Systran into Russian, and then back into English. The American Dream Technical Institute is the conceptual framework upon which I hang my art and artifact practice, and the method by which I present my work in the public sphere. www.flickr.com/photos/regierart/

Randy’s installation made possible with additional support from Alex Fisher.

Lydia Badger
In An Instant
125 Free Street, Portland

“This window scene depicts an instant caught in time. Something has occurred in the distance and only the animals have noticed. It has long been thought that animals are capable of sensing subtle changes in their surroundings and predicting natural events. It’s my hope that anyone who happens to walk by 125 Free Street will take a few moments to think of the moments in their own lives when someone has known something that they did not.”

Lydia Badger is represented by Whitney Art Works, 492 Congress Street. For more information about her work, please contact the gallery at 780-0700, visit www.lydiabadger.com or www.whitneyartworks.com

Andy Rosen
Dear, Old Master 
125 Free St.

“This piece is loosely based on the story of Pinocchio, the wooden toy that turns into a boy. I wanted to carry the story beyond its traditional ending. I chose to imagine him as a man in his waning years on a hunting trip with his dogs and some chums. I was happy to pretend to see where he might be going or what he might be turning back into. Disoriented and partially disrobed, Pinocchio seeks out the familiarity of an old rotting log.  His dogs, unsure of their master’s actions, choose to wait for his return. With wood and paint and a lot of glue, I chose to freeze a moment of this fantasy and stop in mid-stride the process of decay and growth.”
www.andy-rosen.com

Many Thanks to SPACE, the Maine Arts Commission, Portland’s Downtown District and the Fore River Company for helping to make this installation possible.

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