Cost of Living
APRIL–MAY 2010We are pleased to present Cost of Living, Joan Linder’s fourth solo exhibition with Mixed Greens. In this exhibition, her recent drawings coalesce into an overall meditation on the mundane facets of life. Using a labor-intensive process and traditional materials, such as pen and ink or colored pencil on paper, Linder meticulously observes her daily surroundings—junk mail, weeds, resumes, even cadavers—and in doing so records the remnants of living.
Linder’s Documents series is a duplication of her infinitely amassing paperwork including bills, advertisements, schedules, coupons, instructions and directions. Over one hundred separate documents strewn across a table top, resembling a messy desk, are shown together. Simultaneously intimate and impersonal, Linder fetishizes her junk mail through the act of painstaking near-exact reproduction in ink and watercolor.
Linder also acts as a human copy machine to produce her Resumes series, a line-by-line, hand-drawn replication of artists’ resumes. These documents function as portraiture, culturally and commercially validating an artist. For this show, Linder chooses to exhibit Louise Bourgeois’ CV, an outdated and oversized version that models a strikingly successful artist’s career.
In another assessment of a life, and part of a larger interest in anatomical drawing, Linder documents a dissected body gifted to the SUNY Buffalo medical school. As her visits to the Gross Anatomy Lab become more regular, Linder prolongs the afterlife of a particular body, immortalizing with unintended irony, not a person, but a corpse. Additional drawings in the exhibition reinforce Linder’s fascination with the ordinary. An old tire, a worn-out mattress, and towering eight-foot high weeds all are rendered in rigorous detail. It is as if this domestic clutter is given one last moment of deep consideration before being discarded.
These seemingly unrelated subjects are all sources of Linder’s daily anxiety: bills to pay; a career to advance; weeds to pull. And despite the fact that all are past their point of being useful, they have found a prolonged and elevated existence in Linder’s visual diary.
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