“In her book, Leona Christie notes that Gavin read (and reread) the biography of Scarry who, as a child, made lists in the form of drawings. What Gavin does is an inversion of this — processing images into words and, by presenting them on a large scale, his sister-collaborator effectively makes images of his words.”
Gavin Christie still remembers the exact day, August 23, 1981, when he first saw the second edition of the Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever (BWBE). He was at a bookstore in suburban Detroit, and ever since then, Gavin has been regularly recording all the changes and differences between the first edition (1963), which he memorized as a small child in the early 1970′s, and the second (current)edition (1980). Gavin types or hand-writes these changes every few weeks, even though the changes never change.
His practice of noticing and re-noticing is like a form of meditation. In “BWBE: Changes,” I’m presenting a series of large-scale trompe l’oeil facsimiles of Gavin Christie’s recent “Richard Scarry projects,” in which he observes subtle differences, such as: “the female bear construction / worker that drives a roller / now has a bow ribbon on her head.”
The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY
January 25 – March 29, 2013
An exhibition devoted to the reiteration of images in words, in which friction emerges in the process of translation, through a jarring of verbal and visual accounts. So to Speak calls into question the pervasiveness of the still and moving photographic image within our culture’s visual regime, and the dominance of visual media within today’s cultural production. In this exhibition, words will act as a prosthetic extension for the image, saying those things that the image cannot say –emily berçir zimmerman
“How to Make a Print with your Autistic Savant Brother” assumes that you, after viewing this instructional video, have all the knowledge and know-how to make a print with your autistic savant brother. This video kicks off with a local TV news story featuring Gavin, known as the Rainman of Birmingham, Michigan. First presented at the Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI) Conference, March 15, 2012, in New Orleans.
Posing in front of the main exhibit entrance, with the catalog.
Taking notes on the hors d’oeurves.
An installation of 18 framed embossed prints, “Dark Woods, Light Woods” and a vitrine of Gavin’s recent notebook writings and typings, plus curators’ Amy Chaloupka and Leslie Umberger’s thoughtfully written wall texts. Also included in this show-within-a-larger-show about memory were wonderful drawings by Gregory Blackstock, George Widener, Mark Fox, and Katerina Šedá, and our collaboration was exhibited in a room along with witty and memorable image/text drawings by the self-reflective artworld cipher (and New York acquaintance),William Powhida.
Transcribed by Gavin from the wall text, and translated into his cadence and form. A re-translation: