“Turns and Returns” exhibit at Salt & Cedar, Detroit / June 5 – 30, 2014

(extended through Sat, July 19, 2014)

Turns and Returns presents a selection of ephemeral lists and photographs created by Gavin Christie, re-presented by his sister Leona Christie. Images and texts are printed on paper, silk, and plexiglass.

turns & returns front door view at salt & cedar

Turns & Returns Installation Shot, Corner, Salt & Cedar turns & returns installation view at salt & cedar
Above:
And Small Dark Trees #2, series of five panels, 32” x 24,” plexiglass and vinyl, 2014

Every day Gavin types and writes memories of dates, directions, stores, books, TV shows, snacks, and people. When typing directions from suburban Detroit to northern Michigan, Gavin recalls the stores and gas stations between each turn, as well as the traces of “dark woods” and “light woods,” and “small dark trees” and “large dark trees” remaining in between.

Turns & Returns, Installation view, Salt & Cedar
Above:
Series of archival digital prints on kitikata paper
Below:
Coolest stores & gas stations in Birmingham/Bloomfield, 20″ x 16,” 2014

Coolest stores in Birmingham Bloomfield copy
More places on woodward avenue detail
Above:
More Places on Woodward Avenue, 20″ x 16,” 2014

Gavin makes lists of all the stores and malls that used to be in metro Detroit. He supplements his memory by reading old business directories at local libraries.
Below:
Gavin doing research at the Ann Arbor public library.

Gavin at library
Also included in this exhibit are photographs of Gavin with his friends in the stores of Birmingham, Michigan. Although he now uses a digital camera, in the 1990’s Gavin took thousands of self-portrait polaroids, a sampling of which are presented here.

*Install shot polaroid_sm
Gavin Christie Self-Portraits with Birmingham friends

Above: Self-Portaits with Birmingham Friends, polaroids, late 1990’s

Archival digital prints on Somerset, 30" x 22," 2014

"It was so much fun looking, Richard Scarry," Archival digital print on Somerset, 30" x 22" / 2014

Above:
“It was so much fun looking,” Archival digital print on Somerset, 22″ x 30″ / 2014

Dark woods Light woods print

Above:
Dark woods, light woods” (detail), from a series of 18 debossed engravings, 15″ x 12,” 2010-12

S&C 2 Sam SeftonAbove: Photograph of exhibition opening by Sam Sefton

On view through from June 5 – 30, 2014 (Extended through Sat, July 19)

PRESENTATION:
Ghost Sprawl, Thursday, June 5, 2014, 7 pm
Gavin Christie’s odes to closed stores and changed directions

Salt & Cedar
2448 Riopelle Street (at Fisher, in Eastern Market)
Detroit, MI 48207 I USA
June hours: Saturday | 10a-5p, and by appt.
email: info@saltandcedar.com | salt & cedar | map & parking | facebook

Advertisements

“LifeLoggers: Chronicling the Everyday” at the Elmhurst Art Museum, IL / May-Aug 2014

LifeLoggers: Chronicling the Everyday
Curated by Rachel Seligman, Tang Museum at Skidmore College
and Nadine Wasserman, Independent Curator

Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL /  May 11 – August 17, 2014

Chicago Tribune Review July 31 2014, by Lori Waxman                                    Quote: “Artist Leona Christie takes cues from her brother Gavin, who is autistic and has an immense capacity for storing and organizing facts. He ritually hand writes and types blocky lists of MTV New Year specials watched, dates when shorts have been worn, travel details for driving 15 miles to Flint, Mich. She absorbs his intensity in a series of pristine, white-on-white prints that embed these inventories in the surface of heavy white paper, as if by sheer force.”

01_All_the_New_Years_Days_Christie copy

Above: All the MTV New Year’s Eve Specials, 15″ x 12,” debossed engraving, 2010-12

Chicago Sun-times, Western Springs edition

“Lifeloggers” was first exhibited at the Perlman Teaching Museum, Carleton College, Northfield, MN / January 10 – March 16, 2014

‘So to Speak’ examines artistic power of language, by Amy Griffin, Times-Union

PRESS: Albany Times-Union

From article: “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.”

“So to Speak” at the Arts Center / Jan – March 2013

“So to Speak,” curated by Emily Berçir Zimmerman, EMPAC
January 25 – March 29, 2013
Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY

“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.”

Gavin Christie still remembers the exact day, August 23, 1981, when he first saw the second edition of Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever. He was at a bookstore in suburban Detroit, and ever since then, Gavin has been regularly recording all the differences between the first edition (1963), which he memorized as a small child in the early 1970′s, and the second edition (1980). Gavin meticulously describes the changes between the editions of the picture book every few weeks, even though the changes never change.

tumblr_inline_mh3b0ghpgr1qgmwzq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above:
Best Word Book Ever: Contents Changes, archival digital print, 44″ x 50,” 2013
A book, The Richard Scarry Projects, was produced in conjunction with the exhibition

PREVIEW / ORDER BOOK: The Richard Scarry Projects

PRESS: Albany Times-Union
From article: “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.”

MORE INFO: http://www.museumofmonday.com/post/41345175243/so-to-speak-at-the-arts-center

“Lists and Projects,” article in the College Hill Independent, 2012

“Lists and Projects” by Claudia Norton, College Hill Independent

The “Dark Woods, Light Woods” project in the RISD / Brown University student newspaper:

“She (Leona) didn’t see Gavin’s lists as artistically significant until she studied art in college and was introduced to Ed Ruscha’s “Every Building on the Sunset Strip” (1966), a comprehensive photo documentation of every building on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Leona explained, “Ruscha’s piece taught me that deadpan delivery of visual information—when it carried social, poetic, or emotional content—could be art.” Leona told the Independent that she has taken on the task of translating Gavin’s projects “from an ephemeral medium (word processor ink on copy paper) to an archival medium (fine art printmaking).”

Gavin is something of an archivist, and Leona considers herself an archivist of his archives. His lists are repetitive and sometimes fictionalized. In a video documenting the pair’s road trip to Chicago, posted on their blog darkwoodslightwoods.wordpress.com, Gavin records the business hours of a bakery as opening one hour earlier and closing one hour later than stated on the sign. In a talk that Leona gave at Brown on October 25th, she pointed out that Gavin, in documenting dates of births and marriages, always records them as one year earlier—retroactively extending their duration, if only in his archive. He calls this time “extra bonus days.” When the Independent asked him when he began considering his lists ‘projects’ he said, “The real life version answer is June 30, 1990. The fictionalized version answer is July 1st, 1989.”

“How to Make a Print with your Autistic Savant Brother” video, 2012

“How to Make a Print with your Autistic Savant Brother” was screened at the Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI) Conference, March 15, 2012, in New Orleans, as part of an audio-visual presentation.