“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

“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.

“Hiding Places: From Memory,” Kohler Art Center, WI, June – Oct 2011

MORE INFO: “Hiding Places: From Memory,” Kohler Art Center, WI

CATALOGUE ESSAY by Dr. Darrold A Treffert (autistic savant expert) and Leslie Umberger, Kohler Arts Center curator.

The Rumpus wrote about it here

Below: Images and video from art opening
09_Gavin_with_catalog_+Prints_sm Taking notes on the hors d’oeurves.
      

Transcribed by Gavin from the wall text, and translated into his cadence and form.

Gavin photographing his original writings that Leona saved, archived, and installed in the vitrine. 

Lists and photographs at the chocolate store in Sheboygan



Gavin informs the young women who work at the Chocolate Shoppe on what day of the week they were born, and then requests that they pose with him for a group picture with “thumbs up,” taken with his camera.

         On left, Gavin’s photograph, re-photographed from his camera’s LCD viewfinder.

  

Gavin’s personal library

Gavin’s library of books and hand-written or typed “projects” (lists, directions, and autobiographical documentation) are updated and discarded/recycled by him weekly, monthly, or yearly, whenever the information contained within expires and/or the publishers issue a new edition. He has been filling up a spiral notebook with written projects on the average of one a month.