a site-specific installation
with performances by Matthew Morgan & Meg Duguid
open Saturdays 11-5 and by appointment – call 917-607-2858
Jonathan VanDyke’s provocative site-specific installation with performance on June 1, 2007, pays homage to an abandoned hair salon and the future salon and exhibition site of Pocket Utopia. His pre-demolition intervention in the space, titled “The Salon of the Covered Bride,” is inspired in part by an image of “the runaway bride,” Jennifer Wilbanks (who staged her own kidnapping in 2005 to prevent her wedding).
Jennifer Wilbanks, the runaway bride, and the police officer become a strange couple. The cop is escorting “the bride” as if she is being walked down the aisle. The blanket, resembling the Flag or a Kenneth Noland painting, or even a burka becomes a veil that signifies shame. Jonathan VanDyke turns the blanket into an object of investigation. In an old hair salon, he sets the stage; where beauty, everyday routine, and societal ritual get the “Jennifer Wilbanks” treatment.
The walls, encountering them the way the former proprietors left them, drip. The fake vaulted, almost A-frame-like ceiling gets netted with fencing. Flowers “grow” above a minimal geometric structure placed center stage for the “groom” to catch blessings from well-wishers. A left-over cashier’s booth becomes the site for another performer, the “bride,” preparing for coupledom. Other testaments to the world of coupledom display themselves in the form of altered photographs. The installation will continue outside in the backyard and our possible future together is revealed.
Jonathan VanDyke he received his MFA in sculpture from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Bard College. In 2005 VanDyke exhibited at the Islip Art Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York.
Pocket Utopia is an away-from center, off-center, exhibition, salon and social space run by artist Austin Thomas. Pocket Utopia will officially open in September 2007 with an exhibition of Pierogi’s Flatfile.