The eccentric group of artists in finds humor in their work and in the mundane, whether it’s rearranging the lawn furniture of a neighbor or stealing luggage from an airport carousel. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s more going on beyond the obvious witty one-liner (well, except for Dan Witz’s photo of a cocktail umbrella and plastic bunny stuck in a pile of dog poop, we’re pretty sure there is no deeper, hidden social context there).
Kora Jünger’s series of drawings, World’s Saddest Songs, inspires something else entirely. Jünger is the girl at every party, camera in-hand, taking shots of you passed out in a chair, sharpie pen on your face and scratching your balls. She then takes these photos and traces them onto drawing paper and adds her own brief hilarious narrative, such as the image of someone’s grandma with a party blower, and the text “Blow Job” scrawled underneath. Most of Jünger’s drawings made us laugh, some made us uncomfortable and a few made us wonder if that was us passed out by the toilet last week after one too many vodka tonics.
The next artist in the show we came to think of as the Andy Goldsworthy of San Jose, that is, if Andy had a sense of humor. Last year, Susan O’Malley set out to fulfill a self-prescribed residency in her hometown neighborhood of Willow Glen, and by placing fliers on neighbor’s doors, asked if they would be interested in collaborating with her by offering up their lawns for alteration. Often working at dawn, O’Malley carefully enhanced the landscapes of neighbors’ yards working only with what was offered: fallen leaves, garden rocks, stray hoses and frost. The accompanying video documentation shows her skulking through bushes, crawling through tire swings and ultimately making a great joke out of the perfectly manicured lawns of suburbia.
SFist Shelley, contributing
Images: Kora Jünger, Blow Job and Susan O'Malley, Lawn, San Jose ResidencySmart Ass