Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just Seen and Dashed Off - Jeff Badger

Did you ever want to know how to solve life's big questions? Or the universe's? Or what would have happened if you had not said “no”? Jeff Badger will tell you.

He has left his trees capable of human emotion behind, and now has several ink on paper drawings as well as one site-specific wall drawing in Whitney Art Works' I'm just sayin/I know right? which also includes work by Cliff Baldwin, Adriane Herman, and Megan O'Connell. Be prepared to spend some time with Badger's creations. They are immensely worth it. With line drawings and cartoonish images Badger develops some simple and some incredibly complex structures of argument, likelihood, and could-have-beens. Applying scientific reasoning to life's uncertainties in the form of charts and diagrams has the desired effect of pointing out life's follies. Developing alternatives branching out from “yes” and “no” options, small choices develop into world-shattering events. Or not. Depending on which way you go.

Here's an example of options in How Shall We Make Our Feelings Known: “Art” or “Actions” or “Words” (written or oral) or “physical contact” (violence or affection, the latter's options are protect, foot rub, radio request, tandem bike, wink, hearty handshake, or groom) or “gift.”
Or here's What Should We Sew: “Frankenstein” or “Heavy Metal Patch on Denim Jacket” or “Voodoo doll” or “button” or “makeshift sail” (branching out into “survival raft leaving lonely island”) or “sampler.” Nice capturing of the spectrum of human quirks. For all its lightheartedness though, Badger does address issues of global impact, philosophical depth, and touching emotional uncertainty.

I'm just sayin/I know right? is on view until November 20, 2010 at Whitney Art Works, 492 Congress Street, Portland - 207.780.0700 -

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