Notes for Bridge Guard number 41

Thanks for the compliment, and from what it sounds like you might be interested in the theme of the piece!

All the sticks are driftwood from the river. Some formed the "river" others  were used for the boats and  still other ones are serving as supports. All the pottery shards from the opposite bank past the Basilica and only available during the times when the river is low. Only the wire, paper, a few screws, and the salt are added. The salt serves as a screen for a video projected down from the boat hanging above it. It shows a looping video of the boats floating in the Danube for real.

So this is the studio, it's huge I think you'll be able to write in it. ;) 

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I was almost finished with it when I went up the ramp on the Instagram side instead of the steps. There was a poem dedicating the beginning of the construction of the bridge. It's an English, Slovak, and Hungarian. The first line of the poem is "gather the ruins". Which came as a bit of a shock because that's exactly what I freaking did for two months. The text is hiding in the back because any time text is present in visual art people's eyes spend more time on the text than anything else. I love using text but I either hide it make it self referential or 3-D. 

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I made another piece on translucent paper that has a poem about shepherd who crossed the Danube and calls to others from afar. I did rubbings of individual letters from Estergom gravestones on one side of the paper and some letters from the Štúrovo one on the other. The poem can be read by holding it up to the light. The letter stand for people separated by literally a piece of paper. I haven't been able to find it since the show, so if you find it while you are here please let me know. Which reminds me- the cemeteries on this side of the river are incredibly informative and poetic. I highly recommend visiting both of them. 

Mass grave of Russian soldiers from WWII

Mass grave of Russian soldiers from WWII

The Estergom one is bigger than it looks and on a hillside and is also scenic.

Make sure you ask Karol about his family's history here, and how people called to each other from across the river because the water carries the sound. By the way there is a bridge one town south it's much smaller and you can tell it used to be a crossing. It was closed during the entire communist era.

I recommend contacting Adriana Gore, she teaches English at the Hungarian speaking high school, and she has taken me places like her organic family farm, a wine festival, The culture house, a huge mansion that's also a vineyard, all places I probably wouldn't have known about or figured out how to get there on my own.

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I spoke to her classes at the high school as my "duty". It was really fun so I went back several more times. I'm actually supposed to go one more time still. I had a small group of her kids come and do printmaking with me at the residence. We made art in bottles to send down the river. I'll send you her contact info.  

 

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Gyuri will take you to Tesco (yay!) - also on the other side of the river, which is a great place to stock up on lots of things like mailing supplies etc. not just groceries. He knows about all the cultural festivals and stuff going on in the immediate area. He and Sophie have this amazing garden plot near their apartment building which is incredibly relaxing.

Many intriguing things around Estergom also- cool restaurants, older architecture, and interesting shopping. There's an outdoor market from 7 AM to 12 PM Wednesdays and Fridays. There's also some kind of other market in the evening with more homemade foods, but I haven't figured out where it is.

I'm finding out some of the best stuff right now like the homemade gourmet lemonade place over there I wish I would've known about it day one!

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Oh and at the top of the mountain across the river is an abandoned church as the base of a decrepit 12 stations of the cross with a mysterious chapel at the top that is been signed hundreds maybe a thousand times with pencil for at least 120 years. There's also brightly colored statuary of Jesus on the crucifix, Mary, saints etc. This isolated almost creepy location at the top of the mountain feels like 1,000,000 miles away from civilization. The steeple is cockamamie and bound to fall in on itself soon. 

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If we have time we'll talk at The Green Pub, delightfully & conveniently located across the street.  Have a good trip! 

My first and only rap composition

I am relentless, and check this

Website where the tickets can be spotted, dropped in

your cart but never boughtted

as the crowds, the hordes the fans down the site:

their demands remand you empty hands.

But my competitive eyes, crafty whiles,

so much experience

shopping while delirious,

I push towards the date they hate to break; but this is serious

the nativity occurs to me (sensibly)

breaking the proclivity to gather round the Christmas tree and

BOOM I have tickets to the room a theater flume in bloom with Alexander Hamilton.


So yeah. I got tix because Christmas Eve was available.

DUNA - residency installation 2017

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DUNA Is the title of my one-person show at my Bridge Guard residency (from April through June). Everything in the installation is from the river Danube. I collected the driftwood and pottery shards from both the Slovak and Hungarian sides of the Danube. Some of the shards are hundreds of years old.

The people in this area have lived without the Maria Valeria bridge for more years than they have with it. Destroyed twice and then rebuilt in 2001 it connects people of similar heritage but now different countries. The people here were divided and assigned to 5 different nations during the last century. During the communist years families would call to one another across the river to share births and deaths, as visits required permits that were almost impossible to get approved.

Driftwood and shards do not say from which side of the river they came. The river serves as a border but behaves like a force. It draws water, wood, things and people to it. It mixes, rearranges and shapes what it finds as do people. This is how we create what we know, and what we are. And we can't take it with us, someone else will build something new from it later.

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Local Materials

It's never really according to plan, but my residencies this past year have all turned into an experience using local materials and reflecting what I learned about that place. In Detroit I found abandoned tools and materials in the thrift stores. In Gettysburg I used lead from their canon shop. Here in Slovakia/Hungary I'm using driftwood and pottery shards that I find along the river banks. It's not like that's always my approach in my plan, it's very organic. But I have to identify it as a pattern after three times in a row! 

 

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Studio- Every Place Becomes Home

The residency is 2/3 over and I don't hardly remember living any place else! Aqua phone is June 10 and I'm preparing for my show. From June 10 till the end of the month I'm going to concentrate on drawing which I have not had the luxury to do for a long time.  

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I remember collage

I haven't seriously done collage for years but I had to do something with my drawings on tracing paper! Because there's paint and gravestone rubbings an old maps laying around it just sort of happened.  

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What's With the Sticks

Poking around in the riverbanks all day, and holding up two sticks in front of myself concern and leave looking back-and-forth between the two, occurred to me that the further I get with feeling right about my aunt the more and more it feels like stuff I did when I was a kid. Alone in the woods or the beach, collecting things, making trail markers or objects; I would do that for hours, even in the snow. 

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This can be embarrassing- walking back with this many sticks, and not knowing enough Hungarian or Slovak to explain myself.

Danu Bridge Guard

I'm in a wee house with a courtyard. I'm just just by the bridge that spans Slovakia and Hungary. My residency is Bridge Guard, I'm a guard of cultural connection. 

For three months my work will search for connections vs. divisions.  

Language, borders, time. I'm working on four different projects, at least 2 of which will be shown at the Aquaphone festival June 10th.  

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I've made four delicate-feeling but sturdy boats using only copper wire and driftwood from the Danube. They're meant to be suspended, that way they continue to respond to vibration in their surroundings.  

After the installation in June, they'll be for sale individually. Contact me to tell me of your interest. 

Danube Danu Danau

For three months and living in a house and the purpose is to guard the bridge that spans the Danube between Slovakia and Hungary. 

I have sculpture,  an installation, drawings, and a conceptual piece planned for the show in June.  

 

Knot drawing- based on artifacts from the museum.  

Knot drawing- based on artifacts from the museum.  

Maria Valeria Bridge across the Danube.  

Maria Valeria Bridge across the Danube.