Sunday, April 1, 2007

Work made in Houston (2003 - 2005)

Plush Luxury Ladder of 2003. Instead of getting a ladder to run an extension cord along a wall, I built a staircase of stacked crates (taken from my old artmoving job's trash) with a railing made of scrap wood. The extension cord was for another artist's work in a group show. This "helpful" gesture was nullified when the other artist found another route for the cord. The other artist's rejection highlighted the ridiculous and unnecessary nature of this work, beginning my interest in "helping" through customized solutions.

In the show, Texas Prime, at Diverseworks, I made "Trim-Paining Contraption." Patrick Reynolds picked me to be in this group show (thanks Patrick) and I had heard that it tends to be somewhat random. So for my addition I chose three colors that would complement the other artists' works in the show and built a mobile twelve-foot tower that painted a striped trim of the colors around the top edge of the walls. In theory this altered the room so that it could better host the artworks it contained. In the photo you can barely see the painted trim on the wall behind the tower. I painted the walls before any other works were delivered and stopped painting at the pre-determined placement for my work. This piece was especially fun because I had to contact all of the other artists in the show and get their permission first. I also did studio visits to help with color choices.

Next is two examples of the "posture sculptures" from 2004. When put together their title changes to "Height Equalizing Sculptures." They are step stools built for individual people that became portraits of the individuals they were created for. The portraits, when used as pedestals, assist individuals with posture, level height differences, and point out the varying heights of the individuals intended to be equalized. The two pictured here are for Michael Bise and Luc Sokolowski.

In the artadia show I had “He Thought He Recognized a Companion in Misfortune (Don’t Leave Me)” 2005. It is a re-imagining of a story from "Marcovaldo" by Italo Calvino in which a plant grows out of control. This video explores how the story could have transpired if the plant was stubborn and refused to grow despite the love and attention gien to it. The installation includes an altered version of the tower prop from the video. The artadia people are really cool and on their site they describe me as "a recent graduate of the University of Houston, Ives constructs functional sculptures that border on the absurd. His works relate to human scale and activity and often provide elaborate solutions for simple problems."

The cardboard box sanctuaries (nap series) were inspired by some alone time I had in the press room of a commercial printing factory. During the opening quite a few people sat on the furniture/sculpture. With this found extra time, I "accidentally" began to build myself a fort structure out of the boxes I was unfolding, taping, and stacking. In this installation I thought back to that time and constructed what I would do now if in that situation.

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In the corner of my room in the chunks show was “Lieber Robin” It’s a crate with a letter to Robin Rhode carved into it. The letter references my experience of seeing one of his performances at the CAM, Houston. The text is in German to reference and place where he lives and to exoticize the text slightly. The German translates to "Dear Robin, I wanted to help, but you left and never came back."

In a show opening the same night at gallery 101 called chunks (summer 2005) I showed “With a Vague Need to Feel Affection.” In the video two crates with legs are my actors, playing out scenarios in which one character is a victim and the other is in more of a position of power. The video is projected onto a pair of pink doors.

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