Text sent from Romania for "sculpture customs" exhibit Nov. 2010
- thumbnail photo - Maerean
--From: Sanda Agalides , Bucharest, Romania
Sent: Nov 11, 2010 5:40 AM
To: Jim McAninch - text for exhibit
"bronze at the customs"
"What is this?" asked the woman; she was huge and more than a little menacing. Somehow understandable, I told to myself, since she deals with infraction all the time in her job. We were at the customs, where cargo from foreign lands arrived a spooky post-communist nondescript space on the outskirts of Bucharest, Romania. This was where I had come to pick up my belongings which had traveled from far away California and this was where a lot of smuggling incoming from Romania's neighbors, Bulgaria& Turkey, went on, not only contraband, but all kinds of merchandise. So here she was trying to lift one very heavy object,from among its surroundings, books , clothes a mexican jar; they were all packed in together in that box which sat next to about 20 `other boxes on a big cart ;"What is this?"was asked again. I felt weak and said this is by Jim Mcaninch , he is a sculptor it's bronze ; she listened doubtfully while looking me up deciphering me . A few steps back were waiting her two assistants who mirrored her doubtful expression ready to jump into defensive actions if necessary. This? she asked me again then suddenly for unknown reasons shifted out of her inquisitive mode asked "What is it about?"
From: Sanda Agalides
Subject: part 2
It wasn't easy to explain to her how that piece was the bronze cast of a slide projector tray which Jim did as a funny homage to a profession, I'm an art historian, which demands heavy duty labor, I would confirm this. By now the tray is also a document of the archaic equipment used by art historians up until in the 90's they were replaced by computers... The piece is one of those artworks which at first remind of Jasper Johns ironical beer cans but then open to a more complex super reality i.e. bronze reproductions of real life objects caught in the act of being reproduced in this most enduring, metaphysical material, particularly if the reproduced object is originally made of plastic. The viewer of this work experiences states of absolute disbelief reconstituting what looks to me as the transformation of matter into a particular kind of life giving/life taking energy .
At the customs I replaced what words couldn't say by weaving in front of the woman some reassuring mudras with my hands as if telling her, i mean this, I'm in good faith ... Then I started to tell her how much i cared about having with me this piece which I call "Sanda's metier" on this trip back to my birth country. Yet she didn't let me finish, she waved her hand and told me go ahead and do the paper work, then turned around and left. She seemed content and it maybe that the heavy traveling artwork was evidence of something that she found satisfactory to herself...
My idea in telling the story of the sculpture's travel from Los Angeles to Bucharest was to make Sanda's metier travel back and become virtually present in Jim McAninch show at the Cal State Channel Island Galley....