SEE: Virtual Walkthrough of "Escape to Shit Mountain"

Joel Kyack Talks About His Pieces in Escape to Shit Mountain

“Well”, the bartender says, leaning into the bar in a familiar way, “let’s think about time as being linear in fact and cyclical in nature.”

Last weekend artist Joel Kyack opened his second solo exhibition, Escape to Shit Mountain, at Francois Ghebaly Gallery in Culver City. Kyack provided some insight into the exhibition–a multi-part installation meditating on time and our perception of it–and his practice at large by giving ForYourArt a virtual walkthrough. A Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 Participating Gallery exhibition, Escape to Shit Mountain is on view through October 30, 2011.

I began Incident at Stoney Lake by making the shishi odoshi fountain at its center, with no idea of how I might use it. I liked it because I saw the potential for water to move something back and forth, and that seemed metaphorical to some grand tectonic measure of time. From there a very loose evolutionary narrative began to take shape with the painting and the apes. The piece and the entire show grew out of that initial fountain investigation.

This begins the first (lowest) level of the implied mountain created in the gallery installation. The trunk of a chopped-down tree and a man planting a sapling share an awkward conversation via duet for trumpet (original score for installation) in the diptych Pine Woods Municipal Band Tryouts.

Good Things Come (To Those Who Wait?) constitutes the second, or middle, level of the gallery installation and the second of two diptychs. A tin-can telephone is employed posthumously by two gravestones in intimate conversation at a desert hillside miniature golf course cemetery.

Snowblind steeply caps Shit Mountain with an icy slope where a bathroom sink rises from the snow and a black liquid runs endlessly from its faucet.

5’56 is the amount of time (in minutes and seconds) that is the total time of all the hourglasses on the table added together. At the opening someone stole 22 seconds worth, so maybe now the piece should be called 5’34. Here Los Angeles beach sand adds to its intrinsic relationship to time (the process of it being ground down from larger matter) by itself becoming a mass that a value of time is ascribed to.

MY TIME = MY TIME is a drawing / study for the piece 5’56. These drawings are made simultaneously with the sculptures as a way for me to work through developing ideas.

by Sarah Williams and Joel Kyack

Also see All About Gary Panter.