Bekí Basch: Vision Quest Lundi: Baltimore

April 2010

Press Release:
Open Space is pleased to announce an exhibition of sculpture, drawing, and film by the Baltimore-based artist Bekí Basch. The exhibition will premiere the video Vision Quest Lundi: Baltimore along with a series of drawings and sculpture made in response to this work.

Vision Quest Lundi: Baltimore is the first to be completed in a projected series of films that follows two protagonists on a quest to find the Atlantic Puffin in its natural habitat. The narrative begins in Baltimore, where Puffins are held captive in the National Aquarium and eventually makes its way to Iceland where they densely populate the Westman Islands. This northern migration of the protagonists is a love story that runs parallel to the birds – as their general well being and living situation serves as a meter for the health of the couple, or their health as individuals.

In this chapter, the lovers first meet – blind and under artificial circumstances – in the Mimi Di Pietro Ice Rink in Patterson Park in downtown Baltimore. The community members watch on as a ceremony takes place and the lovers attempt to join in a convoluted fashion, which mixes traditional marriage rituals with a funeral processional, a hanging and a concert by Baltimore-based musician Brendan Sullivan. They anticipate something magical and spiritual but rather than waiting, they decide to make ‘something happen’ themselves. The camo-clad audience becomes a mob of tricksters as they pull the lovers apart, zip them up in body bags and send them off to sea.

The centerpiece of this exhibition Burial Mound on the Mimi Di Pietro Ice Rink is a sculptural representation of this performance, encased in a coffin-like vitrine and buried in a mound of salt, which is made to resemble the rink. Salt is used in mass quantity here to help move on from this initial chapter and metaphorically ‘melt’ the ice rink that was the stage for this first step; from which the characters have now made a departure.

Multi layered vellum drawings with a common template of a form, serve as a guide to show various possible situations that resemble in a formal and/or ideological way, how far-ranging elements (for example: hydrogen atoms, unhealthy eating, puffin migration, and the human body) can share similar traits and help to explain a condition when transposed upon a diagram. These examples can therefore aid in understanding the workings of a condition as a whole organism (like the monomyth idea) that cycles around incessantly in every degree of scale, from a whole life down to an expanded moment.