“The artist Ivin Ballen’s buoyant renderings of networks and global production systems express a bracing, “thoroughly modern” sensibility and an interest in the existing, and potential, links between consumption and well being.”
—Lynn Crawford, The Brooklyn Rail, February, 2008
Discussion of Ivin Ballen’s work took place at Ivin’s second solo exhibition “Sleepless in Seattle” at Winkleman Gallery in Chelsea. Ivin’s relief sculpture/paintings occupied the walls. A hand-built stage and a PA system, with a surface treatment similar to the wall pieces, filled the center of the room. Over the course of the exhibition, Ivin invited several emerging New York bands to perform on his stage.
While never absolutely answered, the question, “Is this Painting or Sculpture?” was voiced early in the discussion and seemed to linger just under the surface of the discussion throughout. Also debated was the link Ivin’s project promotes between visual art and music performance and the issues engaged by turning a commercial gallery into a live music venue.
Painted casts of negative space were viewed and discussed across the empty stage. Participants in the conversation talked about how the work engages absence through the process in which it is made and presented. The work in the show prompted discussion of several divided themes, some almost diametrically opposed: improvisation and permanence, object-hood and trompe l’eole, absence and performance, sarcasm and genuineness, optimism and negation, homage and critique, symptom and reaction.
-Amanda Lechner & Rachel Frank
Sleep in it – “Cardboard Box” Duvet Cover