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Thousand Year Old Child

March 25 ‒ May 2, 2014

Planthouse is pleased to present a 3-person exhibition featuring Glen Baldridge, Ian Cooper, and David Kennedy Cutler.  While the mood of show could be labeled “abject”, these artists evince great care and craftsmanship in working in progressive and hybrid forms of printmaking, soft sculpture, paper-making, digital printing, and sheet-metal sculpture.  Baldridge, Cooper, and Cutler are represented by individual artworks and styles, but they consider this exhibition a collaborative exercise they have dubbed Thousand Year Old Child.

A seemingly senseless and impossible proposition, a thousand year old child is mired in contradiction. Accumulated wisdom is the pride of adulthood. In contrast, artists are expected to perform the role of the radiant child, the youthful renegade. C.S. Lewis said, “when I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” To be young forever is to be enlightened. Today, everyone thinks they are C.S. Lewis. Society as we know it has formed around this notion: eternal youth, fast cures, and gratification of the self at all costs. Someone else will clean up the mess. The adults have gone on permanent vacation, and no one remembered to take the trash out of the house.

But allow us to switch tenses, subjects, and sense. Allow us to leave our mess in your house. We’d like you to know something is wrong, that something happened here, but we’ve forgotten what it was. A suggestion? A statement? No, no, no…  a secret:  tidal waves of regret and shame, an archaeology of self-loathing, under pried up floorboards, bad bodies, shed limbs, impotent dollars, preserved foodstuffs, electric violent eye-hole peak through hole cut-offs. Cannibal culture teething for muscle milk, mother’s milk, and Prevacid. Looking worse and worse in your underwear. Is this what aging feels like? Is this what being alive is like?

We’d say this is theatre for the absurd, but you’d say it’s just a series of vignettes. Step through the gates. You’re a tourist here (in your house) and we’ve decorated so nicely. We’d tell you to suspend your disbelief, hold it to-fucking-gether, and don’t get sick. Be cool. Definitely don’t feel compelled to enjoy yourself. If you look at it you’ve broken it, and we spent so long breaking it so bad. So come over, it’s our house now.

But we’ll give you one pointer for the trip:  make it like you care, and beware the tantrum of the thousand year old child.

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