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‘In the Pines’ – an exhibition by Jack Strange 27 March 2009, 6.30 – 8.30pm at Limoncello - FAD Magazine

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‘In the Pines’ – an exhibition by Jack Strange 27 March 2009, 6.30 – 8.30pm at Limoncello

jsshow1
Open until Saturday 2 May 2009
“I thought of having the press release text read:
Traditional
But I know it should be slightly more informative than that.
The image is a photo of the desktop on my computer. It’s a photo of the sun shining through some pine trees in Vermont, USA. I keep a folder labelled with a * in the centre of the sun. I used to let my desktop fill up with files until it reached the point where I’d have to tidy it. Now I dump everything into the * labelled folder and my desktop is tidy. All the mess goes into the folder until the hard drive is full.

‘In The Pines’ is a traditional American folk song also known as ‘Black Girl’ or ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’. It’s unknown who is the original author of the song. It’s believed to be of Southern Appalachian origin. I came across it through the Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie version. The song is deep rooted in my head and I often find it playing in my mind. I believed the song was originally by Lead Belly and didn’t realize it wasn’t until recently when looking the song up online. I new it was a well-covered song, Nirvana and Bill Callahan have also done versions I like. I didn’t realize how many different versions there were. Lead Belly himself has done several different versions and the version I believed to be the original isn’t even the original Lead Belly version. The origin of the song for me is the Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie version as it is the version I heard first. I like how the origin isn’t known and can be personalized by the listener depending on which version they hear first. I also like how the song is a tradition that is shared and kept alive amongst musicians, with each musician giving a different feel to the song’s identity.

The pine forest in Vermont is a place that has a personal significance to me. It has given me something similar to what the sea has given me. I’m not quite sure how to articulate it. It’s something emotional.
Or I thought of having the press release text read:
“Mo yeke sengi”
Again, maybe it needs to be slightly more informative than that.
“Mo yeke sengi” is a Sango greeting, which translates as ‘Are you empty/naked?’. I had known for a while of an African saying that used the meaning of empty/naked as a way to articulate one’s own well being. Only recently did I discover how to say it. I think it’s a beautiful saying and it feels nice in my mouth to say it. It is now deep rooted in my head and I often find myself saying it to myself. It has given me something very similar to what the forest and the sea have given me. It is something emotional. I don’t think I can articulate in words exactly what that is.
Or I thought of having the press release text read:
“Art is a guarantee of sanity” – Louise Bourgeois
Again, maybe it needs to be slightly more informative than that.

Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris on December 25, 1911. She is still making art. I saw her show at Tate Modern in 2008. One of her ‘Cell’ works that was on display had an inscription high up near the top of it that read ‘Art is a guarantee of sanity’. More than anything else I’m scared shitless of losing my mind. The more I think about the world the more insane it really seems. But the insanity does not scare me when I believe in Bourgeois’ sentence, then art makes sense and makes me feel safe. If I get caught up in the insanity of the world I go with my sense of art and I feel unafraid. I feel like I’m outside myself and I feel happy. I can also often feel this way when I’m walking in the forest or I’m swimming in the sea.

Or I thought of having the press release text read:
Went for swim in sea / It made so happy / ’Cause seeing with mud
Went into wood / Making with mud / Saw wind in trees / Made so happy / ’Cause making with mud
Again, maybe it needs to be slightly more informative than that.
Lyrics from a song called ‘It Does’ written by Jack Strange and performed by Mr Clack. For more information on Mr. Clack please visit myspace.com.
Limoncello 92 Hoxton Street London N1 6LP

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